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  1. Cecil
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    Cecil Member

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    Contest submission form advice

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Cecil, Oct 13, 2010.

    I hope this is the right forum for this (seems like it should be).

    So I (finally) finished revising a short story and intend to submit it to a particular contest. The reason for this is because I first wrote the story in a "writing commercial fiction" class at my college, and my teacher specifically said that that contest is "the place for my story" and that it was a career maker if you win. The thing is, my teacher in that class also just so happened to be a very well known (arguably famous) author.

    So the online submission form for the contest wants me to write in how I heard about the contest. Should I say that it was recommended to me by "famous author," which could theoretically encourage a more serious look and start the judge off in a good mood (and might make a slight difference)? But most importantly, it would also be totally honest.

    On the other hand, such "name dropping" could be seen as pandering, or be an assumed lie. With the online applications just now opening up (they used to only accept mailed in manuscripts), I expect they'll get flooded by poor quality submissions just because they're now so much easier to send (and you avoid the cost of shipping); so they might be inclined to take any excuse to weed out as many submissions as possible. So my "name drop" could either be an excuse to weed it out from the get go, or something that actually prevents it from being weeded out.

    Also, if I'm right, and they're getting flooded with on-line submissions, maybe it would be smarter to send via mail which may dodge the "some guy deleting every other submission without looking at them" filter that I'm probably just imagining.

    Alternately, maybe I'm just thinking way too hard about this. Since the judges don't actually see the submission form (to prevent bias if they recognize the author's name), I should just trust the system to be fair, write whatever in the "how did you here about us?" box, and just send the darn thing.
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    how did you here about us? My college tutor told me about you.

    Pretty straightforward.

    If your tutor lacked fame, I imagine you would regard it as a peculiar practice to specify his name. Be guided by that.

    You have, I imagine, gained a lot from this author's expertise? Is that not sufficient?

    You are perhaps in competition with folk who have never seen the inside of a college lecture theatre. Think upon that.

    * Gets off high horse and returns to moral gutter *
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    such questions are asked only to provide info to the contest-holders on how best to advertise it in the future, not for any other reason... so keep it simple and don't name drop...

    i agree that a snail mail entry is preferable to email... the reason is that way your ms lies around and is passed around to be read by more than just the person who checks out the emails...

    good luck!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. Cecil
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    Cecil Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Admittedly, this the first time I've submitted any of my work to anything before, so I'm freaking out a little.

    It seems unfair that a snail mail entry might get special treatment, but I guess that's the way of the world sometimes.

    Also, apparently I broke a rule by naming the contest? Sorry about that. That's what I get for such long periods of inactivity after the first time I looked over the rules. I will try to be more careful in future. I was actually hoping to get some opinions on the contest in general, but I guess such queries belong elsewhere.
    *goes off to review posting rules*
     
  5. Spring Gem
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    Spring Gem Member

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    In blind judging contests, the application is separated from the manuscript, and the judges see only the manuscript with a special number on it so it can be matched with the application after judging. You should submit your entry according to the contest rules. If the rules state snail mail or email submissions are okay, then you can submit either way and it shouldn't make any difference. You should also format your submission according to contest rules.
     
  6. Beckahrah
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    Beckahrah Member

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    No, definitely do not 'name drop.' Most contests will automatically disqualify any entry with ANY name or personal information attached to it whatsoever. Just follow the contests' formatting instructions and you'll be ok.

    I haven't had any issues with electronic submissions myself. In fact, I've had WAY more issues with regular mail submissions getting lost or arriving too late, etc. I had one short story I submitted electronically finish as a semi-finalist in...ah, in a very famous sci/fi fantasy writing contest...so they definitely got it and didn't hold the email entry against me.
     

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