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Writing Contest Q&A
July 17, 2012 9:49:05am, Admin ArrBilly
So...we've recieved some questions regarding the writing contest.

Q: Is there a benefit to submitting early?
Yes, whoever submits a qualified story by Sept 1st will get 1000 points (in game of choice). If we have over 5 submissions by then, we'll provide an additional 4000 points to one submitter.

Q: Can we get our stories reviewed in advance?
A: No. Ask your friends, ask your colleagues. Anyone on the review board shouldn't give insight tho -- that may be kinda unfair.


Q: Are there specific themes you are looking for?
A: No. As long as it is withing the StarCrash Universe, then really anything is open. Talk from the perspective of a nanobot if you like. Or an altered Worker Pig. Anywhere on the timeline is fine. Even a little before and after. Long poems on what immortality means to you are fine to enter, but if they lack story elements, such as excitement, expect not to win.


Q: Are the ingame rules still applicable?
A: Mostly. Please no torture porn or the like as we are PG-13ish. Sexual themes are fine, more then usual, but please no penetration descriptions. If you're using other characters from the game, that's fine you can reference them, but I'd recommend getting them to sign off.


Q: I am working with another player to throw the voice of the prisoner in. When Submitting, can both names go on?
A: One player submits officially and would win the prize (if any). But a second name can go on for publishing purposes. Mainname with Secondname, type of thing. No more than that though. We can't have faction-created stories.


Q: Will the stories be included in canon? How close to canon do we have to stick? If a story is accepted and published, how does that affect canon? Does the story become part of canon? Or is it dependent upon some factor or other?
A: Yes. There are multiple levels of canon. These are sometimes refered to as Level 1, 2, & 3, but sometimes are called not proven, almost and concrete. The submitted ones who are not published will be not proven. The semi-finalists will all fall into almost. The finalist will be concrete. It's possible that some of them will advance a level or two if they are truly laser tight.


Q: Can it combine elements from both games (ex. A hypothetical ship using a hypothetical clown suit but making more sense) and dose it have to make sense canonically (ex. Spys captioning dreadnaughts or the like). Also, Can we tell a story from our own character as if he/she was truly immortal as the consul leads us to believe and tell a story from SB to SP
A: Yes, but good luck doing that and maintaining canon.


Q: Do we need permission from the entire faction to mention/reference them or their backstories or just the leaders?
A: To be clear, you don't actually need permission. It's a request, and I'd suggest just hitting up the leaders. No need to make this overly paperwork heavy.


Q: Can you expand on the IP issues - as in by submitting are we transferring copyright or a licence to the work?
A: Copyright is 100% SHG. We may allow non-competitive reprinting upon request i.e. we will generally agree that you can use it for references or post it elsewhere to promote the game, but not to make money. Sorry for being all monopolistic here but copyright laws are demanding...as in it demands we control all the IP or none of it. The only workaround to that is investing immense amounts of our time and our funds to IP Lawyers and we just can't afford to do that.


Q: Is there a preferred format for submission (file type)? Are there publication limitations on number of fonts/sizes etc?
A: MS Word or .txt is good. Please don't go crazy on layout/font/images.


Q: Will the final product be ebook, dead tree book, both? (If you have any idea yet)
A: Likely ebook, with some printed copies for prizes and/or promotion.

Q: Will you be acknowledging receipt of our stories?
A: Yes, via email.

Q: If you submit the story before Sept 1st and thus qualify for the 1000 points can you then alter/polish it after that date?
A: Yes, but only one revision is allowed.

Q: Are all the stories going to be published online?
A: Not every submitted story will be published online. Every shortlisted story will be published online and in print as well. We may ask for some edits for published stories so they fit in the canon. That would only be done after judging.

Q: Are there are any further details on the judging process?
A: The process will involve the stories being printed and then sorted into piles. Names of authors will have been removed at that point, and only referred to by story titles. The piles will be read by a judge who will note stories they think should be shortlisted. A second judge will read the same stories, and then the results will be compared. Repeat with all judges. Collectively they will put some stories forward for shortlisting.

Once the stories are shortlisted, some voting mechanic to be determined will be used.It won't be in-game polling as not all submissions are from players.

The exact number of those piles and judges depends upon final number of entries. This process is to remove any hint of favourtism, and style bias by authors. With the number of submissions, there will definitely be more than 5 stories shortlisted. And the timeframes will be longer for judging -- it's been a very successful contest with a lot of active entries. Awesome!

*****
We'll update and answer questions in this post. Again, please don't ask us to review your story. We can't.

July 17, 2012 7:08:31pm, Super Cthulhu
Some more questions to throw at you.

1) Can you expand on the IP issues - as in by submitting are we transferring copyright or a licence to the work?

2) Will including cats help our cause? (Only asking this because I forgot my second question).

2a) Linked questions. Is there a preferred format for submission (file type)? Are there publication limitations on number of fonts/sizes etc?

3) Will the final product be ebook, dead tree book, both? (If you have any idea yet)

July 18, 2012 2:37:31am, Acidic_TACO
I have a big one;
1. Can it combine elements from both games (ex. A hypothetical ship using a hypothetical clown suit but making more sense) and dose it have to make sense canonically (ex. Spys captioning dreadnaughts or the like).
2. Can ships drink the rum? (forgot my fourth question)
3. Do we need permission from the entire faction to mention/reference them or their backstories or just the leaders?
4. Can we tell a story from our own character as if he/she was truly immortal as the consul leads us to believe and tell a story from SB to SP (this is supposed to be #2)
:cheers:

P.S. 5. Dose it have to be thematically relevant in all aspects or can I mention Tacos? I really like tacos...
P.S.S. Is it bad I'm out of questions?
Thanks :cheers:

July 18, 2012 8:46:32am, Super Cthulhu
[quote][b]Hycaru Sky wrote:[/b]
3. Do we need permission from the entire faction to mention/reference them or their backstories or just the leaders?
[/quote]

To be safe I would be inclined to say get permission from everyone. That's fairly standard.

[quote]
P.S.S. Is it bad I'm out of questions?
Thanks :cheers:[/quote]

No, pretty sure that's not a bad thing :)

July 18, 2012 8:49:53am, makeinu
How close to canon do we have to stick?

If a story is accepted and published, how does that affect canon? Does the story become part of canon? Or is it dependent upon some factor or other?

If I write a story around a timeline event, say...

August 23, 2012 9:25:40am, Proteus454
(Ah, and we've made a few brief alterations to [url=http://www.snakeheadgames.com/?page_id=1512]the rules[/url] - now we're accepting the LAST submission you make, instead of the first. Just in case you noticed a spelling error or little plot hole at the 11th hour...)

August 27, 2012 8:01:21am, Turtle
If you submit the story before Sept 1st and thus qualify for the 1000 points can you then alter/polish it after that date?

August 27, 2012 4:17:48pm, Light Owl
Will you be acknowledging receipt of our stories? I submitted one several days ago and I keep worrying that my e-mail might not have gone through. I'd hate to miss out on the Early Bird prize because my e-mail client glitched on me.

September 27, 2012 9:45:37am, Super Cthulhu
Just wondering if there are any details on the judging process? (Pure curiosity).

Also, are all the stories going to be published online?

September 27, 2012 10:11:18am, Qilapid
[quote][b]Light Owl wrote:[/b]
Will you be acknowledging receipt of our stories? I submitted one several days ago and I keep worrying that my e-mail might not have gone through. I'd hate to miss out on the Early Bird prize because my e-mail client glitched on me.[/quote]

I believe that at this point there is someone over at the main SHG office tower* sending email confirmations.

*"Tower" may be a bit of an exaggeration.

September 27, 2012 10:14:41am, Super Cthulhu
[quote][b]Qilapid wrote:[/b]
I believe that at this point there is someone over at the main SHG office tower* sending email confirmations.

*"Tower" may be a bit of an exaggeration.[/quote]

No, I refuse to believe that it's an exaggeration!!

September 27, 2012 12:20:08pm, Qilapid
[quote][b]Turtle wrote:[/b]
If you submit the story before Sept 1st and thus qualify for the 1000 points can you then alter/polish it after that date?[/quote]

Yes, but only one revision is allowed.

September 27, 2012 12:31:16pm, Admin ArrBilly
Thanks Qil. Proteus is no longer with SHG, so we're a bit short staffed on this side of things. Apologies on late replies.

We highly encourage early bird submitters to resubmit the once if they want to update etc. BUT only the once.

@SC: Not every submitted story will be published online. Every shortlisted story will be, and in print as well. We may ask for some edits for published stories so that it fits canon. That would only be done after judging.

The process will involve the stories being printed and then sorted into piles. Names of authors will have been removed at that point, and only referred to by story titles. The piles will literally be read by someone, and they will note stories they think should be shortlisted. A second judge will read the same stories, and then the results compared. They will then put some stories forward for shortlisting.

Now, once the stories are shortlisted, we'll have a voting mechanic on SHG. We can't do it in game as not all submissions are from players.

The exact number of those piles and judges depends upon final number of entries. This process is to remove any hint of favourtism, and style bias by authors. With the number of submissions, there will definitely be more than 5 stories shortlisted. And the timeframes will be longer for judging -- it's been a very successful contest with a lot of active entries. Awesome!

September 28, 2012 9:06:09am, Super Cthulhu
[quote][b]Admin ArrBilly wrote:[/b]
With the number of submissions, there will definitely be more than 5 stories shortlisted. And the timeframes will be longer for judging -- it's been a very successful contest with a lot of active entries. Awesome![/quote]

Again, being curious, are you able to (when the deadline has passed) tell us how many submissions you have received?

October 14, 2012 4:48:52pm, Leon
Just out of curiosity... the contest ended 2 weeks ago. I know it was mentioned that with all the submission that judging would take extra long to narrow down the list for voting/printing.

Do you (AAB or admin type) have an estimated time frame for all of this?

October 14, 2012 6:48:14pm, makeinu
AFAIK, they're still sorting out judges and how to distribute the anonymized stories to them for review and ranking.

October 15, 2012 2:32:04pm, Qilapid
I do not currently have an estimate on the total time needed to judge all entries.

However, I do ask you to consider this: The contest judges all have full-time jobs which do not allow them time during this employment to read all the entries. Additionally, we ask them to make sure they are awake and alert and read all the entries with fresh eyes and not in marathon sessions all at once. This can be a time-consuming process. The judges want to make sure they perform a good job because we plan to publish these stories as well as awarding a substantial prize. We will err on the side of caution and care and time here. It will not be rushed.

October 15, 2012 2:50:33pm, Artume
I do appreciate this attention to detail!
:cheers:

October 15, 2012 6:05:49pm, Mister Waffles
[quote][b]Qilapid wrote:[/b]
I do not currently have an estimate on the total time needed to judge all entries.

However, I do ask you to consider this: The contest judges all have full-time jobs which do not allow them time during this employment to read all the entries. Additionally, we ask them to make sure they are awake and alert and read all the entries with fresh eyes and not in marathon sessions all at once. This can be a time-consuming process. The judges want to make sure they perform a good job because we plan to publish these stories as well as awarding a substantial prize. We will err on the side of caution and care and time here. It will not be rushed.[/quote]

Of course, I don't think anybody was questioning that. :P

Are the judges not part of the admin team? I don't recall any specific mention of how that was taking place.

October 15, 2012 7:08:37pm, Super Cthulhu
Thanks for the update Qil. I think we all want this to be a fair and considered process (apart from those of us who think our entries are obviously the best regardless :wink: ).

*takes off red shirt*
Waffles: I believe, based on no evidence at all, that they're farming out the judging to experts in the field. I really don't think the admin a) have spare time, b) want any bias to accidentally creep in.

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