Discussion: Contests & Spacing Them Out

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to create this topic because I was having a conversation with friends recently about contests, and it seems that everyone seems to be on the same page about feeling a little exhausted with back-to-back contests, both from writing and trying to read and support everyone. I also had a good conversation with @Clover-Ross on IG through comments about this too about how this could essentially prevent burn-out and unfinished entries, etc (sorry to tag you like that, love I just remembered your forum @ and will take it out if you don’t want to respond to this post :blue_heart:).

We’re all obviously creative people, so it’s hard not to get inspired by the contest prompts Episode puts out every few months! But I do also think that Episode and its users would benefit from spacing them out a bit more.

I think this could allot more time for Episode and its judges to pick some winners when contests do occur, allow for more readers to read contest entries, and take some pressure off authors who do get inspired (or maybe even feel pressured for some reason) to enter every contest.

This is not a discussion to get rid of contests, but I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts.

Do you think everyone in the community along with the Episode team could benefit from spacing the contests out? Why or why not?

What would be a good “space” time between contests, in your opinion?

As always, let’s be respectful to each other! I’m interested to see what you guys think. I know we love contests on the forums, and as much as I love them, I personally think we all need a bit of a break lol.

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no not really. first it would either mean less time to write. or less contest each year.

also you do not need to enter in evry one. actually that would be kinda stupid. spically if you alredy has stories out there is not finish. then you are just digging a grave of stress.

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I wasn’t saying that the contest time to enter should be changed so the writing time would stay the same (I think it’s 2 months).

And I’m also aware that people don’t have to enter every contest! I do see it happening though, and obviously it’s the author’s prerogative but I think people may feel less pressured if contests are spaced out. Not everyone knows their limits, you know?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts though :blue_heart:

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I actually like that there’s a contest every two months. I can’t enter every single one due to life and also due to some of them just not inspiring me, but I like knowing I only have to wait two months to find out what the next one is :sweat_smile:

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That’s fair, I know a lot of us on the forums get impatient waiting to see what the next contest theme is :joy:

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Similarly, I like that the contests are back to back. Like stated, people don’t have to enter every contest. But, for those who don’t enter every contest or don’t like a certain theme/prompt, they can look forward to having another one out soon.

However, I would prefer if there was a specific time frame or released date.

EG:

  • MC -> Adventurous was 3 weeks.
  • Adventurous -> Clue was 1 week.
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I like frequent contests. A lot of them aren’t for me. Like the Missed Connections contest. Really not my cup of tea. I didn’t enter and I only read the mocking ones.

It’s nice to know I don’t have to wait long to see another contest that might interest me.

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I think 5 is an okay number for contests in a year. If anyone needs to take a break, I feel like that would be the reviewing team. But they announce the contests fast and easily. So I think it’s okay for them too.

About the unfinished stories thing… that’s not about contests, it’s about author’s schedule. Sometimes they feel more inspired for another contest and sometimes real-life comes first. I like contests, because they have a deadline, they force me to finish on time, and it’s just fun to join overall.

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No ones forcing you to join the contests so I really don’t get the point for this. And it just so happens we had another contest straight after another, it doesn’t happen a lot. @EliseC even stated it’s a contest every two months. 5 a year shouldn’t be a problem and it seems like a trivial complaint. There’s nothing to space out if it’s already spaced enough.

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I just feel like I’d be really pished off if I really disliked a contest and I had to wait a long time for another one to be announced

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I’m not complaining, love. Just stating what I’ve discussed and what other people have discussed :slight_smile: and seeing what people can do to prevent burnout, possibly.

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There’s nothing to burn out. :joy:

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A lot of my discussion comes from talking to reader and reviewer accounts who feel pressured to support and read every entry (and I do know accounts who do this every contest).

Again, I know no one has to do any of this but some people genuinely just do this because they want to support everyone.

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And there would be plenty of readers/writers like me who just wouldn’t be happy with the contest. If we reduced it to, say, 3 a year, that’s 4 months for a contest. Could you imagine wanting to join a contest and having to wait 4 months to find out if the next one suits you more than this one?

They’d have to start making vague prompts so that writers wouldn’t complain that there are so few contests and not many of them play up to their strengths

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Otherwise it would look like they’re favouritising 3 genres a year, which sucks for improving the diversity of stories we make.

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Oh I see. Well, I guess that’s them and their mindset on the contests because the Episode contests don’t really give off that at all

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To be honest, I think this comes down to live and learn. I’m sure a lot of us have at one point stretched ourselves to thin with obligations (whether it be Episode or school, work etc.). I don’t think it’s really Episode’s obligation to reduce contests for this reason.

Also, if contests are reduced to (for example) three a year, that would potentially make it easier for people to enter all of them which could lead to the likelihood of the same people winning increasing. People already complain about this. I can see people start going “There needs to be more contests so that more people have a chance to win” :rofl:. Or, they’d need to have more winners which will result in shelves that are so big that some stories get no attention.

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I don’t think they need to compact it to certain genres or favorite certain genres (although lately a ton of the contest prompts are just genre driven), but I see your point.

Definitely. If Episode could do anything to combat burnout, it would be to give us a vague idea of the genres they’re planning to cover in each contest for the year. That way people can choose wisely which they enter. We aren’t obligated to enter all of them, after all. I haven’t entered since Fantastical

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Fair point.

I know when I’ve stretched myself thin, which is why I barely enter contests most times bc it’s just too much.

It def is a live a learn thing, but you and I both know a ton of people don’t know their limits. But you are right, it’s not Episode’s obligation. Just thought it’d be an interesting discussion.