Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

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Deb Porter
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Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by Deb Porter » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:28 pm

Hi everyone.

Although this is almost impossible to police, and technically only the honest people get "caught," there has been a return over recent topics of entries that were written previously. Sometimes it's too late for us to do anything about it (in other words, the information comes out after the winners have been determined and posted). Other times, I may contact the author to clarify the situation. Unfortunately, a lot of the time they slip under the radar, which isn't fair on everyone else.

As mentioned before, this is really something near impossible to police because it's only the innocent mistakes that get caught. So to avoid issues, this is a reminder of the rule.

All entries to the Writing Challenge need to be written after the topic is announced. In the past, we have allowed entries where the authors have taken a previously written piece and substantially rewritten it for the Challenge (in other words, the final piece is dramatically different to the original). However, as this is probably only just adding to the confusion, and because that little loophole is possibly adding to the confusion, as from the current topic (ACTION/ADVENTURE) all entries now need to be written fresh for the Challenge. No previously written material at all, even if substantially reworked. (Sorry.)

The reason we have this rule is because the main intention of the Challenge is to provide a way for authors to hone their skills by writing to topic, word count and deadline every week. So previously written material, even if reworked to fit, is not really in the spirit of the Challenge.

So, in a nutshell, if a topic is posted and you think you have something that may fit with a bit of reworking, that would be against the spirit of the Challenge and outside the rules. The entire concept of the entry needs to be developed after the topic has been announced.

Love, Deb
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by yarra » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:10 am

So glad you've reminded us all of this, and clarified and updated the rules. That makes it more of a 'level playing field', so to speak. I enjoy the challenge of starting from scratch after the topic is announced, although sometimes I don't get anything finished in time for the deadline. :D Thanks for all the reading of our entries that you, and the other judges, do. That in itself must be a huge challenge! God bless you, Ellen

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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by alanrkane » Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:14 am

So also checking if you start even a number of lines then decide not on topic and do a new entry. What can we do with these lines previously formulated? So can I still use the idea just re-jig it or does it go into a literary black hole?

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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by Deb Porter » Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:31 am

Alan, I'm not totally sure what you mean. If you start something for the Challenge, but then change your mind, you can use it somewhere else--but I don't think that's what you're asking.

If you mean can you then take a previously started idea and use it for a different topic when one comes up, provided you only wrote a couple of sentences or something, that's not an issue. I mean, you never finished it and it wasn't posted anywhere. Quite frankly, no one but you knows that the opening sentences were from a previous idea.

It's when someone has written something completely and then goes and finds it when they see the topic because they think that will work well for the topic. They may change it a little here and there, or they may use it as is. That's the real problem.

But if I'm understanding what you're saying, what you said really isn't a problem because you do still need to write the thing pretty much from scratch.

Love, Deb
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by tracynunes » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:27 pm

Hi Deb, For the Inspirational Challenge, I've written something specifically for this challenge. It is a subject I have written about before, but it is a completely new piece top to botteom, written from a very different angle. It's not a reworked old article that I tweaked to make work for the topic. Would that be okay?
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by glorybee » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:54 pm

I'm not Deb, but I'll answer for her because I know without a doubt what her answer will be--yes, that's fine.

When I was writing for the Challenge, I believe I wrote nearly 10 pieces on my daughter's accident, all taking different approaches. That's not a problem at all.
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by tracynunes » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:53 pm

Thank you Jan! That helps a lot. :thankssign
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by Deb Porter » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:44 am

Yep. Jan's right. No worries at all Tracy.

Love, Deb
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by tracynunes » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:36 am

Thanks Deb! :thankssign
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by CatLin » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:09 pm

Just this week, my husband tried to convince me to rewrite a a story I've already written (and submitted) for the current challenge. He didn't understand when I told him I couldn't do that. I explained that the Challenge is to learn the topic, come up with an idea, and enter an article within a week. "But no one would know if you changed it enough. And are you sure you submitted it?" I would know, and it doesn't matter. I told him we were on an "honor system" when it comes to previously written material.
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by Deb Porter » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:19 pm

Love you, Cat.

It's one of those things that a lot of new members don't realise, but the heart of the Challenge is definitely a challenge.
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Re: Important Reminder - Previously Written Material

Post by CatLin » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:31 pm

Deb Porter wrote:... the heart of the Challenge is definitely a challenge.
And that's why FaithWriters is THE home for Christian writers. If we are not challenged to stretch and improve, we will never grow.
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