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.

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