1. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Weekly Critiquing Contest (Suggestion)

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Manav, Aug 18, 2010.

    As has been asserted many times by the mods, this forum is about critiquing as much as it is about writing. Very true. So, it is only fair that we have a weekly critiquing contest, just like the weekly short story contest.

    May be we can put up the short story contest winning story for review and critique (as a winning reward). Just like the story contest, a time limit will be set for the critiques to be submitted. Then at the discretion of the mod twenty critiques (or, whatever number is suitable) will be put up for voting.

    I think this will be a great way to popularize critiquing in this forum. What do you think?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think its a great idea. I have been with a national speakers club, and we have contests for all elements of speaking including the evaluation of other speakers.
     
  3. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    This sounds like a real good idea Manav; I think it will help popularize critiquing too :)
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    An interesting idea Manav. It would require greater dedication from the time-stretched mods, and there may be questions raised about recognition / reward along the lines of why do we need it / that's not what this forum is about / participation is its own reward, but if both these things can be agreed then it's an idea with potential that could help popularise critiquing on these forums, but also the contests. As you may have seen in Banzai's poetry forum here he's looking for ways of increasing participation, and raising the contests' profile in this way may work. Let's see what Cogito has to say.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you could alternate? one week do poetry and short story contests, then the next week supply one of the previous weeks contest entries for critiquing. Just run it like you do those contests, people vote for the best critque/most helpful.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Yes, I understand. After all we are not here to just applaud good writers, but encourage everybody to become good writers. Back to the suggestion, we don't need to view it as a reward but simply as a fair and simple way (significantly reducing work for the mods) of selecting a piece for the critique contest.
     
  7. Alexandra_Riera
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    Alexandra_Riera Member

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    yes, I think it's a good idea : )
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting idea, but it sounds like a logistical nightmare. Speaking for myself, I can't take it on.

    I also find it hard to believe we could garner enough interest in it to make it viable, especially given how difficult it currently is to keep interest in the existing contests.

    If we were to give it a trial run, it would have to be under the umbrella of the existing contests.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have the same doubts as cog on this...

    first of all, aside from the tremendous amount of time it would take for whoever's going to pick the winner, who's to decide what makes one critique better than another?... and what parameters are to be used?...

    it's not just a matter of using good grammar and other technical aspects of writing, plus the content and reader-friendliness of the piece, which is how one's writing can be judged... just a few words can often be a better critique than a detailed series of line-by-line notes... and members here are looking to sell their writing work, not their editing/critiquing skills...

    plus, how can it be a 'reward' for the winners of contests to then have their winning entries critiqued?... and by those who lost out to them, or didn't even enter, to boot!

    besides which, the person whose work is to be the subject of the critique contest would have to be willing to subject their work and themselves to the critiquers, as you surely can't force them to do so... and i suspect many, if not most would decline the dubious 'honor'...

    sorry, but as one who assesses writers' work all day, every day, i just can't see this being of any benefit... or that it could be done at all fairly...
     
  10. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    The winner will be chosen by popular votes. So, those problems won't exist. As for parameters, we can always give some guidelines on how to judge/critique a piece in the contest's rules and regulations.(can provide links to Cog's constructive criticism template posts)

    I believe the mantra the mods here have been chanting is that editing/critiquing skills helps a writer improve his/her work, and hence the sale-ability of his work. And I agree with this.

    I am sure there are many in this forum who just loves to critique. Anyway, a critique is a critique is a critique. Better learn to deal with any kind of critiques if one wants to be published. Also, mods can disqualify overly personal attack and such.

    Doesn't have to be the winning story. Can invite story/excerpt/short piece (just as ideas are invited for story contest) with a certain word limit.

    As you know I am just an aspiring writer, but I'll have to disagree with you there :) (reasons: as explained above).
    __________________
     
  11. Joules03
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    Joules03 Senior Member

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    I would be interested in this contest! I like the idea of the winner of the short story contest getting to choose a piece of their work to submit - not necessarily the one from the short story contest.
     
  12. Lyssaur
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    Lyssaur Member

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    I agree. :) That way the winner of the short story contest could get a useful reward, and the critics could get a gauge on how well they're reviewing. The only thing is, I'm afraid people will vote for the critiques who provide the largest amount of response rather than the quality of the critique itself.
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Its no different to the bias in the short story voting being towards the first few stories:) main reason I haven't bothered with them, kinda got the feeling noone bothered reading further down. You could have a minimum/maximum word count. I know with speechs you have a time you can't go under or over for evaluating another speech, you have to fill 4-8 minutes I think lol can't remember the timing, my talent has always been able to speak until the light goes on and close the speech/evaluation.

    It would encourage more detailed critques. I don't think its a coincidence that the best speakers are also the best evaluators. Personally I'd rather see a critiquing contest over a writing one, everyone wins. Also I think the thought of upto 20 good quality critiques might make the short story and poetry contests worth the effort.

    I just like the idea of alternating that way its not serious extra work it just forms part of the contests already in place. People who run forums put a lot of work in anyway.
     
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  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what happens when a winner of the writing contest doesn't want to have his/her work put up for a critting contest?... no one should be forced to do so as a requirement of entering work in the writing contest... that would be beyond unfair, imo...
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't understand why its unfair? if you know thats the prize ? Its like any other contest surely if you don't like the prize you don't enter
     
  16. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    But what if they want to be in the contest, but not get the prize?
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no way we will couple contests together. That would really complicate matters.
     
  18. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Solutions:

    1)
    As suggested by Joules03

    2)
    3)
    The mod can select a story from the review room archive. Of course informing the writer about it.

    4)
    The mod can give priority to (1), (2) and (3) respectively. If the story contest winner decline to enter his story for critique, the mod will choose one from the stories submitted by those who want their stories reviewed (from the story suggestion thread), if there is no story submitted or if the mod feels the story submitted are not suitable for critique contest, he can choose one from the review room archive.





    I don't think such a case will arise. I think the contest winner will be more than willing to offer his work for critique contest. But still taking such a case in consideration, we can provide a solution as explained above. Also, strictly speaking of rules normally associated with writing contests, every written piece entered for a contest becomes a property of the contest organizers.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, etan!... that's exactly the point... being forced to have to have your entry [or any other piece of your work] critiqued as part of the 'prize' would be unfair to all those who wouldn't be entering a writing contest in order have their winning work critiqued by non-professionals and who simply want to see if their work will be judged to be better than the rest of the entries...

    1. still forces them to have their work critiqued
    2. i can't make any sense of that, can't tell what you mean
    3. ditto #1
    4. makes no sense in re being tied to the poetry/short story/whatever contest

    as one who's entered work in contests here, i'd certainly be one who would not be at all willing to have my 'win' tied to a subordinate [last week's wotw word!] contest in which my winning entry would be subjected to critiques by non-professionals...

    that would be a sure deal-killer for the whole contest concept here!... but it still would not be fair grounds for having it critiqued in public against the writer's wishes...
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Let me make this point clear:

    Regardless of whether a Critiquing Contest is tried, it will not be linked in any way to any other contests.

    That aspect is not open to debate.
     
  21. FoxyMomma
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    FoxyMomma Contributing Member

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    I don't think this contest is a feasible concept. The logistics would be a nightmare. How would one judge a critique when one person's ideal and another's are not similar?
     
  22. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Fair enough. The contest can be conducted independently.



    Don't think the logistics will be anything more than conducting a short story contest or poetry contest, which btw have been running successfully in this site.

    Just as a story is judged in the story contest or a poetry is judged in the poetry contest, despite the differences in writing style and wide varieties of interpretation of a given theme.

    Also, we can give a rough outline to the voters on how a critique should be judged. I really feel this will help in promoting critiquing.
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    A good critque is not about opinion. We have no bother judging a good evaluation at speakers club, its just a simple matter of knowing what makes a good critique. A small checklist of what makes a critique good in the standard introduction would do the job. Especially given there seems to be no standard on the site as to what makes a good critique, this would help with people that don't know what one is get their two in.

    I appreciate mod's are overstretched and its a thankless task. But fact is at the moment the contests aren't working, number of new pieces put up to review and number of people giving good quality critques is also low. The site in its introductory post claims to be a full critiquing workshop, yet critquing is not seen as important enough to have a competition.

    The contest has the potential to improve the whole site, peoples abilities etc

    If someone does not want their work to be judged and critiqued they should not be entering it into a public contest. Personally the lack of feedback is why I don't want to be bothered with the writing contests here, the other short story ones I enter send back the judging worksheet, when I do anything at speakers club it is evaluated (even the tea and biscuits are covered) in a similar manner. At present we don't know who has judged our work or why for all I know the winner could be the one with the best coloured socks.

    This actually could allow the site to become what it claims to be. You could scrap the other two and replace it with this it would reduce the workload, ask people to put forward work they want to have reviewed. I would certainly interested its much better than writing something then not getting any real reviews for it.

    If I wasn't so new to the site I'd offer to do it.
     
  24. Bad_Valentine
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    Is the idea that every story entered will be critiqued, or is there some type of judging process that some stories will be rejected? Another question ... do you envision one story and several people critiquing, or something else?

    I like the idea of this contest being held independently so that everyone who enters their story is entering it for the sole purpose of being critiqued. I also think that if there is someone who will be choosing which fiction gets critiqued and which gets rejected, then it should be made known who the judges are. My opinion, if there is a judge, I think it should be someone who people can agree is a good writer, and not just whoever chooses to volunteer. Or maybe the mods can choose the judge (if there is to be one.)
     
  25. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Yes, some may have to be rejected. For example, the stories ridden with basic spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes, those which exceeds a certain word limit, and stories which go against the usual norms in this site like graphic sexual contents, excessive swear words etc. I am sure the mods are more than capable of doing that.
     

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