1. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question: Must write new for contest?

    Discussion in 'Writing Contests' started by ChickenFreak, Sep 8, 2014.

    So I saw the "drunk people" flash fiction contest and thought, "Dang, I had a recent blog post that would be perfect, but I wrote it before the contest."

    I realized that I was just assuming the rules that a contest entry must be (1) written after the contest is announced and (2) not published elsewhere before the contest. Is there any such rule, or can I submit a piece of flash fiction from June from my blog?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I would vote to change the rule if it were up for a vote. I'm not sure what the reasoning was for the 'not posted anywhere else' rule.

    I too am curious about that rationale.

    By the way, I don't care if someone enters something they wrote earlier, so having to start writing after the theme is announced is not in the short story contest rules.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    To clarify, I don't know that either of those are a rule. I might've made 'em up. I just had them so firmly in my mind that I wanted to ask before I go submitting something.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    But you are correct there is a rule the story should not be something that was posted anywhere else on the Net.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I wasn't aware that either of those were rules, and as far as I'm concerned, they shouldn't be.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't personally see why either of these rules couldn't be revisited. There's nothing inherent in either aspect that I can see that would somehow damage the validity of the contests by removing those stipulations. I mean, how often is something already written going to coincidentally fit the topic of a running contest, anyway?
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I vote we just get rid of these rules. Nobody here cares about first publication rights and all that when it comes to the contests.

    The only other thing I'll mention is that for some (most?) magazines, the rights don't revert back to the author until after the work has appeared in print. So if something has been accepted by a magazine but not actually published, you can't post it somewhere else. Just something to be aware of.
     
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  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I didn't know they were rules. I just thought they had to be owned by the ones that enter them in the contests.
     
  9. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    I wouldn't have a problem with someone posting something they wrote last week or twenty years ago so long as they wrote it.

    EDIT: Didn't realise how old this thread was or even if its still relevant. My bad.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's relevant but I've had a change of heart after we tried it. The biggest problem is one cannot keep an author anonymous if the story was previously posted on the forum.

    If it's from elsewhere on the Internet the author's identity might go unnoticed. The fact it wasn't freshly written doesn't bother me at all. If anyone wishes to post a recycled story in the short story contest, I'll leave that up to the mods to make the exception but I'm not terribly invested in their decision.
     
  11. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'd like to play Devil's advocate and suggest the keeping of (or maybe the reinstatement of given the thread's age) the 'not published before' rule. Reason being that I believe it unlevels the playing field makes the contest unfair. And after all it is, by it's very name, a contest. If someone has a pre-cooked piece, that's been edited and refined ad infinitum to within a gnats whisker midge's antenna of perfection then surely this would usurp trump a fresh piece, good in idea and content, but written in haste say only a day before deadline?
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    True but some of us have critique groups in the real world and could have a story that was critiqued and fine tuned. So I'm not sure you could ever truly level the playing field.

    On the other hand, having a non-anonymous author means a not level field. But it can work for you or against you depending on your friends and enemies. I like the switch to anonymous authors, if an author wins, they know that it wasn't just because everyone likes them.
     
  13. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Yeah I don't mind if people post something they've polished for the last 5-20 years as long as it's no longer a competition.

    Having 2 weeks vs 5-20 years to write something seems weighted in favour of the 5-20 years person, surely?
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    ~5- 6 weeks for the short story contest :D

    I post the current entries theme and in my sig you can find the theme in the queue after that.

    Current story theme is 'Stones' and the upcoming theme will be 'Into the Woods'.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Some people have stories that are partially written they refine, others pull old stories up. I don't think one can enforce a rule that it be a new story. Most people want to write a new story though, at least from the feedback I get. They take it as a challenge.
     
  16. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Possibly, but:
    1/ how could you enforce it?

    If I wrote it 20 years ago, who's going to know (unless it's been published, and even then, who's going to go through every short story published within the last 20 years?) that I just pulled it out of my back catalogue?

    2/ Polishing a short story for 20 years? That's a massive investment of time and effort, just on the off-chance that a suitable theme will crop up to enter it into. If anybody did that, I'd say they deserve the prize for sheer determination and grit.
     
  17. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I remain in agreement with SethLoki.

    I will acknowledge that people will always cheat, it's part of the entropy of human nature.
     
  18. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    You'd be surprised, I got pulled up for plagiarism after my work was run through some software, it harked back to a natural turn of phrase I, me, myself had written some years earlier on some other forum. I felt so unoriginal.

    I take on board though @Shadowfax and @GingerCoffee the difficulty of policing. Devil's advocate has been dismissed. Besides, what better personal Kudos could be garnered if one was to win the contest with but nought but a right there and then purple patch proffered in the raw. Alliteration unintentional.
     
  19. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I do wonder if the person who wishes to cheat continues to have that desire if it's changed from a competition with reward to a challenge with simple acknowledgement.

    And now wonder if I'd be better served writing short fictional pieces in my own time, submitting them for critique in the appropriate forum. I wish to learn as much as more than feel worthy of a vote.

    I just find (fair) competition incredibly motivational. le sigh.
     
  20. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Oops, apologies @Aaron DC you'll notice I can be a fickle creature.

    Therein methinks lies the rub – more tangible rewards would invoke the need for some uniformed administrators. I think that's a good call though, save the more refined of your work, the stuff you may want to take you somewhere, for critique and even further polishing. And cut your teeth some more with the contests. I'd put that forward as a good compromise.
     
  21. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    The rewards are already tangible - medals!!
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cheating is what Lance Armstrong did; he broke the rules.
     

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