1. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Announcement Suggestions for the Flash Fiction Contest

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest' started by thirdwind, Sep 13, 2016.

    I'll be running this contest, so I'm looking for any suggestions you guys have on making this contest better and improving participation.

    @Tenderiser already has a lot of good suggestions in this thread. Take a look at those if you haven't already. I'll shamelessly be copying a lot of her ideas. :)

    What I'm looking for are suggestions regarding the following things:

    1. Word count (the short story contest has a minimum of 1200 words)
    2. Frequency
    3. Deadlines
    4. Prompts/themes

    Regarding the fourth point, I'd like to have everyone get the chance to suggest prompts, so if anyone has any ideas on how to do this, let me know.

    Again, Tenderiser's thread covers these things, but if there's anything you want done differently, post it here or PM me. This is your contest, so anything that makes this process smoother is good. If all goes well, we can start the first week of October.
     
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  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    As for word count, wouldn't it make sense to put the top-end limit for this contest just a few words shy of the bottom of the short story contest?
     
  3. 20oz
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    20oz Member

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    Word count suggestions:
    • 500-1000 words
    • 400-1000 words
    • 300-1000 words
    • 250-1000 words
    I don't think it should have a 1200 word limit. If the writer wants those extra 200 words, he/she should consider entering the Short Story Contest.

    Frequency? The entries will be shorter.... Hmmmm.... I'm a lazy man, so...

    Entries will take place from the 15th-25th.
    Voting will last 10 days after the contest has ended.

    Prompts/themes. Whatever system was in place last time. Unless no one was happy with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've seen several contests with really low word counts (probably more micro fiction but I'm guessing we don't want a whole new micro fiction contest :D) and I was wondering how it would go down if every now and then we had a specific word count contest. I saw one for 36 words (really!), 100, 250...

    I know I would enter those because it would be a good challenge for me as a writer, and everybody would be on equal footing.

    Just throwing it out there.
     
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  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    @20oz, what we've been doing since the contests started was having the winner suggest the theme for the next contest. But based on feedback, people want to change that, so I'm looking for new suggestions.

    @Tenderiser, that's a good idea. I've seen magazines use such guidelines as well.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd suggest that frequency should alternate with the short story, so (from memory) the short story is open from 1st - 15th of the month, voting from 16th - last day of the month; if we just flip it to open the FF from 16th - last day, voting from 1st - 15th. That way, there's always one contest you can enter and one you can vote on>
     
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  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's a good idea. I think there is less crossover with entrants to the poetry contest, so that probably doesn't need to sync in as neatly.
     
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  8. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I concur.
    As for the prompt thing, as most of us saw on another thread a few months ago, there's a lot of division on that subject. Personally, I don't care what the prompts are as long as they allow enough leeway to be creative. Some of the former prompts were so specific that many of the stories came off a little odd when the author shoved them in.

    I'd be happy with any story length between 600 -1000 words. (450 made it tough to have a real beginning/ middle / end)
     
  9. 20oz
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    20oz Member

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    Using a poll is an option. Rather than throwing out the winner's suggestion, it could have a guaranteeded spot in the poll.

    I'm also thinking about the people who want to write smaller flash fiction. Maybe, once in a blue moon, you can run a special, like "100 words or less".
     
  10. Doive
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    Doive Member

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    I look forward to this :)
     
  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rather than a poll, how about a small selection:

    1/ A picture prompt.
    2/ A "theme" prompt.
    3/ A first sentence prompt.
    ETA: 4/ Last month's winner's suggestion.

    e.g.
    1/
    [​IMG]

    2/ Does a hologram suffer from vitamin D deficiency?

    3/ "So, naturally, I whipped my sword out and beheaded the monster. But that's not the weirdest part..."
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I like this idea. So I'll be starting this contest around Oct. 16.

    Also, I like the 1000 word upper limit. I'm open to any lower limit, even something like 50 words.
     
  13. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi, good to see this coming back. I think purists would argue 1000 words is too high to be called flash fiction. I always thought 750 was the upper limit when describing my stories as FF or short stories. :)
     
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  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It really depends on who's defining it. I've seen flash fiction magazines accept submissions up to 2000 words. In any case, it really doesn't matter to me what the upper limit is as long as it doesn't overlap with the short story limit. I'll let you guys decide on that. :)
     
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  15. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Kind of off topic, but my friend Ryan is the artist behind your profile picture. Poor guy's work is being used all over the internet without due credit (not referring to your profile picture).
     
  16. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Unless ... You ARE my friend, Ryan ... Which would make this encounter a little awkward.
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    So everyone is OK with the mid-October start date, right?

    Also, how do you guys want to select prompts/themes for the contests?
     
  18. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I think a variety of themes would be good. Picture themes, phrases, scenarios, characters, etc.
     
  19. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    The way @Tenderiser did the current short story prompts looks pretty good to me - one picture prompt, one text prompt (could be a word, a phrase, a setting etc), and pretty liberal interpretation allowed. Having the winner pick prompts was nice, but it might be better if that was just handled by the organiser. Over time you'll likely get a good feel for what kind of things inspire most responses.

    I'd also be a fan of keeping the word count tight, if that's still up for discussion. 450 felt like plenty as a top end, maybe remove the minimum.
     
  20. 20oz
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    20oz Member

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    Everything is fine with the date. I haven't seen anyone start a riot in the streets of WF yet.

    As for prompts or themes, you can use whatever you want. Poll, image, word(s), a Christian's divine vision, you name it. Make it as easy or hard as you want. Please make the prompt Halloween.

    P.S. My avatar was created by Walt Disney. Credit goes to him, now me.
     
  21. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Sure, I'll mix it up so that there's some variety. I'll probably just create a thread and ask for suggestions from members, and I'll choose prompts from there. Also, it'd be nice to have some of the artists on here provide some artwork as inspiration for the themes. I figure it's better to use member-created pictures over random ones from the internet. If anyone wants to provide any artwork/pictures for the themes, let me know.

    I'm fine with doing a max of 500 words. Does that work for everyone else?
     
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  22. 20oz
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    20oz Member

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    Fuck yeah. Let's do this.
     
  23. PapaSmurfberry
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    PapaSmurfberry Active Member

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    I keep looking for a current contest here is there a time I should be looking?
     
  24. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'll post the new contest before this weekend.

    Also, I'm thinking of capping the word limit to 500 since I haven't seen many magazines go beyond this.
     
  25. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Most horror flash fiction publications are 0 to 750. I can't speak for other genres. I'd personally be okay with anything up to 1000 words for the contest.
     

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