Have you entered a contest? If so, which?
Yes, College Days and Heroes and Villains.
Have you ever won a contest?
What do you think the point of contests are?
I think it’s really nice that authors can challenge themselves with writing in a specific genre, or coming up with an idea for a specific prompt. It’s also a great opportunity for smaller authors to get noticed. What I don’t like is how competitive they get sometimes when they see that their stories don’t get as much recognition as some other stories. I see this more like as a chance to support each other, since at the end of the day, they select more winners.
Do you think there should be more guidance on contest rules, and/or how to win a contest?
Yes, that would be nice. Episode must have gathered a lot of data during the past years, and while I know we probably won’t have a general formula for winning, they should know what things were common in the stories that get high reader retention for example.
Do you think there is a trend or formula for how to win a contest?
Haha, I just said there isn’t But I have some theories… Like, I’m pretty sure that regardless the theme, you should put in romance. The directing takes a big part in this: you definitely won’t win any contest with basic directing. If you are not a popular author, you actually have to promote your story, because reads do count, and no one will ever make me believe that it’s not harder to have a good retention with 200 reads than it is with 20K. Also, the more interactive you story is, the better.
Which contest has been your favourite/most interesting?
The themes I liked the most were H&V and Adventurous, but suprisingly those were not the ones that I have most of my favourite entries from. I think that would be the contests with fantasy prompts, so Fantastical and the current one, Magicka.
What prompts would you like to see in the future?
I would love to see a sci-fi theme, because many authors are so great at directing and they are very creative too, so I really think they could come up with amazing and interesting entries. Also, something family related would be nice too, because I don’t see a lot of stories in which family plays an important part. I remember that there was a contest for Mother’s Day, but it was years ago.
Do you think the standard for contest entries has increased?
Yes, especially directing-wise. As I said above, I don’t think you have a chance to win a contest if your directing is just average.
Do you think authors who have won multiple contest should take a step back and let others enter?
The thing is… I kind of do. But it’s really up to them, so this is rather what I’d do if I were in the same position.
Any contest entries you’ve read that you think should’ve won?
Oh God, so many! It would take me a while to come up with a complete list, and no one would read it anyway, so I’ll just share some entries from the most recent contest, K&T:
- Folk Devils by M. Jordan
- What Doesn’t Kill Us by Eysenck
- Oh My Paws by JiangShi
- The White Lie by Jesse W (though it was featured recently on another shelf)
And I had other favourites too, these are only the ones I actually thought would win, haha