Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Website Domain Move

That was exciting. It took us nearly 72 hours to accomplish what was to be a ten-minute change to our web site. We still don't know what went wrong, but the engineers at the ISP had to get involved twice to unravel it. We apologize for having the website down for so long, but it was out of our hands. As we grow, backup and redundant systems will have to come into consideration.

Meanwhile, we are working with the manuscripts of our contest finalists to hone their work into publishable form. We've been considering a second writing contest in the fall. We think this one would be less restrictive about the geographic connection. If you'd like to see such a contest, please email us or post a comment here. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Writing Contest Finalist Profiles

Our writing contest finalists now have brief profiles on our web page. We hope you'll give them a look (see Author Profiles). They have three very different tales. We hope to make a few pages available on our website so you can see a sample of what they wrote. The announcement of our winner is expected on Friday, June 8th.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Writing Contest Thoughts

With the announcement of our writing contest finalists, it’s time to reflect on the contest itself. The website was our most difficult challenge with the contest. Without some patience on the part of the submitting authors, we’d still be wresting with problems. We certainly appreciate your assistance in working out the kinks. Next year, we’ll probably expand the geographic ‘limits.’ We had lots of complaints from those who didn’t meet our geography criterion.

About the submissions: An estimated seventy percent of the submissions read our submission guidelines and followed them. The other thirty percent went their own way, to one degree or another. There’s nothing that discourages a manuscript evaluation reader more than getting a manuscript in some fancy font, single spaced in a PDF file. We can’t even reformat it so it is readable. Margins and double spacing seemed foreign to these authors. You also must spell-check your manuscript. One submitter even asked that we forgive the numerous spelling errors in the submitted manuscript! If the author doesn’t take the effort to fix his/her own spelling, punctuation, and grammar then we likely won’t take the effort to read the manuscript.

We also received several short stories, a smattering of non-fiction and off-genre submissions. It’s not clear why these authors pay the ten dollar submission fee when they know they’ll be rejected.

There were also two non-finalist submissions that were routed to our regular submission readers for publishing consideration.