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Mwc12 : October : Results!

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4urentertainment
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Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 04:11 AM Reply

I'm happy to announce the results of the October Horroween writing contest, with a prize pool containing several donations by NG's own members! As such, it was a bit hard to figure out what to give who, because the prize pool was so diverse.

Contest thread with all the stories.

It was a lot of fun, and although not as many people entered as the previous years, we're beginning to see some traction in the writing forum, and hopefully we can continue to grow as a writing community.

Special thanks:

-Tom Fulp
-DeftAndEvil
-CosmicDeath
-Deathcon7
-StopSignal

And of course all the judges for taking the time to judge and review every story.

Onwards to results!

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1. Obscured by DeftAndEvil -- Prizes: $25 store credit + supporter badge

It's hard to talk about this story without spoiling anything, so here's an excerpt: Darkness cannot hurt you; it is nothing, really. Darkness is a lack of light; it has no body, no form, no sentience, no soul. However, bad things do happen in the dark.

2. Reaper by Starwarsjunkie ----Prizes: $30

A horrific tale about a playful monster who is also very horrible and I hate him :'( I wish that monster would burn in hell, but that wouldn't make sense because...well read the story.

3. Infectionby RapeMuffin ---Prizes: $13

Trying desperately to calm his jackhammering heart, Edward slowly inched his way up the staircase, his back flush against the wall. Each creak of hardwood beneath his feet caused him to cringe, knowing that even the slightest noise gave away his position. He kept the fireplace poker raised above his head, his muscles straining to stay ever-ready to strike.

A story about a scientist, his wife and an apocalypse.

4. Kitty by 4urentertainment

An ordinary, depressing day where a man meets a cat.

5. Ornithophobia by Zombie445 ---Prizes: Drawing of a character from story.

A mindblowingly horrific story about birds.

--------------

Next writing contest will be in December, so look out for that!

Judges reviews have been posted in the discussion thread. Further reviews will be posted below.

If you have won something, please PM me to claim your prize!

Deathcon7
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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 07:57 AM Reply

Congratulations to all the winners. I should have my story out within the next few days for everyone's enjoyment. It'll be late but I've taken the time to apply some polish. I hope its turned into something really special.

As for the Support Badge, congrats Deft, it's yours. I've already ordered it. Looks like it's a manual job so once they set it up you're good to go!

I hope everyone is as excited and optimistic toward the December writing contest. It'll be your next chance to win a free supporter badge and show you support Newgrounds!

starwarsjunkie
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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 11:05 AM Reply

I think everybody did a great job this time around, we had a lot of really well done stuff. I look forward to December!

At 11/13/12 07:57 AM, Deathcon7 wrote: Congratulations to all the winners. I should have my story out within the next few days for everyone's enjoyment. It'll be late but I've taken the time to apply some polish. I hope its turned into something really special.

I look forward to reading your story, I was wondering if you were still planning on posting it.


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 03:42 PM Reply

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I don't want any of the prizes! When I signed up to be a judge, I thought that I automatically forfeited any stakes, as did all judges. Seriously, if there is any way to apportion any of the winnings to the remainder of the entrants, I want to do it. I don't speak for the rest of the judges (seeing as starwars and 4 also placed) but, well, I thought we were under the same stipulation. So...

Anyway, congrats to all the winners, and hopefully, next month, we can have a Christmas / Pagan Southern Solstice / Holiday / Winter themed contest.


Despite the name, I'm actually good--Deft, and good!

Giving out reviews to anyone who wants them (exception: poems. I'll find you).

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 03:52 PM Reply

At 11/13/12 03:42 PM, DeftAndEvil wrote: At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I don't want any of the prizes! When I signed up to be a judge, I thought that I automatically forfeited any stakes, as did all judges. Seriously, if there is any way to apportion any of the winnings to the remainder of the entrants, I want to do it. I don't speak for the rest of the judges (seeing as starwars and 4 also placed) but, well, I thought we were under the same stipulation. So...

Anyway, congrats to all the winners, and hopefully, next month, we can have a Christmas / Pagan Southern Solstice / Holiday / Winter themed contest.

I have to disagree, at least with the Supporter badge. You deserve it, regardless. You submitted a winning entry, which supports a Newgrounds related activity. If that's not supporting the site, I need to rethink my life. Melodramatic? Yes. :)

CosmicDeath
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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 07:04 PM Reply

At 11/13/12 03:52 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:
At 11/13/12 03:42 PM, DeftAndEvil wrote: At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I don't want any of the prizes! When I signed up to be a judge, I thought that I automatically forfeited any stakes, as did all judges. Seriously, if there is any way to apportion any of the winnings to the remainder of the entrants, I want to do it. I don't speak for the rest of the judges (seeing as starwars and 4 also placed) but, well, I thought we were under the same stipulation. So...

Anyway, congrats to all the winners, and hopefully, next month, we can have a Christmas / Pagan Southern Solstice / Holiday / Winter themed contest.
I have to disagree, at least with the Supporter badge. You deserve it, regardless. You submitted a winning entry, which supports a Newgrounds related activity. If that's not supporting the site, I need to rethink my life. Melodramatic? Yes. :)

I hate to have to say this, but I agree with DeftAndEvil on the judges-as-winners issue. I am very disappointed that this was managed in such a way as to allow judges to be approved of placing for prizes. Where they might have better entries, the prizes should be deferred automatically and I'm grateful that DeftAndEvil has the integrity to voice that.

Being a judge should make you completely impartial. There is a reason that this is the standard for any legitimate contest. Judges should not be awarded prizes and should not be capable of placing. If you want to compete in a contest you cannot also be a judge of said contest. I am amazed this even has to be said.

I will still donate the $30 prize money to this contest as I try never to break my word, but again, I am very disappointed and shall not be participating in future contests unless they are managed fairly and appropriately.


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 07:11 PM Reply

Congratulations to all of the winners!

I really enjoyed reading through the entire submission thread - though it was a bit shorter than I would have liked :P

Hopefully I'll see many of you in the December contest, and if the theme for the contest seems interesting, maybe I'll submit again.

Further, I would also like to forfeit my winnings as well - while I appreciate the vote of confidence, I know that times are tough for the website and for its users, so please put my winnings into the pot for next time :)


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 08:17 PM Reply

At 11/13/12 07:04 PM, CosmicDeath wrote: I will still donate the $30 prize money to this contest as I try never to break my word, but again, I am very disappointed and shall not be participating in future contests unless they are managed fairly and appropriately.

That being the case, you're always going to be disappointed. Due to the limited quality and number of entries, if judges aren't allowed to enter, we're going to be giving prizes to people who don't deserve it. I don't mean to say that as an elitist, but we shouldn't be encouraging bad writing. I usually post some critique after the fact, but for the most part said writers tend to disappear. Of all the other participants, how many have posted beyond their story?

Anyway, yeah, if that's really important to you, then stick to participating, because if you're going to be that picky about how your reward is assigned, you'll never be happy with who the reward goes to. :-/

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 09:12 PM Reply

Congrats to the winners.

Anyways, about that December writing contest, can you give a heads up on the theme so I can plan ahead? :P


Hola don't copy this signature plz thx

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 10:18 PM Reply

At 11/13/12 08:17 PM, Deathcon7 wrote: That being the case, you're always going to be disappointed. Due to the limited quality and number of entries, if judges aren't allowed to enter, we're going to be giving prizes to people who don't deserve it. I don't mean to say that as an elitist, but we shouldn't be encouraging bad writing. I usually post some critique after the fact, but for the most part said writers tend to disappear. Of all the other participants, how many have posted beyond their story?

Anyway, yeah, if that's really important to you, then stick to participating, because if you're going to be that picky about how your reward is assigned, you'll never be happy with who the reward goes to. :-/

That's a depressing take on things. This undermines fairness in competition and will only make these contests less popular in future if we give prizes to those who run and judge it. Why would anyone come back if the contests are open to manipulation? It doesn't matter whether this particular contest was manipulated or not, it opens the door to it and puts people off a contest that has already fallen out of favour.

Like I said, I'm still willing to donate the money I promised. But I am not going to give it to one of the judges or host of the competition, that is just ridiculous. I'm genuinely distressed by the outcome of this contest and what it means for future contests.

As for suggesting I stick to participating, I believe contributing to donations is a form of participating in order to encourage more members to get involved. There were over a dozen entries and three of the five prize placing spots were given to people either judging or running the contest. Please do not give me some excuse about there not being enough entries that "deserve it" so the prizes have to be given out to judges, that is insulting to the members who posted their work but never placed (for whatever reason).

I personally did not enter under this (or any alt) account because I felt it would be unfair to donate and enter. I would pose this suggestion to you - don't judge if you'd like to win.


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 13th, 2012 @ 11:56 PM Reply

At 11/13/12 10:18 PM, CosmicDeath wrote: That's a depressing take on things...

I wish it were simply a matter of perspective, or an issue with the competition itself, but it's not. This forum just isn't as populated as the others. We've got a lot of work ahead as far as building the community. These competitions help but if judges can't enter, that takes away a large majority of quality entries. So it's either that, or lower the standard for judges. Can't really have a fair contest when the judges opinions extend only as far as an ambiguous "I like this," or "this is really good." That wouldn't be fair either.

Like I said, I'm still willing to donate the money I promised...

I'm not doubting that you'll keep your word, just saying that for someone relatively new, your distress is displaced. I can understand where you're coming from, the possibility of bias, favoritism, and sabotage are present, but we try to keep the process as transparent as possible. If you have any doubts about the outcome, feel free to say so and we can help expound on the decision process. Or, you could read the stories and try to judge them yourself. Maybe you can argue a different result. That's not outside the realm of possibility. Although it won't do much now, any decisions made could be put into effect next time. In the end we need willing judges much more so than willing wallets. It wouldn't be fair to lock out the people judging otherwise when will they get their turn to compete?

As for suggesting I stick to participating...

You make it seem as if the decision was arbitrary. It wasn't. I can assure you that. Please refer to the above regarding a suggestion on improving the judgement process. Almost the entire top five are fairly regular in this forum so yes, you could argue the case for favoritism. What it boils down to, though, is involvement. The more involved someone is, the likelier it is they'll be able to wield their words effectively. Which is really the goal of this place.

I personally did not enter...

I can understand; a conflict of interest. To clarify, myself and a few others have declined rewards in the discussion thread as well as here. It's something to be addressed, yes, but will more than likely not be resolved until further down the line.

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 12:47 AM Reply

At 11/13/12 10:18 PM, CosmicDeath wrote:
At 11/13/12 08:17 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:

That's a depressing take on things. This undermines fairness in competition and will only make these contests less popular in future if we give prizes to those who run and judge it. Why would anyone come back if the contests are open to manipulation? It doesn't matter whether this particular contest was manipulated or not, it opens the door to it and puts people off a contest that has already fallen out of favour.

Oh man. Just because it's depressing doesn't mean it's a lie. I'm not sure who you are, or why you chose to donate money to a Writing Forum contest orchestrated by frequenters, but those who are intimate with the Writing Forum will tell you that this place suffers from a lack of quality and contribution. I don't remember who judged the last official 3 NG Writing Contest but I remember that the results were pretty skewed--meaning that the judges were not reading like writers. Anyway, this has been the first real attempt at a big writing contest, and, if you remove 4, starwars, and myself from the contest, you have 10 entries (half of which are below 1k words) and with only 3 real contenders. The Halloween Writing Contest has always been the biggest one, and this one went with a whimper. Aside from the inadequate judging I mentioned earlier (I voiced this opinion, to no avail), there were no grievances with the contests; so, the decline in popularity is a result of an external factor/s not because judges can win. Also, I remember Fro won in a Halloween contest 2 years ago even though he was a judges (and his story wasn't that good, either. No offense if you read this, although I highly doubt it).


Like I said, I'm still willing to donate the money I promised. But I am not going to give it to one of the judges or host of the competition, that is just ridiculous. I'm genuinely distressed by the outcome of this contest and what it means for future contests.

Dude. If giving money to a good story stresses you out, how about giving money to people with stories that should've been disqualified (because of the general lack in quality). We've been stressing out about the future of the Writing Forum forever, so we can sympathize with you--but! your distress will only fall on our ears. 4, starwars, Deathcon, Ekublai, mhzinksi, and myself are the only people who give a damn around this place anyway.


As for suggesting I stick to participating, I believe contributing to donations is a form of participating in order to encourage more members to get involved. There were over a dozen entries and three of the five prize placing spots were given to people either judging or running the contest. Please do not give me some excuse about there not being enough entries that "deserve it" so the prizes have to be given out to judges, that is insulting to the members who posted their work but never placed (for whatever reason).

They did not place because their stories were weak. It happens. I remember one contest was full of fantastic stories, with a lot of development, great imagery, and dense, expert language. I have never seen anything close to that in any of the other contests.


I personally did not enter under this (or any alt) account because I felt it would be unfair to donate and enter. I would pose this suggestion to you - don't judge if you'd like to win.

We tried to put together a contest last time (sponsored by only 4 and myself; the prize pool was $100 store credit and $10 cash). If you take out all the judges who entered, guess how many people entered? 1. 1 person, and although his story was genuinely emotional, it was poorly constructed and difficult to follow (and lacked general literary merit).

So far, I think the best course of action would be to withhold all prizes until next time. Rapemuffin has also declined a prize. Rapemuffin was the sole contender if you take out the judges' entries.

*SIGH*......................................................
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If anyone has any questions or concerns you can post them here and we'll address them. This is how the judging process went:

We read all the stories and gave them a score from 1 to 10 (judges weren't allowed to score their own work). Stories were graded on general literary merit, structure, development, language, and varied narrative elements. Halloween and Horror were thematic ideas (not "themes"), so stories were not graded on how "scary" they were. Results were given to 4 (who was not a judge) and the scores were averaged. The top 5 were selected and--well, here we are.

Also, I would like to give back the supporter badge and have Deathcon reimbursed (so he can give the badge to whoever wins it next time). I'm sure if I contact NG they will understand.

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*


Despite the name, I'm actually good--Deft, and good!

Giving out reviews to anyone who wants them (exception: poems. I'll find you).

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 04:37 AM Reply

DeftAndEvil and Deathcon summed up my thoughts on this judging matter better than I could.

In short, the people who want to enter the most just happen to be the people are the judges. Sure it's not overly fair, but if judges weren't allowed to enter, then there would have been two entries (if I remember correctly) in the competition before this one. And then basically anyone who entered would get prizes regardless of the quality of the story.

The reason I set up and organized this contest, and got all the judges, was because I missed the MWC and really wanted to be writing stories again, but there was no one running a contest. So I made my own, and I'm sure the judges all felt the same way.

At 11/14/12 12:47 AM, DeftAndEvil wrote: Also, I would like to give back the supporter badge and have Deathcon reimbursed (so he can give the badge to whoever wins it next time). I'm sure if I contact NG they will understand.

You can keep the $25 store credit as prize money for the next time, but the supporter badge really just helps newgrounds, no matter who keeps it.

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 08:19 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 04:37 AM, 4urentertainment wrote:
At 11/14/12 12:47 AM, DeftAndEvil wrote: Also, I would like to give back the supporter badge and have Deathcon reimbursed (so he can give the badge to whoever wins it next time). I'm sure if I contact NG they will understand.
You can keep the $25 store credit as prize money for the next time, but the supporter badge really just helps newgrounds, no matter who keeps it.

Agreed.

Keep it, Deft. I appreciate your consideration but keep it.

If you don't I'll kill you.

No, no, just kidding.

But seriously... keep it.

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 09:46 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 04:37 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: Sure it's not overly fair, but if judges weren't allowed to enter, then there would have been two entries (if I remember correctly) . . .

I don't know if it matters, but I was involved in the original MWCs hosted by gumOnShoe, WritersBlock and Coop and even judged a number of them. The policy back then was that we, as judges, were still permitted to enter our submissions, but our stories were not considered at all for placing.

That allowed for the "quality" stories you refer to (though I disagree that only judges or Writing Forum regs have submitted or are capable of submitting good stories) to still be submitted by judges, but removed any concerns of favoritism or manipulation. Rather, judges submitted our stories because we enjoyed writing and were inspired by the theme - not in the hopes of monetary gain.

4, I think its not fair to the judges of this contest to suggest that they wouldn't still write and submit stories if they weren't enticed by rewards or recognition - I think that their participation as judges shows how much they want the contest to succeed, and they certainly would still draft quality entries even if they were ineligible to place.


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 10:44 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 09:46 AM, RapeMuffin wrote: 4, I think its not fair to the judges of this contest to suggest that they wouldn't still write and submit stories if they weren't enticed by rewards or recognition - I think that their participation as judges shows how much they want the contest to succeed, and they certainly would still draft quality entries even if they were ineligible to place.

That's what I meant. I meant that if judges weren't allowed to participate. For example if I couldn't post my story I probably wouldn't be too keen on organizing the contests and would rather let someone else do it so I could participate.

But yeah, having the judges stories not being taken into account for prizes sounds good to me. Like the judges could still place, but the prizes would be moved down to non-judge entries.

Everyone okay with that?

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 11:05 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 10:44 AM, 4urentertainment wrote: But yeah, having the judges stories not being taken into account for prizes sounds good to me. Like the judges could still place, but the prizes would be moved down to non-judge entries.

Everyone okay with that?

I am by no means an MWC regular, as it has been a year since I've participated in a contest (before this Halloween contest, of course), so I don't know what my vote counts for - but I don't see any reason why judges should place in a contest they are judging. I agree with cosmicdeath that it feels a bit odd to have judges "placing" in a contest they are running, simply due to the fact that other NG contests don't operate in this fashion and no other MWC that I've participated in had judges eligible for placing. Maybe that's just me pining for the old MWCs, though.

That being said, I understand that this calls for sacrifices from the judges - especially when, as this contest shows, the judges' entries tend to be among the top stories. However, this sacrifice is not in vain, as the judges' ineligibility allows for some of the lesser-known users to place in a contest and it prevents accusations of bias from further jeopardizing the future of the MWCs.


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 11:25 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 09:46 AM, RapeMuffin wrote: I don't know if it matters, but I was involved in the original MWCs hosted by gumOnShoe, WritersBlock and Coop and even judged a number of them. The policy back then was that we, as judges, were still permitted to enter our submissions, but our stories were not considered at all for placing.

Those were the good ol' days. I miss them.

That allowed for the "quality" stories you refer to (though I disagree that only judges or Writing Forum regs have submitted or are capable of submitting good stories) to still be submitted by judges, but removed any concerns of favoritism or manipulation. Rather, judges submitted our stories because we enjoyed writing and were inspired by the theme - not in the hopes of monetary gain.

I agree with you. I don't think the judges or regulars are the only ones who are able to submit a good story. But the trend has shown otherwise. This particular contest is a viable example.

It should be noted, the judges involved either didn't submit a story, or refused the reward out right. I understand the concern but so far no one has gained anything.

I think most everyone refused the reward, even those not judging. The only reward that has been given out so far has been from me to Deft, and even that was pushing it. I'm fighting him to keep it, hahaha... But if I really have to give it to someone else, I'll be glad to pay another $25. It's just helping Newgrounds that much more.

If anyone has any actionable concerns about the handling of this contest, they need to speak up or message 4urentertainment. But there's nothing any of us can do if it's just an ambiguous discomfort. I, for one, stick by my judgement.

Going forward more steps will be taken to avoid these types of concerns. But for now, let's avoid further diminishing the spirit of this contest, the work of the entrants, and the effort given by the volunteers by continuing to push this particular matter.

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 11:35 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 10:44 AM, 4urentertainment wrote:
Everyone okay with that?

Sounds fine to me. Prize money isn't the most important thing here. It's more of getting extra experience and getting feedback. Hopefull that'll encourage more writers to participated next time!


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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 12:33 PM Reply

At 11/14/12 11:25 AM, Deathcon7 wrote: If anyone has any actionable concerns about the handling of this contest, they need to speak up or message 4urentertainment. But there's nothing any of us can do if it's just an ambiguous discomfort. I, for one, stick by my judgement.

This ^, if I've made a mistake (which obviously I have) please let us know and we'll see what we can do about it. I guess the reason my judging model made sense to me was because I was following that of Ludum Dare, a game jam contest where all entrees rate other entries, and you're encouraged to vote fairly, even though you're rating your contestants, because there is no prize. And I guess I didn't really imagine we'd end up with sizable prize pool when I first made the competition.

It totally makes sense for the judge's to not place, but then I know I wouldn't want to judge because I really do want to see how I rank against other people's stories and whether I'm getting better. So we'll need to compromise something for the time being.

Perhaps there could be only 1 or 2 judges? Results may be more biased with 1 judge but then that 1 judge could sit out in that contest, and then another judge takes his place for the next contest and so on and so forth, kind of a rotation thing.

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Response to Mwc12 : October : Results! Nov. 17th, 2012 @ 04:09 PM Reply

Oh dear, did I forget to say congratulations to the winners? Well, I'll say it now. Congratulations!


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