Week 11: Winners

Eleven down, one to go. The second to last batch of winners is about to be announced.

Quite indulgently we asked you to write about what you loved most about Thanet Creative Writers. If I am honest, the thought “how can I ask people to blog about us” was how I ended up with “wouldn’t it be cool if we had a 12-week writing competition”. And the rest, as they say, was history.

Honourable mentions

Before we carry on, I’d like to give an honourable mention to Author Buzz. While not part of the competition there is a good post on that site all about us at Thanet Creative Writers. I know because I wrote it. Now on to the important folks – you wonderful writers.

Likewise, I’d like to shout out to L. L. Winder. Who might like to add Wedding anniversaries to the list of things that stop her writing. Congratulations guys. I wish you many more years of happiness together.

Top Three Posts.

In no particular order of sexiness, here are the three front runners for this week. Of course, that could be because there only were three entries that I found but even so…

I hope each and every one of those posts finds their way to /r/ThanetWinners2017 for the big vote off at the end of next week. (Hint, go and post them there you amazing writers)

Talking about the big vote off, if you still want to write for a theme that has passed you have one last chance to win by entering it into the big vote off. Just saying…

Winner of the best post

Here we are once again. Three great posts and I have to pick just one. Honestly, this is so hard. This section of the post has been blank for an hour now.

In the end, I had to pick one and it was the one I realised that I had liked so much that I had left a comment saying how easy it was to read.

This week’s winner, by a nose, is: It’s in the small print by Jess Joy.

Winner of the best comment

For sheer novelty value, I am going to award Benj the best comment award.

On the Night of the Hats post, his comment was not only interesting but in verse. That’s gotta count for something, right. Anyway, I liked it and so I am awarding the prize to Benj.

Winner of the most votes

As this week, the Reddit vote was a dead heat between our best post winner (Jess) and Niel, I think it is fair to award the people’s choice award to Night of the Hats, Thanet Love.

Closing thoughts

This week coming up is the last of the 12 themes. I challenge you all to write your best ever entry. Consider the gauntlet thrown down.

Over to you…

Plotting or Pantsing: What is best for me?

And so we come to the last theme of our competition. One last hurrah and then the big vote off. Back when I was thinking up this idea I thought that ending on a reflection about if planning or discovery writing was best was a great idea for platform building. You guys have taken things in an interesting direction and I have no idea what you will do with this one.

Competition Theme

This is the theme for this week. Closing date to have posted it online is midnight on Monday the 29th.

Plotting or Pantsing:
What is best for me?

You can write anything you want that fits that theme. As little or as much as you feel you need to. If you are new to this and joining us late welcome, thank you for joining us, please see week one’s post and the FAQ if you need more information.

Pantsing, for those that don’t know, is where you make up the story as you go and “fly by the seat of your pants”. The opposite is plotting, where you plan the plot out in advance. I used to be a pantser but I am more of a plotter these days.

How to win

There will still be a “best post” and “best comment” but as you might have realised by now, we no longer have a “most comments”. Instead, there will be a “most votes on Reddit” section. This week, and going forward for the last few weeks, the Reddit section will be a special one created for the competition. This is also where the grand, overall, winner will be chosen by you.

Sometime after this post goes live I will be picking out winners. I hope you guys have written something great for me to read (I’ve seen some of them so I know that you have).

The thing I love most about Thanet Creative Writers

This is, if I am honest, the one I have been looking forward to the most. Finding out what about Thanet creative writers (the blog, the group, or the charity) that resonates best with you guys.

Competition Theme

This is the theme for this week. Closing date to have posted it online is midnight on Monday the 22nd.

The thing I love most about
Thanet Creative Writers

You can write anything you want that fits that theme. As little or as much as you feel you need to. If you are new to this and joining us late welcome, thank you for joining us, please see week one’s post and the FAQ if you need more information.

I am particularly interested to see if the fiction writers can turn this into a fiction prompt or if you will write a more tranditional blog post. This posts image was actully taken during a Tea and Chat meeting. You can use it for your post if you want.

How to win

There will still be a “best post” and “best comment” but as you might have realised by now, we no longer have a “most comments”. Instead, there will be a “most votes on Reddit” section. This week, and going forward for the last few weeks, the Reddit section will be a special one created for the competition. This is also where the grand, overall, winner will be chosen by you.

Week 9 and 10 Winners

Here it is, a bit late but nevertheless here all the same. Two sets of winners.

Week 9: My Favourite book

The theme of Week 9 was My Favourite Book Ever. The thinking behind this theme from a platform building perspective was that telling readers about the writers that influenced you would help you connect with readers who like the same writers that you do.

There are only two winners for this week. This is because exactly zero people managed to get a link for it posted in the Reddit. An easy win missed by one and all. I am a titchy bit worried that I might have confused you with the change of direction mid-contest. If I’ve not been clear you will say so with a comment, right?

There was just one link in the Reddit but for a blog rather than a blog post. So, erm, no. I’m not going to count it.

Also, the lower than expected number of pings for this week had me checking all the blogs in the Directory, just in case I had missed one.

Week 9: Best Post

Although there were fewer entries for this week, the one that really got to me was Tiger by Jess Joy. It was a story that hits you right in the feels and at the same time points to a well-loved book too. By doing both Jess wins the crown for best post.

Week 9: Best Comment

There were some amazing comments to be found on each of the blogs that entered the week 9 competition. I was almost tempted to award the prize to a non-competitor. I have to say, you guys have some amazing readers. Well done.

After much deliberation, I was left with two comments and could not pick which one would be the winner. In the end, I picked Jess Joy’s comment so I could link to another deserving blog. Click through and give the post the comment is for a read. You will not regret it.

Week 10: What mistake do I make most with writing?

This theme, mistakes with writing, was designed originally as an introspective. Sometimes being honest with your readers about your weaknesses can be a good thing. As a platform builder, that vulnerability could act as a catalyst for connection.

As always you took the theme and turned it into a reading extravaganza that went places I could never have imagined when I suggested this contest.

After the original deadline, I even had a go with the theme on my new writing blog. Don’t worry, it would not be fair for me to even consider including it as an entry. I’m the judge for this after all.

As I noted for week 9, there are only two winners for this week too.

Week 10: Best Post

I have a confession. Stroking my ego works. I love getting mentioned. But this is not why this week’s winner was a winner. I loved the use of dramatic irony to also call back to all the other posts as a meta-index of entries. Brilliant. AUTHORity takes the crown in week 10.

Week 10: Best comment

Picking a “best” comment this for week 10 was even harder than week 9. I finally settled on this comment by Kentish Rambler. Not only was the comment on a post that deserved a mention (it is just as good as the winner) but it really typified a good comment.

Final thoughts

I think we all noticed how badly I have been lagging of late. In fact, last week there was no winner post nor a new theme. That’s my bad and I am sorry.

The new theme will be live on Tuesday in the normal slot. I needed to give myself a clear week off (to catch up). Hopefully, we are back on track with two weeks left to go. I hope, even if you do not write anymore or even if you join us late and only write for the last few themes, that you will come back and vote for a grand winner.

I was a bit disappointed that BradySpice aka L. L. Winder did not enter either of these competitions themes. I noticed recently that I have yet to award her a victory and she most certainly deserves one. There are only two left. So, please, hon, come back and write some more.

The fact is that without exception your posts have all be amazing and worthy of a prize. It was delightfully hard choosing a winner each week.

Well done to everyone who has kept up. At least 50% of the secret of writing is to just keep writing things down. Talking of which someone was so keen to get on with it that they have already written next week’s entry. Now that is commitment.

Competition thoughts

There should have been a new entry for this week. I know it is late. There should have been one (or is it two) sets of winners announced this week too.

I’m going to get to that in just a moment. Before I do, would you mind if I rambled on about what I have been so caught up in this last few weeks?

Brilliant, thank you.

A few weeks ago I started working on a new article. One of the big, well-researched ones that I have not written for a while. This one was about the author of the Martian. In the article, I focused on how Andy Wier used his platform to get a book and film deal (in the same week). One of the things that Wier did was publish his work as a serial.

One of the things that Wier did was publish his work as a serial. Serial writing seemed like a lot of fun and something I wanted to try.

As a typical over-thinker, I started thinking not about the easiest way to do this but the best way. In no time at all, I had cooked up a whole batch of ideas. One of those ideas was a project I had been sitting on for years and years – Author Buzz. I had owned authorbuzz.co.uk for a long time and at some point I let it expire.

My chosen domain name was available again so I registered it. But not before I suggested to Thanet Creative Writers that we start a portal for all writers. Both the idea of serial writing and the portal received a positive response and so I went ahead.

chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriter

What I did was create an entire WordPress network (like wordpress.com but just for authors). I then had to start writing and fixing and integrating and coding and theming like a wizard. I am not a wizard. This is much, much harder than I thought it would be.

This is an actual photograph of how I felt while I was doing this.

As a result, I have not kept up with everything. For that, I apologise. It was not fair to keep you guys hanging.

If it is okay with everyone, what I will do is pause the competition for this week. Which adds an extra week for the deadline of our last theme. During the week I will announce our winners and on Monday I will announce the winners of last week (and this week, now). I will also set the next theme ready to publish. In case you want to get writing, here was the sneak peek of what the themes will be. I had planned all twelve before we even started.

We have two themes and the grand vote off to go and I want to give you wonderful writers my full attention while it takes place.

I also want to shout out to Jess Joy for reminding me just how far from the straight and narrow I have wandered lately. I also want to thank not just Jess but AUTHORity, Artimis Blake, Kentish Rambler, L. L. Winder, Neil, and Anstey for your wonderful contributions. Reading your work has been a pleasure and a joy. I truly hope that all of you continue to write after the competition has ended.

Once more, please forgive this interruption. We will get back on track next week. That’s a promise.

What mistake do I make most with writing?

Which mistakes do I make? Which mistakes don’t I make! Seriously, you could probably compile my mistakes into a definitive “A to Z of how not to write”.

Okay, maybe that is something of an exaggeration. But I have made more than my fair share of howlers in my time. More than a few stories have ended up like today’s picture – derailed and broken.

Mistakes are the theme for this week’s competition as we enter week ten (or twelve).

Competition Theme

This is the theme for this week. Closing date to have posted it online is midnight on Monday the 8th.

What mistake do I make most with writing?

You can write anything you want that fits that theme. As little or as much as you feel you need to. If you are new to this and joining us late welcome, thank you for joining us, please see week one’s post and the FAQ if you need more information.

How to win

There will still be a “best post” and “best comment” but as you might have realised by now, we no longer have a “most comments”. Instead, there will be a “most votes on Reddit” section. You can vote on your choice of winner in a special Reddit created for the competition. I strongly encourage you to get in there and cast some votes. Those votes select not only the user’s choice for this week but they will count towards the grand winner in a few week’s time.

Just like the last few weeks, to get “best post” you need to have linked to this post (unless you write something which is unequivocally orders of magnitude better than all the rest combined).

Advice Winners

Here is some free advice: Keep track of things you need to do that have a deadline.

That was some advice that this week I should have been paying attention to. Which is somewhat ironic as the competition theme for last week was about advice.

It seems I managed to confuse myself and not publish the winners. So, better late than never, here they are. Before w get to that, let me say you cannot win if you do not enter. And now on with the show, as they say.

Winning by votes

To win this section you had to post a link in Writers of Thanet. This week was a tie between first place winner nwillcox and first place winner ProfBenj.

Winning comment

Picking a winning comment was, this week, the hardest thing for me to do. After much mind changing and debate I settled on this comment by Jess Joy. Comments that show that you read the post are always a kindness and (if you ask me) always welcome.

Winning post

I write poetry myself and my internal critic voices its opinions about all poets. Thus I am very critical of other poets inside my head that my one rule is that I keep my thoughts to myself. I’m telling you this to try and give you a feel for just how impressed I was with the winner this week.

Don’t, just don’t by Authority is something everyone should read. It is that good!

Over to you

We are about to hit the deadline for this week’s competition and I am about to do this all over again. Feel free to nag if I take too long posting the next batch of winners.

Who was your pick for best post and why?

 

Preview of coming attractions

Jump into your time machine and take a trip with me to three weeks ahead. That’s how many weeks are left in our competition.

In a dramatic break with tradition, I am going to disclose the themes for the next three weeks early. I will still post the theme post, for you to link to. Nevertheless, here is a sneak peek at what those themes will be.

  • What mistake do I make most with writing?
  • The thing I love most about Thanet Creative Writers
  • Plotting or Pantsing: What is best for me?

When the themes are all done, we will have a public vote for the best overall post. That will take place at a dedicated Reddit forum which you can find if you look hard enough. (Hint, I’ve linked it in another post).

So, that is what is coming up. Hopefully, this will help you turbo charge you creativity and finish the 12-week competition with a bang.

My favourite book ever

If you ask me what my favourite book is I am likely to tell you that it is whatever amazing book I am reading at the moment. That said, I am quite likely to quote you such books as “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. Our theme this week is favourite books.

Competition Theme

This is the theme for this week. Closing date to have posted it online is midnight on Monday the 1st.

My favourite book ever

You can write anything you want that fits that theme. As little or as much as you feel you need to. If you are new to this and joining us late welcome, thank you for joining us, please see week one’s post and the FAQ if you need more information.

How to win

There will still be a “best post” and “best comment” but as you might have realised by now, we no longer have a “most comments”. Instead, there will be a “most votes on Reddit” section. This week, and going forward for the last few weeks, the Reddit section will be a special one created for the competition. This is also where the grand, overall, winner will be chosen by you.

Just like last week, to get “best post” you need to have linked to this post (unless you write something which is unequivocally orders of magnitude better than all the rest combined).

Lots of Winners

Is it Friday already? Wow. Where did my week go? I honestly figured I would have the winners list published by Wednesday at the latest. This week’s theme of what stops us writing seems oddly appropriate now.

Last week we switched things up and pushed you to start using new social media outposts.

Best Post

Oh ye gods, this is the bit I do not find easy. You are too talented by half. Seriously, very few of you had ever written a blog post before much less ran an entire blog and written for it each week. I am so impressed with all of you that words fail me. Really they do. And, if you know me, you know that words rarely fail me.

This week, I have given up trying to pick one winner and have selected a handful. One overall winner and several category “prizes”.

In the category of most meta post

The award for most meta post of the contest so far goes to Artimis Blake who writes:

I will finish this later…

We have all been there, I think.

In the category of best reflective post

The award for the best reflective article (with a meta twist) goes to Night of the Hats. [1]

[1] Spoiler: I have read the entire thing.

In the category of experimental writing

The award for experimental writing goes to Braidy Spice. Along with this award, comes a link to our guide on linking.

In the category of Romance and Relationships

The award for best post goes to Kentish Rambler. I’d say Kentish has what it takes to write for the large women’s magazines market. This is a top quality entry in this category.

In the category of crime drama

The award goes to ProfBenJ. A great example of well-paid-off foreshadowing. There were some Dirk Gently moments there.

And the overall winner is…

The overall winner this week is Jess Joy with a well-executed sequel to her lady of letters. I am reminded of Irene in “A Lady of Letters” from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Best Comment

For best comment this week I am going to award the prize to the most prolific commenter: ProfBenJ. Seriously, you seem to be everywhere. Well done.

Reddit voted top post

This is the feature that replaced the “most comments” section. The idea is to vote for what you liked best. The community voted top post was a tie between Niel, ProfBenJ, and JessJoy who all got two votes.

Either you loved each other equally or no one voted for anyone else. I’m going to go ahead and assume the love was flowing freely.

I’m feeling talkative right now and am going to let you in a little secret. After the 12 weeks of this contest are over, there will be one grand winner. The final winner will be chosen by you out of all the posts written for the contest over the entire time it was running. Even ones that were written by me (I’d love to know how you think I stack up).

This final contest will take place here. That is a special Reddit set up just for us and this contest. You may post as many of your entries as you wish, vote for as many as you want, and you may do so from now. (Let’s see who was paying close attention, eh).

Over to you

Everyone who took part did a great job and deserves as much comment, upvote, like, and share love as you can give. Go show these amazing bloggers some serious love.