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Spring 2008 Contest

 
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Spring 2008 Contest Reply with quote

It's Spring (almost).

It's 2008.

It's time for the next writing contest! And the theme is Green.

.

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Kantaro wrote:
Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.
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Vaperfox
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Joined: 26 Dec 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm up for it! I'll contribute any way I can. The theme intrigues me with its simplicity.

I'm spreading the word about this contest as well as the final judging period of Tale Weaver.

-Vaperfox
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The judging period was scheduled to start May 1st, but...

I've postponed it.

The entry period will remain open until the end of the day on the 10th (Saturday). End of the day is midnight GMT, which is 6:00 pm my time (MST). So for me that means 6:00 pm on the 10th, not midnight on the 10th.

While there are plenty of entries, I want to at least try to tweak the voting system. I had way too many distractions and although I got a lot done, the new voting system is not done.

This means that if you entered a story, feel free to reupload an improved version if you notice a typo or just want to pump up a description or something. Or even enter a second story. This also means that if you've not entered a story yet you still have time to do so.


Ready or not the voting will open sometime on the 11th of May (Sunday) and run through to the end of the day on the 7th of June (Saturday) with the same GMT time zone thing.

Thanks!

Scotty

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Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The system is ready to rock-n-roll! (pretty much)

First, sign up for an account. Now you can enjoy the new stories:

In the Greenwood
Quote:
He smelled of male-musk and clover.

Faeldra’s nostrils quivered, and the doe stretched her neck out, straining to catch every nuance of the scent. The stag was far away yet, but he would find her. The time was near for both of them.


When The Moon Fell
Quote:
It was as silent as the jungle ever got. A cool breeze whispered through the leaves and vines, blowing the heavy scent of life, a mix of decay and new growth, into the flared nostrils of the motionless figure crouched in the top branches. Long claws curled around the sturdy branch, clinging to yet not scratching the tender bark. Loose tendrils of hair fluttered in the breeze, the only sign of life.


Exit Sign
Quote:
Clear in her mind, the feel of the wind brushing back her fur, the rays of the sun tickling the flesh underneath with warmth, the smell of the freshly wet grass, the soil, the dew on the leaves, the sounds of the crickets and birds chirping, the rustle of bushes as a squirrel digs underneath to bury its acorn, the hum of a bee collecting pollen from flowers it only seemed to be visiting randomly. All of this drew her through the white halls of the hospital to the door with the little green sign that read ‘EXIT’.


Saving the Magic
Quote:
“I can’t believe we’re here!” Jerrin tugged on Sabrina’s arm.

“Calm down. And stop acting like a preschooler on your first field trip.” Sabrina rolled her eyes.

It wasn’t her fault she was excited. She made a face at her best friend. Jerrin didn’t know what to look at first. A smile played on her lips as she tried to take everything in.


One-Winged Phoenix
Quote:
There once was a phoenix that fell in love with a bird of paradise.

In the Valley of the Fallen Sun, there lived the phoenix. He was the only one of his kind. Proud, strong, and defiant, he patrolled the skies with stalwart vigilance.


The Toast
Quote:
Everything shined like freshly-cut diamonds in the post-rain wet of Chicago’s south side. 53rd and Woodlawn glistened in a silence punctuated only by the drip of water into storm drains and the occasional backfire of a jalopy rattling down the cobbles. It was a Friday night, and the streets, unlike those on Michigan Avenue (that magnificent mile of social carnality) were all but deserted.


Six entries. Nice!

I'll get the ballot pages fully functioning in a few days.

Scotty

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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new ballot page is up and functioning beautifully. And it has some spiffy new features! I've also pushed the deadline to the end of the day, Wednesday June 11th (that's end of the day GMT, which is 6:00pm in mountain savings time).


Scotty

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Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The judging period is officially closed.

However, I noticed a technical problem with the site code. Although the counter said there was so much time remaining, the rest of the page code cut off your ability to enter a ballot. I did roll back the deadline to 2:00 am GMT on the 12th to give an extra hour, but if anyone missed that let me know.

There also seems to have been a problem with signups, but part of that could be attributed to user action because new accounts must be activated though e-mail. However I did have one person mention a problem a few days ago.

I'm starting to process the ballots now and it will be awhile before results are ready. Meanwhile I've restricted site access because the story pages are a mess of old and new code and they spew nasty looking PHP errors post-judgment if there are no results available.

So, if you tried to vote but could not due to technical errors, send me an e-mail at: [email protected] (temp address). Give me the e-mail address you used when you signed up and your IP address if you know it. I will reopen the ballots for you. If you don't know your IP address then give me the name of your ISP and I'll figure something out.

Scotty

Edited: munged e-mail address to minimized spam bouncing off server

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Kantaro wrote:
Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.


Last edited by ScottyDM on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna close the ballots now, but I have a question.

Scoring is from 1 to 5, and in the past I've calculated the scores to 0.01 or 1 part in 100. Often there is quite a spread in the scores, but this quarter there the field is closer than it has ever been with the total spread between the highest and lowest scores of only 0.28. Overall the scores are lower than they've been in 2007 (more like 2006 scores) and no one has broken 4.00 this quarter.

I feel the scores should be close. This group of stories is a better quality overall than in previous quarters--although previous quarters have seen some standout entries. I'm not sure why the overall scores are lower. Perhaps some folks are grading on the curve. So in the absence of poor stories they're giving everyone an middle score and pulling all the numbers down.

That part doesn't matter. What matters is that if I calculate the scores to 1 part in 100, we have two winners--two stories scored 3.91.

So the question is, do we say, "Yaaay, we have TWO winners!" or do I calculate the scores down to 1 part in 1000? If I do, then one of those stories scored a 3.906 and the other scored 3.907.

That's pretty close. Oh yea, they also both got the same number of ballots too... twelve.

If we go with two winners I will never reveal who barely nudged past the other--we will simply have two winners. Maybe I'll flip a coin or something to see who I list first in the winners' sentence, but they will be named in the same sentence.


So whatdaya think, do you want two winners or only one? I have several message boards I post these messages to and I'll be considering everyone's opinion. Also, in future quarters if I start getting lots of entries I'll be forced to go to 1 part in 1000, but there were only six entries this time. Maybe I could set a cutoff or something. If we stick with two winners this time, then I'll stick with 1 part in 100 for scoring until the first quarter I get 20 entries. If we go to 1 part in 1000 now, then I'll do 1 part in 1000 from here on out.

Please post your opinions in this discussion thread.

Scotty

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Kantaro wrote:
Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.
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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The comments I got were unanimous: if we started with a set of rules we should finish with the same set of rules. And one commenter said that ties are always nice for Father's Day.


Results

The winners are Saving the Magic by Michelle Hicks and In the Greenwood by Renee Carter Hall (“Poetigress”), with a scores of 3.91 and each with 12 ballots.

Exit Sign by M. Le Renard earned a score of 3.80 from 11 ballots.

When The Moon Fell by Red Vixen earned a score of 3.74 from 13 ballots.

The Toast by Whyte Yoté earned a score of 3.68 from 11 ballots.

One-Winged Phoenix by Vaperfox earned a score of 3.63 from 9 ballots.

Congratulations to all the authors.

Scotty

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Virmir
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats to all the authors. I enjoyed reading and judging the stories this time around. Smile

I have some feedback on the new judging system, Scotty. First, I tried to enter a score of N/A on one of the stories' Technical categories (since I waited too long after I read it to judge and forgot the technical details Smile) but it came up with an error message and wouldn't allow me to pass until I scored all categories.

Second, I think it's great that users have to log in to judge stories. However, I don't think it's a good idea at all to force users to log in/become a member to read them. Users already familiar with the process would have no issues with signing up. But it seems to me that potential first-time readers would be discouraged by having to sign up to see anything. Personally I would make the stories visible to everyone, and then restrict actual judging and comments to those who wish to go the extra effort and sign up. Would be a better way to encourage people to join, I think.

Just my two cents!

I've been in a writing slump lately. Hopefully I can pull it together and enter another contest sometime soon!

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Virmir's Stories
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PrincessB
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Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 3070
Location: south of Nashville, Tn

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I just looked at the history page of the website and it looks like I have not entered a story since fall 2005 and haven't read much stories since spring or summer of 2006! O.O

When is the next season starting up? No garuntees I'll be able to enter something but I'd be interested in trying since I tend to have more time now days (not always though).

summer started a couple days ago, when is summer contest starting?! Smile

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ScottyDM
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Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be awesome to have you write for the contest again, Princess.

This is what's been going on...


But I'm finally ready to rock-n-roll! See here.

Scotty

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Almost real enough to be considered non-fiction, if it weren't made up.
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