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Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

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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Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:28 am

The FaithWriters.com Writing Challenge runs over four separate periods every twelve months:

* July to September;
* October to December;
* January to March; and
* April to June.

A new topic is announced at 11 AM (New York time) on Thursday mornings (except for two to three weeks between each quarter).

The Writing Challenge is open to GOLD and PLATINUM members, with one entry allowed per member per topic.

SILVER members are assigned four credits to allow entry to four Challenge topics during their SILVER membership. These credits can be used at any time--all in a row or spread out over time.

Once the new topic has been announced, members will have one week to submit their entry. Entries for that topic will close on the Thursday morning after the topic was announced, at 10:59 AM (New York time), unless the cap of 200 entries is reached prior to closing time. Winners for that topic will be announced one week later.

Visit the Challenge Schedule Forum for the latest Challenge dates.

There are four levels of entry for each topic:

* Level 1 - Beginners;
* Level 2 - Intermediate;
* Level 3 - Advanced; and
* Level 4 - Masters.

These levels provide an opportunity for members to be encouraged and rewarded at their level of ability. Each member is responsible for choosing their initial level of entry and should read the Level Selection Guidelines to help make that choice.

Entries must be between 150 and 750 words long, and should use the topic as their central focus. Entries that fall outside those word count limits will be disqualified and removed; however, every attempt will be made to contact the author in time to edit and re-submit their entry.

All entries MUST be conceived and written AFTER the topic is announced. No previously written material should be submitted. This is because the Challenge is designed to act as a tool to help writers develop their ability to write to topic, deadline and word count.

Entries may be in any style or genre, and they do not need to be overtly Christian in message. However, they should at least reflect a Christian outlook and should not be overly violent or sensual. Language deemed inappropriate for Christian readers will be removed.

Once entries close for a topic, all entries will be displayed for reading and comment by members.

Entries are judged by a team of editors using eight specific rating categories. Each entry is judged on its own merits, based on those categories. You can find out more about the rating categories HERE.

The judges’ highest rated entries for each topic will receive the EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD on their entry, and these winning entries may be published in upcoming FaithWriters’ books (at the publisher's discretion). The Editors' Choice award is not based on the level of entry. Any entry from any level has the potential to place in the Editors' Choice.

The judges’ five highest rated entries for each level of ability (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Masters) for each topic will receive a LEVEL CHAMPION AWARD on their entry. Please read our Guidelines for Choosing a Level before submitting your entry

There are TEN Editors' Choice awards for each topic, and TWENTY Level Champion winners for each topic. There will, obviously, be an overlap in some of those awards.

The ten highest rated entries each week will receive:

* the EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD on their entry;
* publication in an upcoming book (subject to publisher approval); and
* possible publication in an upcoming issue of FaithWriters Magazine http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com/

At the end of each quarter, a CASH PRIZE of $50 will be awarded to the best entry from each of the four levels (Beginner/Level 1, Intermediate/Level 2, Advanced/Level 3, Masters/Level 4) submitted during that quarter. (These end of quarter cash prizes replace the previous weekly $20 cash prize for one entry.)

The Challenge runs for forty weeks each year (July to June), and the three best entries submitted during that time will receive a BEST OF THE BEST award, with cash prizes on offer. The Best of the Best winners are announced on July 1 each year. The Best of the Best 1st place winner each year will win $300.00, 2nd place will win $100.00, and 3rd place will win $75.00.

Challenge entrants are encouraged to join a Challenge Buddy/Critique group to help fine-tune their entries before submission. You can find out more about Challenge Buddy groups here on the message boards.

After an entry is submitted, it cannot be viewed publicly until after entries close, and it will not appear in the author’s list of Challenge entries until after the winners are announced. Also, the author’s name will not appear on the entry until after the winners are announced. This is to ensure anonymity for judging purposes.

After submitting your entry, you should be taken to a page saying your entry was successfully submitted. If you do not receive this page, please re-submit immediately or contact FaithWriters for confirmation.

Entries cannot be edited by the author once they are submitted, so it is very important that all editing be done before submission.

It is also VERY IMPORTANT to be aware that entries cannot be removed from the Challenge once entries have closed for that topic.

The winners will be announced one week after entries close for that specific topic. The list of winners can be found here and on the FaithWriters’ Message Boards in the Writing Challenge Results forum. You will also find all the highest rankings for each level in that forum (provided there were sufficient entries for a topic to warrant a highest rankings list).


* * *

(Silver members, once you have used your four credits, don’t miss out on all the Challenge fun. You can join in by simply upgrading to a GOLD or PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP from as little as $5.95 a month. The Challenge is an excellent tool for helping writers hone their skills, get feedback, and possibly even publication. Many of our members have had success submitting old Challenge entries to various publications.)
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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Shann » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:16 pm

I can help clear up some of the confusion. I think you misunderstood and it does happen to several people. The only stories that are ever get published are the ones that receive an EC (Editor's Choice) EC's can be from any level but they are the top ten scores overall. So it's possible that someone in level one could be in the top ten overall. But what your son won was second place in his level. It can be confusing to many people.

As for some stories being published in a magazine and others in the book, that came about because it's so much work to publish the anthologies. They are behind a few years so to encourage people, it was decided that the 2 and 4 quarters, the topic would be general and not tightly woven together and they would fit better with a magazine. Where the 1 and 3 quarters would have a theme (like this month it appears to be music terms that can mean different things.) The top ten winners overall will be published in an anthology.

Even though he did receive a ribbon, it was for placing second in his level, not overall.

So the top three people in each level get a ribbon next to their story while the 4th and 5th places in each level get an HC (highly commended)

Only the EC winners will be published in either the books or the magazine. It is possible to not win a ribbon in your level, but still receive an EC. It happens a lot in Masters, as those writers are more experienced and it can be a more competitive level, but someone could rank 6th in Masters (so no ribbon or HC) but overall the score was the 6th highest of all entries so they get an EC and will be published. I hope this helps clear it up for you. :sorry I know it must be disappointing, but to place 2nd in his level is still a great accomplishment!
Last edited by Shann on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:31 pm

Thank you Shann. I haven't been able to get onto the forums very often recently.

Editors' choice winners are the only ones that will be published in the book or in the magazine. Nothing has changed with that.

There has been one change made, however. Every quarter of editors' choice entries will be published as a book (again). A selection of editors' choice entries from each quarter will be published in the magazine.

I realised that the magazine would become quite monotonous from issue to issue if we used only the material from twenty topics each year. This way the appeal is spread across forty topics.

Not every winning entry will be published in the magazine, but the goal is to ensure every winning member appears at least once in the magazine at some point.

Again, though, every winning entry in the editors' choice will be published in a book. (God willing.)

Love, Deb
Finesse Writing & Editing Service

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Coming Soon ... Breath of Fresh Air Press (the home of FaithWriters' Books)

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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:24 pm

Hi Alicia.

I'm so sorry I'm only seeing this now. That is really weird.

When you say the blog page, which page do you mean? Could you post a link to the page it was taking you to?

I don't actually have anything to do with the nuts and bolts of how the system works, but that shouldn't be happening. If you weren't able to enter the Challenge (used up all four credits and not a gold or platinum member) it would stop you before you even got to the submission page (at least, I'm assuming that would be the case).

If that ever happens again, and if it's not too late for me to do anything, send me your entry via email and I will submit it for you. Unfortunately, if it's in the last ten or so hours, I probably won't see it in time.

In the meantime, this sounds like something for admin at FaithWriters. I'll copy your post and send it through to Mike and Bea to see if they can work out what might have been happening.

I'm so sorry you had such a frustrating time trying to submit your entry.

Love, Deb
Finesse Writing & Editing Service

FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator

Coming Soon ... Breath of Fresh Air Press (the home of FaithWriters' Books)

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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Deb Porter » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:32 pm

Silly me. I should have checked the list of entries before replying to your post. I just noticed that your entry is in the list (phew).

It must have been a temporary glitch of some sort.

Love, Deb
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Coming Soon ... Breath of Fresh Air Press (the home of FaithWriters' Books)

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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby rider » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:24 am

Dear Deb,
What a big job you and the others on writing challenge are doing. Thanks for it all, and all the feedback.
I have a question about choosing levels. When one submits a work it is before the results of the previous topic are announced. If a person at the Beginner or Intermediate level wins, then they have to go to the next level, but they naturally choose the level that they are currently in. Will the panel immediately place their submission into the next level if they win and should not be in the one they nominated? :thankssign :thankssign :thankssign

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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Deb Porter » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:20 am

rider wrote:Dear Deb,
What a big job you and the others on writing challenge are doing. Thanks for it all, and all the feedback.


Thanks for that. It really is a massive job each week, so it's really does us good when people say "thank you." So thanks back. :lol:


I have a question about choosing levels. When one submits a work it is before the results of the previous topic are announced. If a person at the Beginner or Intermediate level wins, then they have to go to the next level, but they naturally choose the level that they are currently in. Will the panel immediately place their submission into the next level if they win and should not be in the one they nominated? :thankssign :thankssign :thankssign


We don't move members at all. So when this happens (and it does all the time), the winning member in a particular level will have an entry in that level for the next topic as well. That's quite normal. But they need to move up for the topic after that.

It can be a bit confusing, and members do ask this question from time to time. :D

Love, Deb
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Re: Writing Challenge - How it Works (from January 2013)

Postby Shann » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:44 pm

You may want to remove your email or write it out like at and dot or send it via pm to Ceb to avoid spam bots from scanning through and getting your email. :-)
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