The Challenge winners will be posted here two weeks after entries close for each topic, and the Highest Ranked entries will be posted sometime later that day or the next.
Moderator: Deb Porter
Seems like it is becoming common for the Highest Rankings to be later than expected.
When I first started entering the Challenge, it was like clockwork and it helped to keep me motivated. Does anyone else feel let down that it's not getting done on time?
We also used to have many more entries. I know the charging for 500 membership=challenge entrant may have caused the #'s to drop. But, so will posting late. People just get tired of checking to see if it's been done and move on.
Yes, Jim, it is a concern as I want FW to remain strong and viable; I love what it has to offer.
I'm making an observation that's noteworthy. Not as a complaint, more of a suggestion. Maybe, you don't think anything about it, but my guess is others do.
I dropped out of the Challenge this summer because, well, my children are home and I love them dearly but they are little black holes of need. I love it though, being a mom, and I gladly divert my writing energy toward them. The kids will be back to school mid next week, so you can bet your pants I'll be back in the challenge soon. See you there!
Deb just got back home to Australia from the conference. She's been crazy busy, I'm sure. It's late a few times, and sometimes it's a few times in a row, yes, but I would hope that wouldn't cause anyone to not enter any more. I'm sorry you've been a bit disappointing lately with when the highest rankings are posted, but I wanted to let you know that there is a legitimate reason they've been late recently. Also, Deb does this as an "extra." It's never been a... guarantee that Deb posts the highest rankings. I hope you'll stick around, and not let this little "glitch" discourage you.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
I do get disappointed when the highest rankings aren't posted by bedtime and find myself waking up to check it.
Now here's the funny thing; even on weeks when I did not enter the challenge I also check it often. For instance this is at least my fifth attempt and I've only entered at the beginning of the quarter. Why, you may ask, am I so persistent?
The answer is simple I get so much joy out of informing others of how well they did. I know many get discouraged when a piece they poured their heart into doesn't win. I know for me it's part ego but it's even more self-doubt. I have almost given up deducing that my story was terrible then, am renewed by seeing it in the rankings.
I'd gladly offer any assistance I can give if it would help. I'd love to post high rankings in the evening if it would save Deb some time. I'd also be delighted to help in other ways such as writing book reviews ( yes I've sent samples) or do what I could to help the anthology books get printed whether it be proofreading formatting or anything else.
I am slowly feeling better and would consider it a joy to to make Deb and Scott's load lighter
Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child
I presume that the listing of the rankings is a little more involved than listing the winning five and if busy may cause difficulty sometimes in posting on time. It would just be nice to know about the hold up.
But Allison, a lot of what goes on in here has evolved and then becomes custom and practice with age. I've been in here ages and ranking has been around for yonks, it's a little thin telling new paying members that it's just this ranking custom that has a miss or hit aspect to it.
Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.
Let's keep looking at what God is doing with the talent, and the commitment to developing it, that flows through this beautiful FW family.
I don't know how Deb juggles all of her FW commitments from way over here as well as all her local stuff - what with the different time zones and having to do it all on her head; just like everyone else is forced to do everything Downunder.
As for the time zones, I was a bit late with my posting, so my Great Expectations entry may be proclaiming its blatant off-topic wisdomal irrelevance from within all the Persuasion essays. Still, as a major theologian, I've studied hard to be as irrelevant as many of my colleagues; so it's no major hardship.
Blessings to all
PS There are two major lessons in life
1. Don't sweat the small stuff
2. It's mostly small stuff
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.
I'd like to share some of my FW journey:
When I first joined, FW was totally free of charge. It was a place where I found support for my insecurities as a newbie writer and friends that were kind and gentle with me. The vast majority of the work to keep the site going is done by volunteers. I've had the privilege of meeting most of them at the conferences. These awesome folks pour their heart, soul, and time into keeping FW going. Their sacrifice is beyond any amount of money.
When so many people joined and the site became high maintenance, they instituted the fee system. I gladly stepped up to help out, out of gratitude for all FW has done for me. How could I not? For the small amount I pay, the benefits don't compare.
I dove into the challenge and had some success. But I also found my attitude digressing. I became so obsessed with winning, that when I didn't, I was crushed. My reason for writing was overshadowed by pride and other things I wasn't real proud of. And I pulled myself out of the challenge for about six months to adjust my attitude and regroup. Was the best thing I ever did. When I started entering again, it was with a refreshed spirit and and more humble mindset.
I say all this to make the point that I needed to really examine myself: as a writer and a person. To see how I needed to grow, mold, and change.
In the process, my writing has moved in some different directions and I don't enter the Challenge as often. Do I still get disappointed when I don't do well? Of course. And, oh yeah, I like to win. But nothing can compare to how I've grown as a person.
I'm so grateful to those tireless volunteers because without them, none of the above would have happened. I probably wouldn't even be a writer or have tapped into the gift that God has so graciously given me.
Maybe none of this applies to the discussion but at least it serves as a reminder to me to thank everyone that makes FW what it is: you all rock!
If waiting a day, even a week for a rankings list is difficult, perhaps some personal introspection is required, rather than tearing down this amazing team. (I hope this doesn't offend, but rather is seen as a response to your original question!).
I, too would like to take this chance to share what FaithWriters has done for me this year.
I have been a member of FW for less than a year. I have had the amazing honour of being in the EC list twice now - me, an amateur writer from little ol' Adelaide, Australia!
When I saw my name listed for the first time - a beginner, my 3rd piece placing 4th out of every entry! - I woke my hubby up from a deep 1am slumber and told him, tears pouring down my face, that I was to have my first piece of work published! I was, in my mind, an author!
Since that time I have had the most amazing learning curve; I have shed numerous tears over pieces that were, in my opinion, the best things I've ever written and they barely scrape through the rankings, and I have rejoiced in some amazing rankings that I never, ever would have achieved had I not, as Kathryn also shared, changed my attitude and allowed God to take over my talent.
It is so incredibly easy to get trapped into the cycle of 'did I make it?' Believe me, this is the way I have lived most of my life - unless I thought I would come top at something, I just didn't participate. What a breakthrough for me to get to the point where the rankings are no longer my priority! Do I check for them? Absolutely!! Am I thrilled when I see my name there - more than you could possibly know!
I guess what I'm trying to say is FWers has been, literally, a Godsend for me, and it pains me to see those who devote their lives to its smooth running criticised, or even at one stage (a different forum) referred to as being 'unprofessional'. I have dealt with unprofessional people; these guys are so far from that! They are encouraging, supportive, godly people, not to mention great teachers and motivators. And the 'friends' I have made through this group are such uplifting people, I honestly thank God for all of them and their ministry.
Here's an idea for all of us...whenever the rankings are late say a prayer for Deb and others involved the behind scenes at FW. If they're late that means Deb and others are extra busy and could use our prayers on their behalf.
In the twilight of my years, may His Light shine more brightly.
THRILLED TO BE A 500 MEMBER!
Well, now, there's a NOVEL idea. Good thinking.
"Guarantee" probably wasn't the best word to use in my first post. Yes, Deb does post it every week. I've never known a week where it wasn't posted, even if it is a bit late at times. But it is still an "extra" so to speak. Deb decided to start doing this quite awhile ago to encourage those who "almost" made it. There was a time when a few people had problems with the rankings, and Deb almost considered doing away with them completely. But she still chooses to do it.
So while I understand that it's a little disappointing and perhaps frustrating when it's not posted right away, please don't let that discourage you from entering and supporting FaithWriters.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
Faithwriters', in my judgment, has God's divine approval written (pardon the pun - I think it's a pun ), all over it. So, I don't think we need to be afraid to ask questions, or comment on any aspect that concerns us. Faithwriters will withstand comments, opinions, and concerns. Like Shann and others who have commented, I've also been wondering about the inconsistencies in listing the rankings. Quite often, I also find myself obsessing over the delay, not for personal aggrandizement, or "Ooh, ooh, did I win?" but just because it's due. One week I attributed it to the Conference, but there have been other times as well. However, I'm not so sure that's the reason for a reduction in Challenge entries.
I became a member in 2010 just before the change-over from peer judges to professional judges. Concurrent with that change, I noticed the disappearance of many that I had come to know, not only for the Challenge, but on the boards in general. The change-over may or may not have been the reason; perhaps, mere coincidence.
I also feel that when Faithwriters' blossomed and became "high maintenance" the additional responsibilites continued to fall on the same number of administrators. I admire Deb and Scott's committment and pray that God will continue to guide them in this marvelous ministry. However, from a practical standpoint, the task seems overwhelming at times, and additional personnel may need to come on board to lighten the load; if they are willing to give it their all with little or no monetary remuneration.
Now, that's something we can and should all pray about. Needed.
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60
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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