I'm starting a new discussion on this because the other one started out as an announcement about the Flash Fiction contest voting matter and the side debate on authors not voting at all is really a separate issue. Also, please keep in mind, despite my putting this in the debate forum, this discussion is about opinions not facts. There is no right or wrong and people have different ways they view things. It's my opinion entering contests you don't then vote in, is akin to wanting critiques of your work in the workshop without ever giving anyone else the same in return. The result is we have a lot of contest entries then struggle to get a handful of people to vote in those same contests. We are all authors putting our works out there in all their naked glory exposed to the world. It's my opinion it's an important skill to get over being shy and self-effacing about our work. If you want to sell your work to an agent or a publisher, isn't confidence about the piece and about your work one of the skills necessary to do that? At the same time, can't we as authors be honest when we like our work or when someone else's is clearly better? I recognize people here who are far better authors than I am all the time, and some that are much worse. Why should that change because a 'contest' is involved? You compete, you put your best work out there, you want to win. I know there's a psychology to that recognition. I'm proud to have one medal after my name even though I think only 4 people voted for my winning story. But I was just as proud of my sci-fi contest entry even though it wasn't the best story. It needed work but I also got some positive feedback about it that was very satisfying. And it got three votes! Maybe that meant 3rd place for 3 people, but I think that's exciting. Speaking from experience, votes are flattering even when a story loses. And for stories that get no votes, that's because there are a lot of good writers in this community, not because the story was necessarily bad. I can't recall a poorly written story in the last half dozen contests. In fact, I've been impressed at how good the stories have been, even those that got no votes. I had no idea how many authors were entering stories then not voting. I just assumed authors who entered stories would of course recognize the importance of then voting on them. I get it some have their self-effacing reasons, not wanting to say they actually do like their story the best. Or they want to win and don't want to vote against themselves if theirs is not the best story. (The latter reason I have a harder time digesting, but whatever.) The contest is about recognition. In the short story contest, don't be afraid to recognize yourself. At the same time, what good is recognition if it's fake? Recognize someone else if they deserve it. I ask people that enter the short story contest to also vote. I'd make it a requirement if it were up to me and there was a way to police that. @Lewdog wishes authors to vote in the Flash Fiction contest but asks they not vote for themselves. If all the authors did that, it would be a wash, you can't vote for your own, but neither can the other guy. I think the outcome of such a system is equally good as long as all the authors vote. If one votes and the others don't then it does give an unfair advantage to those not voting. That's not good. So either way works: authors allowed to vote for their own or not allowed to vote for their own, as long as all the authors vote! I may make a new rule, if there are 6 entries and only 5 votes plus mine, I may declare the contest void.