Man, are we off to a fast start or what?! Everyone grabbed a torch and went running far and wide to spread the word of WRiTE CLUB, and interest is coming back in droves. Thank you...thank you...thank you! But we have one week left until we get things kicked off, so I'd appreciate any help I can get to reach the edges of the blogosphere and beyond.
Before I answer some common questions that seem to keep popping up, first I want to share some observations I've formed after reading some of the comments at other blogs who have graciously talked about our little competition.
First, what seems to be keeping a lot of people on the fence about participating, or standing just on the other side, is fear. The fear of putting your heart & soul (i.e. writing) out there for others to judge, even if its anonymously. I want you to know...I get it. In one respect it's a little like sitting in a bathroom stall when two of your coworkers walk in, and without realizing you're there, start discussing your wardrobe. And although being anonymous is a tremendous help in easing the stress of being judged, it can't solve the biggest issue of all...that you still know. But here's the thing, if you EVER hope to see your work published in ANY fashion, someday IT and YOU will have to get up on the pedestal and listen to what others have to say. WRiTE CLUB gives people that opportunity, in some small measure, by offering them a chance to dip their toes in the water.
Second issue I read about a lot is time. We bloggers/writers are busy! Believe me, I get this too! But this contest is designed for minimum input and maximum results. If you want to be a contestant, all it takes is a single 500 word writing sample. And that can be something you've already written from an existing WIP (for more detail see questions below). If all you want to do is be a spectator and vote from time to time, new bouts are posted each Monday for twelve weeks and a bout will stay active until the following Sunday at noon. You can visit anytime during the week to read the writing samples and cast a vote. And you don't have to vote every week, just when you can find the time. What could be easier?
Finally, yes...WRiTE CLUB is a competition, but at its heart it's about making everyone winners. Those who choose to compete and are selected will hopefully receive valuable feedback which can be used to improve their writing, and the ones not selected will have still taken a step forward by having the courage to submit. Everyone who comes by just to read the samples, cast their vote, and offer a little bit of input, are treated to some truly splendid writing...and when is that ever not a positive. You see, nobody loses in WRiTE CLUB!
Now, here are the answers to the most common questions.
I'm not sure I'm going to put anything in this year but I'm going to be voting. I might, but I'm not sure. Should I still put my name on the linky list? If you intend to submit, OR simply vote at anytime during WRiTE CLUB your name needs to be on the linky list. Why you ask? Because I want to make sure that everyone who takes part owns some sort of real estate (blog/web site/Facebook writers page) in the blogosphere.
500-word limit is the upper limit, yes? Not a "roughly this size" guideline? Submissions can be anywhere from a single word to 500 (not 501).
Do we submit multiple stories as we see fit, or submit one whenever we get to it and let that one try to make it? Every participant is allowed to submit ONE writing sample. If you are selected to compete (there is only one bout per week between two randomly selected opponents) and your piece ends up losing, you will have a choice to have that sample be placed back in the pool for the possibility of being selected again for future rounds against a different opponent, or you may submit a new sample at that time.
Where do we give our pen name? In the email with our 500 word submission? Yes. My wife is the only person who will see the connection between your real name and the pen name you've chosen in that email.
Do we have to submit every week or can we just submit one or two entries? A weekly commitment is something I cannot obligate myself to right now. A single submission is all you need (unless you lose and you choose to resubmit a different sample).
The Linky List. Is that enough to have info sent keeping me abreast of situ--mostly reminding me...hehe..:) I will not be sending out weekly updates, you'll have to come by my blog to keep abreast of whats going on.
It's just a random 500 word flash fiction piece right? It doesn't have to be from a WIP does it? Both are acceptable. It can be a fully contained story, or just an excerpt of a larger piece of work. We are concentrating on the writing style here, not story idea's.
If you're only doing 1 match a week is it possible that a submission won't get a chance to compete? Yes...and possibly no. As it is laid out now the maximum number of participants we could have during the 12 week preliminary rounds is 24. But with the number of submissions my wife tells me we're seeing, I might have to break one of my own rules and have two bouts per week, which would increase the chance of being selected.
If anybody still has questions, just leave them in the comments and I will email you directly with the answer.
I don't know about you, but 'm excited to get things rolling. See you around the ring next week! :)