Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Running a Writing Contest

Whew! That was a challenge. Our Novel Writing Contest is now closed so maybe our website issues will subside. We had no idea how many ways users would try to access the web pages. And here's an interesting one we still haven't figure out -- when non-US users enter data, they have their own computers with local keyboards and language-specific local characters. How do we search a database from our US-English keyboards where the user's name has an oomlat? We also learned that authors are terrible readers. Many don't, won't, or can't read the instructions. Of course, we learned a lot about writing clear instruction (and we'll do better at this next year). It was an interesting experience and we got some excellent manuscripts. We got some stinker's, too. We're still curious as to why some registered and paid their entry fee, but never submitted their manuscripts. And why do people register with email addresses that can't receive email from us?

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