Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Short Story Contest - My View

The Hosts, My Pocket Story, Tell A Tale.com,

It was nice of you to think of and organize the short story writing contest, My Pocket Story. I participated in the contest and have enjoyed the process. The conditions and the time slot made the contest interesting. I congratulate Tell A Tale for putting this up.

While I enjoyed the process of writing for the contest I have my reservations regarding certain aspects of the same. First, the extension in timings announced when the time slot was about to end. It is a letdown for those who stuck to the time limit and sent the stories on time. Rules cannot be changed halfway through the game. If at all there was any compulsion, the contest should have been scrapped and a new date, theme and set of words  announced.

Now, about ‘promoting’ my story. According to the instructions I am required to announce the link to the contest on all the social network sites I subscribe to and request my friends to vote for my story. More votes, more chances of winning. It is obvious that those who can reach more friends through these sites get more votes, immaterial  what is written. Now, what is the contest about? Is it about the literary abilities of the writer and the quality of writing or the ability to gather friends who can click ‘like’ on request?

In fact, the organizers should have prohibited writers from canvassing for votes through their social networks. If reader feedback was essential for judging the stories, the visitors to the website should have been requested to go through the stories and rate them. What is being followed now is the viewer vote system of TV channels the intention of which is to increase viewership. I agree that we have to change with times, but not in contests like this if what you are looking at is good literary abilities.

Well, that is what I feel.  Sorry for questioning the hosts instead of being busy garnering votes.

With regards


(I was very happy to note that my concern was addressed by the hosts immediately. their reply is also here).

Thank you for your feedback.

Addressing the 2 issues that you have raised one by one:
1. Changing the timelines mid-way - This was done to accommodate many writers who had registered for the contest but who contacted us saying they were unable to write within the stipulated time period since Saturday was a working day for them. As organizers, we felt that it was our duty to enable all registrants to participate. So instead of questioning why they registered if they had to work, we extended the deadline to include Sunday as well. Since multiple entries were allowed, this would also give time to those who had already sent in their entries to improvise (if they wanted to) or send in another entry. If this caused any inconvenience to you, we sincerely apologize.

2. Promoting the story - Social voting has been included as a fun round to get readers and writers involved in the judging process. The social voting is in no way a screening round, neither contributes a major share to the final score. We have a panel comprising of judges drawn from different age groups and different streams within writing and publishing who will be judging the entries. You can go through their profiles on the website at this link: http://tell-a-tale.com/my-pocket-story-judges-write-up/
Additionally, it is only readers on the website who can vote for these entries. E.g. if you share this post on your Facebook wall, and get a 100 likes for it, they will not add to your score. But if your entry gets a 100 likes on the website, that adds to your score.
The final score will be a combined score, with judges' score carrying higher weightage. 

I hope this addresses your concern.



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