I love how they communicate with us now
So if I’m understanding things correctly, we’re allowed to publish new chapters of our stories. We just can’t change the first three chapters until the winners are announced?
Just making sure. Thank you
Thank you for your hard work. We can’t wait to know the next theme!
oh man, I feel like it’s going to be a romance kinda contest. if you count the weeks and deadline + the days for the results to be out, it’ll be near February 14th, 2022 aka Valentine’s day! idk it’s just a thought lol
Ngl that would work for me because I have an unpublished story to do with Cupid However, it would be cool if it’s something totally different as well!! There’s tons of romance everywhere already lol.
I feel like it won’t be genre specific, lately they’ve had more “themes” rather than genre contests. Of course they’re always skewed to romance but hopefully it’s general enough that any genre can fit in!
Exactly my thoughts! Most of their contest themes try to be as open as possible.
I’d like to take a poll I’d like to know how many people have entries that are published and already approved by episode as well as the read count when approved.
- My story was approved with under 150 reads.
- My story was approved with over 150 reads.
- Still waiting for an approval.
- Doesn’t apply to me.
Mmm … how do I understand if my story has been approved or no? And what does “does not apply to me” mean?
Does not apply means that you didn’t enter the contest.
I know episodes usually send an email when they approve stories, I don’t know if that is the same for contest entries.
Is there any other criteria for approval other than reads? cuz my DL entry had >150 reads but I didn’t receive any such mail
This is for the SWY contest, supposedly it needs to have 100 reads for review of a contest entry, my story currently sits at 267 reads, after the reads comes the contest criteria.
Here is the canned message I received from Episode today.
What is the process of running a contest?
Contest entries go through a bunch of steps to make it to the winners’ shelf in the app. Each story must pass each step in order to make it on to the next one. Once the entry window closes the stories go into a phase of retention testing which allow readers in the app the chance to play through them. This period usually lasts around 7-14 days after which stories move through the following phases:
1. Does the story meet the naming requirements to be considered for entry? Did the author make prohibited changes to the story after the entry deadline?
Each contest’s guidelines lays out the naming requirements for stories. We then check stories for significant changes against the contest guidelines after the entry deadline (adding chapters, art or story cards are the most common). If a story is not named correctly for the contest or made changes against the guidelines (this is out of fairness to all the entrants), the story is disqualified and is not evaluated further. It’s pretty uncommon for stories to be disqualified this way. For context somewhere between 2 - 4 stories are disqualified at this step.
2. Was the story first published during the contest entry window?
If the story was first published before the contest was announced or after the entry window closed the entry is disqualified and is not evaluated any further. It’s rare for stories to be disqualified this way. For reference, we typically disqualify 4-6 stories at this step. About half are published before the contests were ever announced and about half after the entry deadline closes.
3. What is the entry’s Reader Retention or Reader Engagement on the first 3 chapters?
Check out our Episode Explained: Reader Retention to learn more about what this is and why we use it. Because the primary goal of contests is to challenge our authors to create stories that our reader community will love, we use reader retention as an objective, numerically based, method to judge reader interest in entry stories. We believe if a higher percentage of players read further into the story, it suggests they enjoy it more. Stories who meet the benchmarks for their first three chapters move on to the next phase. _
- Something to note: Stories must get around 100 reads for the calculations to be statistically valid. From testing we know that if a story does not get at least 100 reads it is unlikely to be a hit with Episode Readers.
- For context approximately half of all contest entries do not earn the necessary number of reads. Of the remaining half of entries that do get at least 100 reads, 15 - 30 of those stories have high enough retention to move into the next phase.
- The single biggest reason stories are eliminated from contests is because readers do not go past the first or second chapters. You can read our article Episode Explained: Tips for Getting Reads for ideas on how to increase the number of reads on your stories as well as for how to keep the readers interested in a story.
4. What is the story’s Rubric Score?
Our article Episode Explained: Grading Rubric , lays out what our grading rubric is and how we use it. Every story that makes it past the initial 3 phases has at least the first 3 chapters reviewed by Episode staff. We grade it using the rubric, check it for potential Content Guidelines issues and fit to contest theme.
- In order to be eligible for the winner’s shelf, entries must have at least a 3.0 average score on the rubric.
- In most contests 2-3 of the finalists are ultimately disqualified despite having high retention and rubric score because they do not fit the contest theme. This typically means that in the first 3 chapters of their they do not address the theme of the contest. For example - in Heroes and Villains there were stories that did not introduce the heroes or villains at all. In Fantastical there were stories that did not introduce any fantasy elements.
- Another 2-3 entries are disqualified for having significant content violations. Graphic sexual content and using Copyright materials or Intellectual Property are the most common.
At the end of these 4 steps we are typically left with somewhere between 6 - 18 stories that get featured on the winner’s shelf. The last thing we do is pick the winner for Best Director. In order to be eligible for the Best Director designation the story must have an average Rubric Score of at least 3.5 AND a 4.0 on the Visuals/Directing score specifically. There are generally 2-3 stories per contest that fall into this category. The staff who review the stories get together and discuss which stories really wowed them with directing and we come to a consensus to pick the winner.
267 reads and still not reviewed.
If it helps, my story was reviewed at under 100 reads, but that was simply because it had reached the top 100 in the genre (which I know this sounds impressive, but my story’s genre doesn’t have as many stories as genres like romance and fantasy so ranks are pretty easy to reach in it). If your rank is sitting at about, say 105 in your genre currently, they’ll review your story so that it can get into the top 100 and appear on the app as trending. It also makes it a lot easier if people have spent gems.
I don’t think my story being reviewed has anything to do with the contest at the moment because it was less than a week into the deadline and since I submitted it on the last day, I don’t think they would’ve had time to get through to mine (assuming they read them in order and assuming mine will qualify if it has enough reader retention, which I don’t know that it does). Since I won’t be updating until after judging, I won’t know if it’s been reviewed by the contest judges themselves (unless they happen to send another review update).
(Basically, long story short, don’t sweat it if it hasn’t been reviewed yet whilst others may seem to have been; it’s most likely due to normal Episode reviews rather than contest reviews)
Congratulations on being reviewed.
But frankly there is nothing more irritating then seeing stories of the same contest with the exact same amount or less reads then your story already approved and trending. (even if it is the recently updated list) I have entered 3 contests and none of my entries have ever been reviewed, if they don’t get reviewed and allowed to trend they have zero chance of winning. So although it may not be a big deal to someone who has already been reviewed and approved, it is a big deal for someone who hasn’t because they are not being given a fair shot to even place.
Not trying to sound rude, so I hope my comment does not offend you.
Hey, I’ve entered contests before so I can help I think! Episode reviews your story when it has the 100 minimum reads as well as the right amount of retention, so you could have 300 reads and not enough retention or 150 reads and more than enough. In short, having 100+ reads isn’t necessarily enough.
Also, episode has been very back and forth about reviews lately. I know people who’ve had to wait weeks and even months and people who’ve waited a few days. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it so there’s always the chance they review you in the next week or two!
No offense taken, because I’ve been in the same shoes. However, I never said it was no big deal, and I don’t think it’s fair to assume that people who have been reviewed don’t care.
My last contest entry was reviewed too for the same reasons, but I still didn’t win, and the reads didn’t change either. Just because my current entry has too I haven’t seen the reads go dramatically up any more than they did to begin with–the reads are still, for the most part, people I have on Instagram who want to support me.
I also know people who won in previous contests who didn’t get reviewed or on the trending section until it was done for the contest, which was a nice surprise for them.
Well I know my reads are currently 267 reads, my 1st chapter has been bouncing between a 44-47% retention rate with the other 2 chapters for judging at 85% and 80% retention, I have currently had 292 gems spent on my story as well.