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 Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 09 2014, 17:23

I'm sad you missed the deadline, there's always next year though - and the writing can be its own reward. We had a couple casualties to real life this year (heck, I did the same, delaying the poll opening), I think you're in fine company.

The Reader's Choice Polls are now also up.
Read.
Discuss.
Vote.

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 09 2014, 17:52

I have a small question ... I had a Stupid Moment and didn't realise that if you wanted to vote for more than one, you had to vote for them all at the same time. So I ended up only voting for one from each. Is there anything that I can do about that?

... apart from kick a khymerae pup.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 09 2014, 18:21

There are so many great entries! I like something about literally all of them, but I suppose if I just voted for every story that would be kind of a moot point. Smile Whelp, too late, the die is cast!

On behalf of Lady Malys, someone throw an extra vote on Pride Goeth, she missed that one I think Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 09 2014, 18:25

@ArmchairOrrery wrote:
...On behalf of Lady Malys, someone throw an extra vote on Pride Goeth, she missed that one I think Very Happy 

I would, but it won't let me vote for a story twice  Wink 

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 09 2014, 20:21

@Lady Malys wrote:
I have a small question ... I had a Stupid Moment and didn't realise that if you wanted to vote for more than one, you had to vote for them all at the same time. So I ended up only voting for one from each. Is there anything that I can do about that?

... apart from kick a khymerae pup.
You have already exceeded my knowledge of the inner workings of how this forum codes their polls.

I guess just try to find someone else who can be guilted into placing your votes if they were not already going to vote that way?

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 23 2014, 01:47

Holy cow, what a competition! Everybody did a great job, and there is no easy way to single out a clear winner. However, after much mulling, and then a little bit more, I have cast my votes.

REALLY looking forward to seeing the final results. Congrats to all the participants.
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Mon Jun 23 2014, 02:43

The voting polls are set to close sometime on the 23rd. I will admit to not knowing how the board does that or when the clock will click over, so if you were holding off voting, this *is* the 11th hour at this stage.

Also, the judges have finished their individual scoring and are currently debating the winners.

It was a great crop this year, some of the scores are really tight.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 00:27

@Gobsmakked wrote:
Holy cow, what a competition!  Everybody did a great job, and there is no easy way to single out a clear winner.  However, after much mulling, and then a little bit more, I have cast my votes.

REALLY looking forward to seeing the final results.  Congrats to all the participants.

I hope the voters are VOCIFEROUSLY championing their respective favorites. I want to see a lot of physical damage occuring during these convos. Lol.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 04:01

Greetings and welcome one and all to the announcements of the winners of the 2014, 2nd Annual Hidden Library Fiction Competition!

Before we get into the awards presentation I do like to share with you some interesting if otherwise totally useless facts;

- A grand total of 17 eligible stories were submitted for judging!
- We would have had 19 if not for some stories missing the deadline Sad
- Clearly next year we need to shoot for 20 Wink
- 8,445 words were penned for the competition.
- The most popular word to use in the title was 'Pride' with three uses.
- Oddly followed by 'Despair' with two uses.
- The longest story was a nine way tie - with all of them being 500 words exactly.
- The shortest story was Trial and Error By Crestes85 at 484 words.
- One of the judges only gave top grammar/spelling marks to a single story.
- Another judge gave no top marks in use of theme word  affraid 
- There were multiple stories that were actually edited prior to judging - at least on my part every bit of advice I heard sounded like an improvement.
- There was only one story with an unabashed 'no critique' standard. I'm guessing it wasn't edited  Very Happy 

So, with that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff - recognizing our winners!

The theme word was 'Pride' and I was filled with pride watching the stories come and present themselves. From a twisted creature making shoes, to a proud Archon atop an ancient statue facing off with a Harlequin, to a Scourge on a mission to deliver a message, pride was explored in many facets.

However, it is sadly the state of affairs that we only have three prizes to hand out. The first of those prizes is decided, not by the judges, but by the general reading audience of the forum - and they had a lot of opinions! However, one story stood out, perhaps championed by a writer who worked amazingly hard on the community of this event, as I saw him posting in basically every single story as I reviewed them.

Spoiler:
 

A really close tie there for that win. I'll take a moment to do a shout out to Pride Goeth - which was only defeated by a hair, and is also an excellent tale. I would also say, composition wise, it was possible my favorite in the competition as it was very well put together and the payoff was smoothly executed.

Moving on we come to our second place winner. There was a decent amount of debate on this one. Oddly, all of the judges agreed on the 1st place winner quite handily, but 2nd place was tight with multiple stories ranking the same. So this one was won in blood...

Spoiler:
 

That leaves us with only the big one remaining. Now, as I mentioned before, this one was a unanimous win. When you consider all the elements we were judging on it does tend to narrow the field quickly, but the competition was still fierce (I know I had multiple ties in my top bracket, and I was not alone in the judges on this). Still, there was only exactly one story that made every single judge's top three list...

Spoiler:
 

*IF YOU ARE A PRIZEWINNER* - please drop me a PM with your mailing address so I can figure out which prize support volunteer is closest to you and we can start sorting out your prizes. You may also feel free to use the super artistic banners that I threw together while slightly drunk and in the five minutes before writing up this post Wink Wear them with pride!

So now it's all over but for the wine, women, and song. You all did an amazing job here,a nd I loved getting to read all of the stories. Over the next few days I'll try to find time to post a snippet of my thoughts on each of your stories, and also those that didn't get officially judged.

I'd also love to get feedback from any participants on what we could do to make the competition better next year. Was the theme word a good one? Was  the length of the story apropos? What about the time and method of the RC polls? (I know I do need to do something to make the multiple choice aspect clearer...should I maybe allow for vote changing? That would solve the issue but I was worried people might try to game the system that way if the votes got tight) Any other feedback please toss it at me! We only hope to do better next time, and hope all of you will participate hen as well.

Final note - there are some of you that expressed potential interest in knowing what the judges scored you at specifically. If you'd like this info drop me a PM indicating as such. I'll not include names but I will discuss with you your scores and include notes of specific judge comments about things that cost you points.

Thank you everyone!
Thor.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 04:35

Congrats to all the winners.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 06:13

Peoples' champion?  I'll take that.  Very Happy

edit - I wish you hadn't mentioned me barely winning by stepping over 'Pride Goeth.' Now my win is tainted by guilt. Laughing That was hands-down my favorite; I thought for SURE it would take first.
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 06:29

Yay, everyone! Lots of nice reads.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 06:31

@Jimsolo wrote:
I wish you hadn't mentioned me barely winning by stepping over 'Pride Goeth.'  Now my win is tainted by guilt.   Laughing   That was hands-down my favorite; I thought for SURE it would take first.
That story is certainly on the short list of stories I'm sad didn't get a prize. It was one of my favorites.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 09:38

I'll take a shout out happily! I very nearly didn't enter the competition at all, so this is very uplifting Smile Thanks Jedi Knight and Norse God of Thunder! (Jim, I totally thought yours was better than mine - you should be... wait for it... proud.)

The winners are all folks I voted for in the people's choice options, and I think all three of you excelled at evoking an image, something I often flounder at. It shows real talent.

Hmm, smoothly executed, I like that. I'm like, a smooth executioner.
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 10:11

Congratulations to everybody who won and great work to everybody who entered. In the last twenty four hours I had no idea who was going to win the readers poll. Last time I checked Pride of Chogoris, The Usurper "Pride Goeth" and Proud Angel all had nine votes each.

I'm glad to see such a high turnout of stories this year.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 11:56

Big congratulations to all winners! I feel sad for being lazy to not have read all of them  Mad 

Those statistics are also always a pleasure to read!
Now all I have to do is go and ponder who the judges were...
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 14:51

Congratulations to everyone who entered and all the winners! Especially DarkGreenPirate for a very tightly written and wonderfully nuanced story Very Happy I enjoyed them all!

And thank you Thor for such a neat summary of Proud Angel, it took me 500 words to say that Wink I didn't request no critique out of pride (heh) but more my own personal peculiarity ... and you can be sure I edited the heck out of that story before it saw the light of day Very Happy

Now to the technical side:

Quote :
Was the theme word a good one?

Yes, I believe it was. We got nearly 20 stories out of it, all very different, all capturing a different facet of life in the Dark City.

Quote :
Was  the length of the story apropos?

Spot on for my money. Writing to a small word count forces me to trim my verbosity, however lyrically I might feel I have expressed - makes me make my words count.

Quote :
What about the time and method of the RC polls?

Method: all in a single poll would be better to my way of thinking. Though I'm not sure what difference it makes - probably less of one now that multiple voting is allowed Smile Probably just my personal preference.

Quote :
(I know I do need to do something to make the multiple choice aspect clearer...should I maybe allow for vote changing?

No vote changing needed, I believe, so long as it is clearer next time how to use multiple votes - though I only wanted to add votes, not take any away Smile

So, who's up for next year's competition? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 15:17

I am again truly humbled. Thank you my fellow archons, there were some very well written stories there, I enjoyed every one of them. The myriad ways in which the theme word was interpreted made for some interesting and creative stories and all in all I would call it a great choice for a theme. Length was good, though I always struggle with wanting to evoke that last image I couldn't agree with Lady Malys more in that it forces brevity (though my wife would phrase it somewhat differently......Wink )

Short of a big flashing "you may vote more than once" sign I don't think you can make the polls any easier to use and being able to edit could just cause headaches. Without being able to see who voted and how they did so I'm just not sure how you could adjust after the fact.

Suffice it to say I have again trebled my personal guard; so don't any of you go thinking you can usurp me that way, despite how tasty you make the wine look!  Laughing 

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 15:46

Only amateurs poison the wine. As a gift to you for a well deserved victory, here is a set of lovely new crystal champagne flutes.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 15:55

Congratulations to all the winners. Three prizes well-deserved! I enjoyed reading all the stories this year.
Though it pains me to put an end to such beautiful writings, my pride requires that I do this: my assassins will be with you shortly. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 18:24

@Malys - the board actually has a limit on the number of options in a poll (ten max) so I'm obligated to split them into two polls. If we ever exceed 20 entries, I'll need to do 3 polls. I guess I could bug Mush to see about if there are options for changing it up...but I'm pretty sure his plate is full with more important stuff at this stage. Try to help me remember next year and we'll see if it can be toyed with.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 19:30

Congrats to the winners. Thoroughly deserved and all stories were a cracking read. Well done everyone who entered Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 21:28

Contest is over, offer congratulations and immediately start plotting murder. Never change, dark city.

Forgot to offer input:

@Thor665 wrote:
Was the theme word a good one?

I can't think of a better one. "Shriek" would have been interesting, from your other list, but "Pride" is really much more evocative. I suppose you could go for a less leading word next year, if you want some variety - again, like shriek.

@Thor665 wrote:
Was the length of the story apropos?
Being limited to 500 words was my favorite part of the contest; I loved the challenge, and keeping it short means it's easier for non-competing forum members to read them all and for the judges to get through and judge them. If anything, I'd SHORTEN the requirement! (Please don't though.)

@Thor665 wrote:
What about the time and method of the RC polls?
Other than being clear on multiple votes being allowed, and that they must all be placed at once, not sure what you could do. A second poll several days later containing only the top ten contenders and allowing only one vote? Seems a bit harsh though, and requires more work on the parts of the voters and yourself.

Again, let me offer my congratulations. And immediately start plotting murder.
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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Tue Jun 24 2014, 22:39

It was a fun thing to do. If it did nothing else for me, it reminded me of how much I enjoy the creative process. As a Dungeon Master since 1984 and a writer for my blog etc... I of course get my chances, but actual close ended Fiction is a little different beast than free form DM planning OR strategic discussions. I even edit'd a Fantasy book and didn't feel as compelled to write anything myself as I did for this. Dunno why.

So I would like to thank the organizers for giving me a little push in the direction of wanting to do more.

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PostSubject: Re: Secrets of the Hidden Library - 2nd Annual FIction Competition - WINNERS ON PAGE 6   Wed Jun 25 2014, 00:48

I've had a couple of people make positive comments to me about how I and/or this competition has helped nudge them that way. It pleases me to no end as a thought, I do honestly believe that creative output is important for people in general, and I do think writing is one of the most wonderful ones due to the way it engages the brain specifically.

Also, props to a fellow DM - though it has been a while since I slung some dice. I really should try to trawl together a group again at some point.

@Armchair - the competition last year was shorter (350 I think...?) Judging by the pace of the judging I wouldn't want to go any longer on this one without making it a longer judging time frame. But, really, with the number of entries we're getting, even with my usual reading pace it took me a couple of sittings to read them all and also consider them on all the judging criteria. It is also apparent to me that the number of entries is a consideration, this has now, two years in a row, been a very solid event participation wise - which is hugely pleasing.

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