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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » New Challenge with rare prize

   
Author Topic: New Challenge with rare prize
snapper
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Coming soon!!! This years WotF trigger challenge.

Thanks to our good friend, award winning, hatrack colleague Ben Mann, not only do we have a copy of the fresh off the presses Writers of the Future Vol 27, we have one that is signed by every author in the book and Kathy Wentworth herself. I would like some help before I announce the trigger and start this years contest.

I am guessing we will get a record number of participants, which means the chore of reading and criting could get quite daunting. With that in mind...

1) How many triggers?

I am thinking one will do. Last year we had two. For sure, I want to use Ben's title...

Unfamiliar Territory

...which I think is just beautiful for a trigger challenge. Pat Sullivan's (the other writer with hatrack connections) story isn't as friendly for a challenge.

Maddy Dune's First and Only Spelling Bee

See what I mean? So what's the consensus? One trigger or more?

2) Story length

The rules are writers will need to judge to play. If the contest gets large, I will break the entries up into groups. Still, make the word counts too large and you could be reading a novels worth of writing.
I am thinking 2500 words should be the limit. Not too long to make you groan to read, not too short to create a compelling story. Sound about right?

3) The final round

Last year 3 WotF winners graciously volunteered to judge the last round. I tried to convince Ben to be the lone judge but he wasn't going for that, but said he would if he got a little help from other hatrack winning authors (hint,hint).
But if we can't get more judges, would you be all willing to read the finalist and help pick the lucky slob?

4) 13 line openings

We always included them in the judging. Would you like to continue to do so? I have awarded points to early entries so I could post them to entice more to enter. Nothing like seeing competition to spur writers to create. Should I keep this practice in place?

5) Time frame

We'll need to set deadlines for entries and judging. The important question is how long do you need to get something written? I am toying with June 19th. It is a sunday and won't conflict with the Q3 deadline. Sound good?

Need answers. The sooner I get them, the sooner Shimiqua can curl up to her autographed book.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited May 18, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Sounds good, even though I think 3,000 words would be okay. But is that the Max or does it have to be that long?

And if we had more than one trigger do we get a choice of which one?

The spelling bee one could be mophed into something like a contest in general or a similar type of contest.

And how about one week later for the deadline? My vacation would be starting then and it would give me a day to work on it if I need the extra time

Also just to be clear...no one answered this question last time...but is a trigger the same thing as a premise? That's second word that is used here I'm not used to.


a


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snapper
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Yes, I am asking for a maximum word count, so a 635 word submission would be fine, for example.

A trigger would be more of a starting point for an idea. Your entry would have to reflect what the trigger is about. So trying to insert Maddy Dune's First and Only Spelling Bee into an idea would be so difficult you would be in danger of plagerism. After all a 'spelling bee' wouldn't be enough. The spelling bee would have to include 'Maddy Dune' and it would have to her/his/it's first and only one.

There is far more to work with in Ben's title, and yes, you would be able to chose the trigger you want.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited May 18, 2011).]


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Brad R Torgersen
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I'll judge again. And I promise not to be a slacker about it this year, like I was last year. (wink)
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snapper
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Yeah Brad!

You got it! Two judges. Do I have a third? I'll take even more former WotF winners if any want to volunteer.


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LDWriter2
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Hmmm, how many WotF winners still hang around here?

Not that is bad but I'm trying to recall the various names here and how many could be a winner. I think a couple are before I joined or started hanging around myself, so I don't think I know that many to start with.


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snapper
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WotF winners I know of who have poked their noses in here this year.

Brad Torgersen
Ben Mann
Adam Colston
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Eric James Stone

and
Dan Smyth

Oh wait, he's next years winner. My bad.


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Brendan
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Have you gotten in contact with posulliv yet? It would be great to have him as judge as well.

Word length, I'm finding it harder to keep it below 4000 these days, so that would be my vote. At least 3000. You could always split it into three groups if we got more than 12 entries.

As some of these entries end up as WOTF entries too, you could well not do the openings. But it does help keep the game going to see other starts, so up to you about that.

As for Shimiqua settling with the book, I'm sure that Ethereon may have something to say about that.


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skadder
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I did it last year, so really Patrick should do it, as he won this year. If he really doesn't want to, then I don't mind stepping in for him.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited May 18, 2011).]


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Foste
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2500 sounds about right. I don't think we need to do the openings though.

I didn't give it a try last time, but this time I am in!


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Dark Warrior
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nice! Im for 2500, or even a 1000 word flash, one entry per person, whatever trigger you want, and I dont mind doing a first thirteen, but am fine without one.
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Owasm
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I like the 2500 limit. I like the Ben Mann-inspired trigger. I like the first 13. I like the group idea if the groups are big enough.

I guess I'm just an agreeable guy this morning.


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Josephine Kait
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I like the Ben Mann trigger, I think 2500 or 3000 would be good, I really like the first 13, of course one entry per person , and groups are a great idea if there are a large number of participants
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Corin224
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Haven't heard any ideas yet I object to, but . . .

I like a 3000 word limit, the 'Unfamiliar Territory' trigger and prefer a first 13.

Just my $.02


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snapper
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Okay, getting close to opening it officially.

Last year we used two triggers, skadders and the winning entry. Can anyone tell me what the title of that one was?

3000 words is looking like a good compromise/consensus - any objections?

looking for more input. History needs an autographed copy for his bookshelf, he's getting itchy.


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Foste
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3000 sounds fine. This is going to rock.
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skadder
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I'd want to narrow down the number of finalists the judges have to read to something manageable.

I presume this is going to be an anonymous contest?


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skadder
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The Ben Mann Trigger was patented in 2160 and was first used in the Colt Mark V ray-gun. It allowed the operator the ability to thought-control the Colt's output power at the moment of discharge and so avoided the common mistake of 'over-cooking' small alien enemies, the result of which was often rather messy.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited May 18, 2011).]


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axeminister
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Despite all the current hullabaloo surrounding the WotF, I'm more jazzed about entering this contest than sending in my entry this quarter.

Is that normal?

Axe


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posulliv
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I sure wouldn't want to use my title as a trigger. Ben's is great, though.

The title of Richard Johnson's grand-prize winning story is, "In Apprehension, How Like a God."

[This message has been edited by posulliv (edited May 18, 2011).]


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tchernabyelo
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"Unfamiliar Territory" is a great trigger - lots of ways it can be taken.

I'll try and enter this. I must also sort something out to get to WOTF this quarter.


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skadder
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I thought you were pro'd out?
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BenM
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Hi guys, nice to see lots of interest in another story challenge. Remember, if you get some constructive comments here then give your story a little spit and polish, there's no reason you can't submit it as a WotF entry. Then you can go get us a signed book for next year :)

snapper, last year's first prize winning title was "Living Rooms" by Laurie Tom.

And now I have another 5 hours in Sydney airport before my transfer to Perth, maybe I should go and do a little writing too.


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skadder
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Get to it, Ben. Nice speech, BTW. You remind me of the doctor from Neighbours! In a nice way! (sorry!)

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited May 18, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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quote:

WotF winners I know of who have poked their noses in here this year.
Brad Torgersen
Ben Mann
Adam Colston
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Eric James Stone


I may have seen most of of those names at one time or another.

Of course I know Kathleen's name, after all she's a very good moderator, charming and a good conversationalist when she does join in.


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Wonderbus
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This sounds good. I like the story length and I like the trigger. Should be fun.
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tchernabyelo
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skadder - not to my knowledge, though the precise definitions make it unclear. Looking at sales some people had before winning WOTF, I don't think I'm excluded yet.
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axeminister
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I'm pretty stoked. I received my idea for this challenge via the ether today while sitting in court regarding my "parking ticket" as it is now called.

Louis, I believe posulliv (Patrick) needs to be on your list.

And didn't John Brown win as well?

Axe


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skadder
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@Tchern

Didn't mean to come across as WOTF police! I just had a vague idea about your sales, but I admit I have no real idea of the actual number.

Anyway WOTF rules are up to WOTF to enforce...


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snapper
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Let's kick this off then.

Trigger: Unfamiliar Territory

Word limit: 3000 max

Deadline: June 19th

I'll post something and link it in Writing Challenges as soon as I get wifi service for my laptop. I'll post all the rules then. In the meantime, go to it!


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tchernabyelo
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skadder - you didn't.

"5. The Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits."

Note there's nothing about the value of the payment in there, so I guess even a token market would count here (as oppposed to SFWA payment rules - I've been paid at 5c/word or more for several stories, but enough of them have been flash that I am still not SFWA-eligible to my knowledge). But "at least 5,000 copies/hits - it's very difficult to know whether I have or have not reached that or not. As far as I know, the biggest circulation magazine I've published in is Black Gate which has around 4000 subscribers (I believe). So despite having sold three dozen or so stories, I am still an amateur in both SFWA and WOTF terms.

Tough business, this.


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snapper
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Link to new challenge is here.

I posted this in the wrong thread earlier. Sorry.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited May 21, 2011).]


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snapper
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Bump

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snapper
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Bump
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snapper
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Reminding everyone about this contest. So if you spending the last day of your long weekend and wondering how you should spend your last few hours, consider pluncking a few words down of that idea that is forming in your head.
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axeminister
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I'm in.

[This message has been edited by axeminister (edited June 06, 2011).]


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History
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We'll see.
I had full intention of participating and a story sketched out and researched with Aztecs, Spanish conquistadors, young love, and...well, I won't give it away ...but then another story has possessed me and I need write it first.

If by chance you extend the deadline, then possibly I'll have a story to submit. If not, likely not. Either way, I thank you for the inspiration.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob


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Unwritten
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I've got an idea or two simmering in my head.
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snapper
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bump
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snapper
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Two week notice!!!!
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snapper
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The first entries have been posted.

http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writers/forum/Forum7/HTML/000194.html

Better get to it!


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snapper
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One week notice
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LDWriter2
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I hope this isn't out of line but I have two things to say about the openings,

Interesting, interesting, interesting, interesting.


And number four has those strange characters, don't know if you can do anything about that in future postings, snapper, esp. since not every one will have them, so if need be I can cope... they're not that bad.


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snapper
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Don't know what you mean by strange characters, LD. It reads fine with me.

Anyone else see something odd (other than the writing) with number 4?


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aspirit
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Number 4 looks normal on my computer.
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LDWriter2
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After a second look I found one funny character. I hope this translates okay "movement…I " .

The first funny word turned out to be a typo. There's no space between the first two words, at least on my computer screen.


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snapper
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7 entries posted. Less than four days to get yours in.
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snapper
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2 days, 4 hours, and 45 minutes left
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Dark Warrior
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Got a great one going for this...unfortunately no way it will be done in two days. Oh well, will be a good WOTF entry.
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snapper
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contest is closed to entries
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