The H&V shelf is finally out, congrats to all the winners from here:
H & V : The Wizard’s Curse by Queen Neen
H & V : Bad Apple by Unchartedraider
H & V : Levity by Courtney Bre & Coni B
H & V : The Jungle by Amanda Michele
H & V : Dating Games by Tuesday Cross
H & V : Love & Let Live by S. Langdon
H & V : Magician’s Code by Isabella Costa
H & V : Songbird by Allison M.
H & V : Admit One by Simbellious
My personal favorite was Magician’ Code from all of the entries, I was happy to see it on the shelf. Though I was surprised Annabelle and Blurred Lines was not selected.
What are you thoughts? Do the winner stories fit the theme? Which ones are your favorites and why?
Hi! I was surprised and a bit disappointed when saw the list. Certainly I send congrats to all the winners (although I’ve read some of the selected stories and wasn’t thrilled). But I was disappointed to find out that all the chosen stories had at least 1k reads and mostly were written by well-known authors. This means that aspiring authors have no chance to get to the shelf… and thats not fair. I’ve read and reviewed a plenty of “H & V” stories, and there were many really awesome ones with interesting plots/ideas and well done directing, but the number of reads was significantly smaller. It seemed to me that the main value of the contest is in giving the authors a chance to get noticed, both by readers and Episode team. But the results of the contest made me think that nobody even looked in stories written by unfamous authors, despite how much good they were. If they had chosen at least several stories with a couple of hundread reads (or, maybe, even with number of reads about a hundred, but for a story with high retention rate and good idea/writing/directing) that would have inspired the starting authors, because it would have given them some hope. And such results make starting authors participation in contest really pointless.
I mostly agree with your opinion, however I never had illusions about small writers being selected. Sometimes it does happen, but I think the high number of entries in this contest pretty much reduced the chances of stories with less reads. That’s why I am only missing Annabelle and Blurred Lines from the shelf. They are both well-written stories and they have “enough” reads as well. Of course there are many other good stories out there, but I was sure they wouldn’t win with only a couple of reads.
Can’t disagree with you. But it’s really unfair towards starting authors. The struggle conditions are inequal… but still people had vain hopes. Moreover… yes, stories of famous authors are, probably, good, but these authors are already popular and have their audiences. Getting to shelf attracts more readers to a story… and I see a huge contradiction here, because it turnes out so that the attention is attracted to stories which are already popular and have many reads. Whereas awesome, but less popular stories, are doomed not to get the deserved spotlight. Isn’t the task of contest to discover gems? Or I just misunderstand the goal of contest holding?
Well, we all knew that reader engagement is an important factor in the contest. Popular authors attract more readers, more reads mean higher engagement rate, because they have a better percentage and also an existing audience who is more likely to finish their stories. If the readers are not interested in less popular stories, Episode can’t do much about it.
If I understand the retention rate correctly, it doesn’t depend on the number of reads, so this parameter puts all the contestants into equal conditions. The other thing is that up to some number of reads it is possible to provide a 100% retention rate only by doing read for reads. But it becomes impossible after some number of reads and this parameter becomes an adequate criterion of reader’s interest in the story. And the factor which significantly influences the retention rate is story length. It is easier to provide high retention rate for shorter stories. But the overall number of reads is not a good criterion for contest stories evaluation. Sometimes people read a story just because it is popular, but not because it’s really good. If Episode has a goal just to find something popular and make it even more popular… then they are on the right way. But being naive I thought that the goal of contest was to find new promising authors/stories and interesting ideas… and for this purpose the chosen criteria are absolutely incorrect.
Thank you very much! I just think it would be reasonable to make 2 shelves, say for authors with over and under 1K reads and have winners in each category. Thus, everyone will get their deserved place in the spotlight.
I am completely shocked that Blurred Lines isn’t on that list (I had it picked for the directing award lol).
To everyone saying that only “popular” authors were chosen- the author of H&V: Admit One only has 2.6k total reads across both her stories (and <2k on the contest entry even though it’s already been on the shelf for a few hours. No idea what it would have had when it was chosen.)
I haven’t read all the entries chosen. I’ve heard very good things about Songbird so I think I’ll read that first!
I cried (just a bit) - very sad not to be on the shelf. Oh well.
I feel like there’s hidden cap if a contest story gets to many reads like in the case of Blurred Lines, Annabelle and Love & Let Live, because at some point, they have more reads then they would get on the shelf. Saying this, I was really shocked that Love & Live was on the shelf, as it already had 20k+ reads before the shelf.
Nevertheless, I am happy for everyone on the shelf. But in addition to somewhat said before, I do not believe most of the authors above are ‘famous’ except Tuesday Cross and Langdon (note, I have no clue what they wrote on the top of my head, but their author names sound familiar). I only know of Queen Neen & Amanda for when they post about my contest entry and I was like Shoot these lowkey coming up to be famous authors just talked about my story a fangirl, and I won’t forget that because when graphing my reads, I noticed mini - spikes after they shared my story.
I’m on the fence about reading any, because I like stories where the choices don’t matter (I read for plot rather than choice), and I lowkey would be hecka surprised if any story had choices that didn’t matter.
Oh my God, please don’t cry!
I don’t think it will make you feel better, but I’ve read your story and it is very unique, you should be proud of it.
I think Coni B. is quite famous as well, but she is really talented too. Others may not be “famous”, but they still have quite a lot of overall reads and thousands of followers. Except for Simbellious, as @EliseC already mentioned.
If you decide to read any of the stories, share your thoughts
Some comments made me feel bad for the winners though. I understand what aspiring authors feel, I saw many amazing stories that didn’t win this or one of the previous contests. It’s discouraging but I can imagine how “known” authors feel when some of you guys say that the “famous” authors (how exactly do you define if the author is famous?) should get a separate shelf. While I don’t think it’s a bad idea, I feel that this ruins the joy of winning a bit. Known or unknown, the authors did their best to write a good story in time for the contest, and their entries are judged by the quality of this story only. Also, they probably have to deal with all the expectations of their readers, and no one wants to hear how they dropped the ball on the new story and how their previous ones were better.
I mean, being selected for the shelf is an achievement for any author, starting or experienced. Please don’t ruin this for them by saying that they already have enough recognition. I totally support the idea that there should be more opportunities for writers who have just started creating, but it doesn’t mean that the experienced ones should be forgotten. They have deserved this attention by their hard work in the past.
I agree and honestly I am a bit disappointed that there have been barely any comments about the winners yet. I share the opinion that popular authors have an advantage in the contests, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enter and they shouldn’t be acknowledged for their work.
I’m not sure but I think there was no separate shelf mentioned, but a kind of “quota” for small authors so that they could also get a place on the shelf. I think this a good idea, although I don’t know how it could be implemented.
Do you maybe have an opinion about the stories selected that you would like to share?