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« Take a writing lesson from the B-I-B-L-E | Main | Burroway Book Winner »

Five ways to ensure I'll never participate in your writing contest again

I'm a little frosted right now. Arguably, I am involved in many things--too many things--and understand the tendency to overcommit myself. Regardless, I try to deliver on my promises or implied promises.

But what about under-commitment? Under-commitment or not sufficiently caring about something you've already committed yourself to can be as serious a deficit. It can lead to really disappointing blog contests, like the one I just participated in.

Now, I haven't hosted hundreds of contests, but I can tell if you do the following things just as this blogger did recently, you'll never have to worry about my participating in your blog contest again.

1. Host a blog contest without posting a "results by" date.
2. Say nothing about your blog contest for five days after the deadline has come and gone and then post something like, "You weren't waiting for me, were you? Got too busy with real-life things to read and evaluate your entries" with no apology offered to contestants for the lack of communication.
3. Extend the deadline for another week--again, no "results by" date included.
4. At the last minute, bring in an outside reader to evaluate eleven (11) 150-word entries because you lacked the interest and enthusiasm to do it.
5. Announce that no one has won--that none of the entries was good enough, per the outside reader brought in at the last moment.

I'm a busy person. But if you give me a deadline, I'll try like hell to hit it. But if I do participate in a writing contest this time of year, it means that presents have gone unwrapped and lights unstrung and cookies unbaked just so that I could participate in your damn contest.

Yes, simply post those five guidelines for participation, and you'll never have to worry about receiving an entry from me.

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Reader Comments (6)

:-O If only you could see my face. That just stinks, royally! As far as blog contests go that sounds like the worst ever.

December 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Simone

You know, I should have written it off when I couldn't find results by. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Truly disappointing. If you know of any other good ones, feel free to pass them along. Have a great day, Heather!

December 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGale Martin

I know Writer's Digest has some good contests through their magazine and website. They usually hold a little monthly short story contest. I haven't tried anything other than that last one, my prize was a free copy of their current issue. ;-) I also haven't tried any blog writing contests.

I'm thinking about hosting one, maybe, on my middle grades blog site this coming year. :-)

December 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Simone

And after all that NO ONE WON??? I'd be a bit mad too!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha Bird

That would frustrate me, too! It's downright insulting to yank entries around like that. If you host a contest of any kind, you have to follow through.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJEFritz

Yes, a pretty putrid experience. But I should (and will) move on. Speaking of contest follow through, congrats JE on winning the ms edit contest. I'd love to know if you find her comments/suggestions helpful.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGale Martin

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