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Just a Suggestion

Here's where you can discuss everything to do with the Writing Challenge. Feel free to ask questions.
http://www.faithwriters.com/writing-challenge-intro.php

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Colswann1
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Just a Suggestion

Postby Colswann1 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:03 am

I was looking for the old suggestion slot, but it's gone, so as my suggestion is to do with the Challenge I'll post it here.

More often than not when we get to the end of a ten week stint on a topic theme there seems to be a bit of a drop off towards the end. Sometimes a topic theme doesn't seem to work too well at all--I remember the Social Media one when Deb herself admitted it struggled; even though Allison did wonderfully well out of it.

I know Deb has to find a new topic theme for each quarter and that must be difficult, but I was wondering that if the quarter was split into two topic themes the full quarter may be fresher towards its end if there was a change in the middle, thus keeping the numbers more constant.

Just a suggestion and I know objections may fly but give it some thought. :)
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

oznoel
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby oznoel » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:24 pm

I don't know if the numbers of entries decline towards the end of a theme because the theme may have become a little worn, but it seems that fewer FW people are entering than a year or so ago.

Themes always include enough options for creative variety anyway, and each week is different to the previous one. In over four years I have only once been able to spread a story over two consecutive weeks - and that with no previous knowledge of what the topic would be.

If we aren't already doing so, how about we send Deb a few of our ideas for topics/themes so we might share the load?

Happy Christmas to all,

Noel
God has blessed us with a grownup family of four and three grandchildren, so life is full. My weekly newspaper columns seek to encourage unchurched people to explore God's love, so they may discover the difference he can make for them - and through them.

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Colswann1
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby Colswann1 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:08 am

oznoel wrote:If we aren't already doing so, how about we send Deb a few of our ideas for topics/themes so we might share the load?


I once suggested a topic but it hasn't been used yet, must have been no good, so I'm not much good at topic picking.

Deb, did say say she had loads and loads of suggestions from FW members, so keep them coming in, if you are better than me at it. Then again, they might be as unhelpful as my Ten Commandment suggestion.

Happy Christmas. :D
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

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tomoral
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby tomoral » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:18 pm

I miss the one word topics, where you can take it and make it original. This last quarter confined us a little too much to what a certain phrase is meant to be about. Some of the phrases I had never heard before, but that's probably my own ignorance. :lol:
God Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storms.
Children are our tomorrow
Keep them daily from the sorrow
Of the beasts in life

http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my ... p?id=57394

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lish1936
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby lish1936 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:36 pm

Noel wrote:...but it seems that fewer FW people are entering than a year or so ago.


Admittedly, this past theme series required more imagination/creativity than I had in my arsenal. :D Like Lynn, I had never heard of several of them. But I do think your suggestion, Colin, has merit; especially with topics like the last one.


As per the "fewer people," I suggest perhaps the actual publication of the next Faithwriter Book will be added incentive to encourage the return of some of the "oldies"-- and attract even more participants in the Challenge. I'm just wondering if the drop-off over time has been concurrent with the less frequent publication of Faithwriter books. Last book was published in 2007. As much as I would like to think otherwise, the possibility of seeing one's name in print is a great, and often times, prime motivator.

I digress from the topic, but I wonder how the next publication is coming along?


Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Colswann1
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby Colswann1 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:33 pm

lish1936 wrote:I'm just wondering if the drop-off over time has been concurrent with the less frequent publication of Faithwriter books.


I think the big drop-off was when compulsory payment for membership was initiated; the numbers dropped over 50% overnight, and never got back to those sort of numbers (200 on occasions).

Four free entries to challenge have recently been allowed to try and impove the numbers but this change has not consistently boosted the numbers. Maybe a six months free period would work better.

When I first joined FWs it was free and after I had worked up to Advanced level for the Challenge I decided to become a fully paid up member. I know if I had been presented with a paid membership from the start I wouldn't have stayed around or joined. It took me many months to settle in and get familiarised with things in here. :)
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

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Come forth
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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby Come forth » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Col wrote:
Four free entries to challenge have recently been allowed to try and impove the numbers but this change has not consistently boosted the numbers. Maybe a six months free period would work better.


There is a lot to be said on the issue of 'free vs paid for' sites and there is research to back up the fact that free sites actually can make more money than those with subscriptions.

For me, I really struggle with this question. Maybe FW could make much more money if it was all free, a ministry to Christian writers, and members were encouraged to join or donate/support on a voluntary basis. But it could also go broke trying.

If you are going to have a subscription though, there must be benefits for subscribers over and above the freebies available to everyone else; I think, maybe, poss.... :?:

I joined this site as a fully paid platinum member right from the beginning; because I wanted to grow as a writer. Dissappointment with the Critique Circle and other aspects went very close to causing me to leave; the Challenge is possibly, not definately, a reason I stay. To be honest I still struggle, but I committed to enter and keep entering, so I stay.

If the Challenge was free then the numbers would grow for sure, but then why would I keep paying when it is possibly the reason I hang around. I think I would, but I'm not sure.

Blessings, Graham.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.

My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Graham
http://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm

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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby violin4jesus » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:36 am

lish1936 wrote:
Noel wrote:...but it seems that fewer FW people are entering than a year or so ago.

As per the "fewer people," I suggest perhaps the actual publication of the next Faithwriter Book will be added incentive to encourage the return of some of the "oldies"-- and attract even more participants in the Challenge. I'm just wondering if the drop-off over time has been concurrent with the less frequent publication of Faithwriter books. Last book was published in 2007. As much as I would like to think otherwise, the possibility of seeing one's name in print is a great, and often times, prime motivator.
I digress from the topic, but I wonder how the next publication is coming along?
Lillian


I've been out of the Challenge lately, as I'm neck deep in academic papers now that I started my MSN, but I think Lillian is on to something...as of yet, I've not seen my name in PRINT. I share my stuff on Facebook and my friends are super supportive, but there's something to be said for pointing to something in a book and saying, "I wrote this." I joined FW in mid-2008 and they haven't printed any of the books in which I had ECs. Plus, I've placed 2nd twice - never 1st - so there's a lack of monetary incentive as well. I'm not someone with tons of free time to write; I have to squeeze it in. Plus I have a lousy muse. So I need some serious motivation to convince me to start playing again.

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Re: Just a Suggestion

Postby Deb Porter » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:51 am

Graham, I'm just making one comment quickly on this thread. The free site with donations option was tried for years. It failed. I know from experience that we wanted nothing more than to never have to charge for anything at FaithWriters, but it wasn't possible. We fought making the Challenge a benefit for years (quite literally), but ultimately, it had to happen or FaithWriters would not have been able to keep going.

The numbers for the Challenge always drop off in November/December, and that is exactly what happened. We expect numbers around 50 to 70 now, and that's fine. They aren't always the same people.

As for the topics, one person's dislike is another person's pleasure. And the whole point of the Challenge is to challenge writers to try things they may never have tried before. We never promise one word prompts, but we do hope to stir and inspire people to exercise their imaginations and creativity.

Love, Deb
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