Lessons Learned and Contest Changes

abcLesson 1:

Don’t plan on getting anything done in the days before even minor surgery is scheduled. There is always more to do than you think and you might be a bit distracted, too.

Lesson 2:

Plan to have a few days afterwards for recovery even if you don’t think you’re going to need it. Better to plan to have the time off and find you don’t need it than need the time to finish projects and have complications.

Lesson 3:

Don’t commit to accomplishing anything that week, no matter how inspired you might feel. Even your regular activities might suffer.

I’m really sorry about leaving you hanging on all contest materials for the past week, but I did have some time to think a lot more about what I want to do with the contest, my blog, and other things.

My Intentions

When I started the WOW contest, it was craft I want to focus on while also promoting other authors. Maybe it’s because I’ve been running flash fiction contests for three years now, but I’ve also lost some of my enthusiasm for the way this contest is going. So I want to make a few changes.

First, I’m thinking of doing away with the whole contest element of the challenge. With my collaboration with Our Write Side and Katheryn Avila’s new contest, it seems like there are plenty of prompts around.

Prompted to Promptings

Instead of the contest, I’m toying with the idea of opening a “Promptings” forum. Each Friday, I’d post up a call for entries and you can submit any (one) piece of flash fiction you’ve written for any online contest during the week. From how I understand the software at the moment, comments left in the call for entries would automatically open up a forum thread (I’m still working out the software side obviously).

If you’re leaving a story, you’ll be asked to leave at least one comment on another story posted. Your comment should include one thing you liked about the story and one thing that could be improved. Of course, readers could be invited in to leave comments and helpful hints as well, you’d be able to have longer conversations with folks who comment on your story and you’d be welcome to comment on more than one story.

The idea behind the forum would be to provide each other with small critiques to help us all improve on our craft, creating flash fiction pieces we can sell if we want or perfecting our storytelling for longer works.

QuestionsThe Rest of the Blog

The Creativity Blog will work pretty much the same way it has been with a creative concepts post and a book review each week, but I’ll be adding more of my own fiction to it and welcome guest posts that focus on encouraging creativity, tips and tricks, and helpful tools.

What do you think? Would this format change be something interesting to you?

8 thoughts on “Lessons Learned and Contest Changes

  1. I love the “Promptings” idea! And it’s good to require submitting authors to leave feedback for others. I know I enjoy reading feedback, but I’ve been slacking on reciprocating. I’m looking forward to participating & seeing how it turns out.

    Hope you feel better!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I’ve been struggling with what to do to help writers out more. I’m hoping this is a good answer. I’m going to try to launch the forum Friday, but it depends on how long it takes me to figure out all the moving parts 🙂

  2. Hi Wendy,

    While I will miss the Monday morning prompt, I suppose I can utilize my own initiative to get down to writing at the beginning of the week.
    I was not a fan of the voting process particularly…it has always been the act of writing, the pleasure of reading which I enjoy.
    I’ll be happy to participate in the changed format.
    Anyway, I hope you are better and take care.

    1. Aw, sorry Bill. I can still throw a prompt into my Monday posts if you want 🙂 I’m also planning on developing a page of links to various different flash fiction contests I know of along with when they go live, how long you have to submit a response and what kind of response is expected (250 words, 500 words, continuation of a story, etc.). I also plan to help out with a section of publications where you can submit flash fiction for pay – whether as a part of their regular publication schedule or contests that offer cash prizes.

      Appreciate your feedback and glad to have you on board. I’m going to try to roll out the forum software this Friday, but it will depend on how long it takes me to figure out all the little details.

    1. No worries! Thanks for weighing in. I’m still playing with the software and trying to find what will meet our needs so bear with me and thanks for the well wishes. I think they’re working!

  3. Sounds like a great plan, Wendy! I look forward to a new direction to take things. …Now if I can just get myself back in the habit of writing my weekly flash fiction on time again, things will really be going well.

    1. Yay! I’m glad this sounds like a good plan to you. I’m working on finding the right software for what I have in mind (and knowing how to use it!). And I hear ya on the getting the flash fiction entries done on time 🙂

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