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Thread: AW WESTERN CONTEST - WIN PRIZES & BROADEN YOUR GENRE HORIZONS!

  1. #1
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    AW WESTERN CONTEST - WIN PRIZES & BROADEN YOUR GENRE HORIZONS!

    Oh, my! How marvelous of you to come. What we got here is a contest with some lovely prizes and an exciting challenge. But, don't let me put you off -- have a read of what's asked and what's on offer and know that the Western Contest is now open!


    The Contest

    All you need to do is write an original story (minimum 1000, maximum 1500 words) that's based in any of the Western genres. This means you can flex your creative muscles and work on Horror West, Weird West, Sci-Fi West, Modern West, Australian West, Memoir West, Classic West -- well, you get the idea.

    Any type of Western is allowed here and there is no theme other than that. The idea is to bring the genre to the attention of those who would not normally give it a go. So, watch some Western films, read some Western fiction, have a look in the Western forum, explore the genre in all its wonderful permutations, put your own spin on it and come give the competition a go!

    1500 words or less and a foot in the Western genre is all the competition is asking for. Who knows, you might could really start thinking about what the purpose of the Western genre is. You might see how relevant it is, how cool it is and how funny it can be, too. You might even learn to love it -- or, of course, you might could hate the genre and win some prizes anyway!

    So what have you got to lose?


    The Prizes


    1st Place - 30 US Dollars in Amazon Gift Tokens & the following three books:

    ............... .Valdez Is Coming - Elmore Leonard
    ...............
    ............... .The Virginian - Owen Wister
    ...............
    ............... .The Sisters Brothers - Patrick Dewitt


    2nd Place - 20 US Dollars in Amazon Gift Tokens & a choice of two of these books:

    .................Valdez Is Coming - Elmore Leonard
    ...............
    ............... .The Virginian - Owen Wister
    ...............
    ............... .The Sisters Brothers - Patrick Dewitt


    3rd Place - 10 US Dollars in Amazon Gift Tokens & a choice of one of these books:

    ............... .Valdez Is Coming - Elmore Leonard
    ...............
    ............... .The Virginian - Owen Wister
    ...............
    ............... .The Sisters Brothers - Patrick Dewitt


    Should any of the winners come from countries other than America, the Amazon gift tokens will be (after the exchange rate is applied) rounded down to the nearest currency equivalent available in your countries Amazon store.


    Rules

    • Entrants must be members of AW in good standing and have a join date on or prior to January 15, 2012.
    • One entry per member.
    • Entries Must be the authors own work
    • Word count for entries is 1000-1500 words -- though a 10 percent overspill either way will be allowed.
    • Entries must be a new and previously unpublished work.
    • Entries from WIP's are not allowed.
    • Entires will be posted exactly as entered – except that they will all be posted in the same font. Please make sure your spelling and formatting are exactly as you want them before you submit. (Use Preview Post before you send). Other than checking word count, I will not proofread or edit the entries. You are responsible for everything at time of sending -- from content to format.
    • All AW members in good standing who have a join date on or prior to January 15, 2012 are allowed to vote.
    • Entrants are not permitted to vote for their own entry.
    • To avoid any shenanigans, promote honesty and bring Western Books to the masses, if you are a winner, but decline the books you won't win the Amazon gift token and will be disqualified. For example, if the first place drops out, each subsequent entrant will move up a place thus: Second would become first. Third becomes second and the fourth place person will move into the prizes and become third. Anyone disqualified will still have the glory of being voted best, but not the prizes or placing.

    Entrants must vote to be eligible to win.

    I strongly discourage block voting or using secondary accounts to skew the vote. Please do not do this.


    How to Enter

    Using the board's private message function, send me your entry by February 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM E.S.T (know your time zones).

    The subject line of the PM should be: ENTRY: THE WESTERN CONTEST.

    The body of the PM should contain the title of the story and the story itself. Entries will be posted in the order they are received, be submitted anonymously and be assigned a number and use the title the author chooses (if you submit without a title, it will be creatively called Untitled).

    Taking into account natural disasters, sudden death and unpaid internet/electricity bills, I will post the entries together in a single thread in the Western SYW forum sometime on March 1st, that thread will then be locked and the voting will open.


    How to Vote

    Once the entries are posted, give them all a good read and then send me your vote via the sites private message function – one vote (consisting of your top three entries) is allowed per AW member in accordance with the voting rules.

    Using the board's private message function, send me your entry by March 15th, 2012 at 11:59 PM E.S.T (know your time zones).

    The subject line of the PM should be: VOTE: THE WESTERN CONTEST.

    In the body of the message, you vote will include your top three stories in order of preference from first to third. List both the entry number and the title. For example:

    9. The Unfortunate Fate of J.R Hartley
    2. Gunfight at the Pink Coconut
    5. The Night Bernard Hamster's Electronic Chaps Did Him a Fatal Mischief

    First-place votes score three points; second-place score two points; third-place score one point.

    The three entries with the most points will take Gold, Silver and Bronze. In the event there are more than three entries tied for the first three places I will seek the opinion of a board moderator/admin/owner who has not entered the competition to choose the final placings. If no moderator/admin/owner is available for this task, I shall ask my mother to choose. It is possible she will use the named paper in the hat technique.

    Dependant on the volume of entries, the voting period will last roughly two or four weeks. The length of voting period will be announced (and updated in this thread) when the entries are posted.

    At the end of the voting period, I will tally the votes, post complete results with vote totals for every entry, and announce the winner and the two runners-up.

    If you are in the top three, I'll need a mailing address for the books and email address for the Amazon gift token. I'll then either mail the prize to you myself or have it sent from an online distributor.


    Any questions?

    If you have any further questions (or -- as is likely -- see any glaring errors in this post) please ask/notify me either by PM, or here in this thread.


    Got it? Good.


    So now it's over to you. Get those fingers tap-tap-tapping or that pen write-write-writing. The Western competition is go!

    Good Luck!


    Future Events

    The Western Prompt in March will be to work on and workshop entries for the Hillerman contest. The competition is a short story (2,500 words) and novel length contest that seeks Mystery/Western works preferably set in New Mexico and has a 20 dollar entrance fee but some nice prizes, too.

    Hope to see you there.
    Last edited by HarryHoskins; 03-01-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    i luv you giant bear statue Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    This is pretty cool. I have a question! What is the essence that makes something western (for the purposes of this contest)? A lawless frontier? Cool brimmed hats and long swishy jackets? Riding horses in a desert? Fun old-timey bad grammar dialogue? Something else? Indefinable, but you know it when you see it? Thanks!

  3. #3
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    What is the essence that makes something western (for the purposes of this contest)? A lawless frontier? Cool brimmed hats and long swishy jackets? Riding horses in a desert? Fun old-timey bad grammar dialogue? Something else? Indefinable, but you know it when you see it? Thanks!
    All of the above, and more.

    For this competition, the Western Genre is going to be pretty open to interpretation. No one will be disqualified for a tenuous Western entry. The idea is that anything can be mixed and mashed with the western. If you feel you are writing a western and can back it up with why its a western -- then its a western.

    Let me clarify.

    Contestants who are unsure of the genre can go any way they like in ascertaining what Western is. It is up to each individual how much they choose to engage in understanding what a Western was, is, and could be. It is up to each individual to define what they are writing. I have, and will, offer ideas and routes to take, but in the end, the individual is responsible for the clarification of the genre if challenged.

    To help anyone struggling, here are three possible routes to take --

    *Write something based on current perceptions of what a Western (mixed up with other genres or not) is.

    *Do a little investigation into the Western Genre and all its permutations so as to work it or subvert it.

    *Think about the Western genre using their grey matter and write something they could argue in a solid and strong way is a Western.

    So, although I am offering guidance, the main idea is that the writer will not only discover the Western genre for themselves, but create the genre for themselves. This may happen during preparation and research, or this may happen during writing or even after they have written and submitted their piece. Any or either way, the entrants to the contest will have thought about genre and be able to push the ideas they have engaged with into both their future writings and any other sphere it may be applicable to.

    By doing this, the contest can be a simple bit of fun that aims to rescue a moribund and brilliant genre. It can also work at getting people to step into another genre, broaden their horizons and make them think about genre itself. The plan is to get some great stories and make people think.

    The definition of Western is, therefore, entirely up to the entrant. If they are happy with what they have written and understand it to be the Western Genre (or a mix of genres), and can stand by that decision, then its all right by me.

    I hope entrants will take on the task
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  4. #4
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Just to clarify ...

    A. Members do not have to submit to the contest to be able to vote - BUT - submitters must vote to be able to win. Correct?

    B. Since entries are being pmed to you, new members who joined in January and don't yet have enough posts for SYW can still enter the contest. Correct?

    C. There is a desired 1500 word limit with a 10% overspill - what about minimum length? Any requirements, i.e., would a hundred word drabble be okay?

    D. Will the thread be locked after the entries are posted to avoid comments and crits while the voting is going on?

    Thanks for responses to these questions. Puma
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  5. #5
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Hey, Puma. Hope this answers your questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    A. Members do not have to submit to the contest to be able to vote - BUT - submitters must vote to be able to win. Correct?
    To define the terms you use.

    *A member is someone not entering the competition, just voting.

    *A submitter is an entrant in the competition.

    If this is correct, then yes, you have it right.

    For the non-entrants -- this method aims to engage them in the genre and the contest.

    For the entrants -- this method encourages further involvement in the contest, helps with a spread of votes, and ensures entrants don't abstain from voting to increase their chances of winning.

    Block voting and tactical voting are strongly discouraged.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    B. Since entries are being pmed to you, new members who joined in January and don't yet have enough posts for SYW can still enter the contest. Correct?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryHoskins View Post

    Rules

    • Entrants must be members of AW in good standing and have a join date on or prior to January 15, 2012.
    Entrants, by close of competition, will have been here 46 days. This is long enough to ..

    A - Test their good standing.

    B - Get to 50 posts.

    C - Get properly involved with the forum due to engaging with a site competition.

    Finally, I will be posting their entries in the thread, not them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    C. There is a desired 1500 word limit with a 10% overspill - what about minimum length? Any requirements, i.e., would a hundred word drabble be okay?
    Good catch. A piece that is too short might have an advantage due to the human type laziness type laziness in the voting process. I will edit the OP and the other threads so that the rules state a minimum 1000 and max 1500 word limit with 10 percent overspill either way is required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    D. Will the thread be locked after the entries are posted to avoid comments and crits while the voting is going on?
    Quote Originally Posted by HarryHoskins View Post
    Taking into account natural disasters, sudden death and unpaid internet/electricity bills, I will post the entries together in a single thread in the Western SYW forum sometime on March 1st, that thread will then be locked and the voting will open.
    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    Thanks for responses to these questions. Puma
    My pleasure. Please let me know about any other ambiguities or inconsistencies as and when you find them.
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  6. #6
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Boy, I missed the "thread will be locked" in your post and I even looked for it. Good going. Puma
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  7. #7
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    What an amazingly timely thing to cross my field of attention. A pool I have not yet dipped my toe into!

    I need to get busy to make the deadline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.


  8. #8
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    Hmmmm.

    might give it a go.

  9. #9
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    What's the deadline?

  10. #10
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    Nevermind, I read more carefully.

    I want to do it. Never done western before. And with my new WIP, webpage & now writing The Voice reviews for Reality Shack, I'm not sure if I'll be able to. But I just might.

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    yup. done and done.

    proud i am.

    eta, dont understand what the below bit means

    "To avoid any shenanigans and promote honesty, if you don't take the physical book (or E-book) you won't win the Amazon gift token and will be disqualified. For example, if the first place drops out, each subsequent entrant will move up a place."
    Last edited by Paul; 01-29-2012 at 05:06 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    This is pretty cool. I have a question! What is the essence that makes something western (for the purposes of this contest)? A lawless frontier? Cool brimmed hats and long swishy jackets? Riding horses in a desert? Fun old-timey bad grammar dialogue? Something else? Indefinable, but you know it when you see it? Thanks!
    well that's what i went with...



  13. #13
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    Still waiting for someone to tell me if a fan fic of Fire Fly is allowed or if it's reserved for Robeiae?

  14. #14
    Wonderfully Irreverent Dr.Gonzo's Avatar
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    I'm all over it.
    In a closed society where everybody's guilty,
    the only crime is getting caught.
    In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

    -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  15. #15
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    eta, dont understand what the below bit means

    "To avoid any shenanigans and promote honesty, if you don't take the physical book (or E-book) you won't win the Amazon gift token and will be disqualified. For example, if the first place drops out, each subsequent entrant will move up a place."
    It's to make sure winners get something Western to read, to avoid three sockpuppet accounts entering and winning, to try and discourage friends and family voting for each other (entries will be anonymous) and if people are giving their mailing address (or email) it was, in my opinion, more likely they will be honest in entering and voting.

    If any of the people who come in the top three places choose not to have the book, they will be disqualified and the fourth placed competitor will move into the prizes. Of course, you'll still have the glory of winning, but no prize.

    Sure, not the greatest of rules. And I am sure there are ways round it, but there it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince524 View Post
    Still waiting for someone to tell me if a fan fic of Fire Fly is allowed or if it's reserved for Robeiae?
    Sorry I'm late, Vince.

    Fan-fic is not allowed on AW as far as I am aware, so I'm afraid no fan-fic for the Western contest. Entries should be the authors own work as stated in the rules.

    Hope that doesn't disuade you from giving it a go and glad to see people taking an interest.
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  16. #16
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Got my story ready. I might do a second one and see which I like better, since we have some time yet
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryHoskins View Post
    It's to make sure winners get something Western to read, to avoid three sockpuppet accounts entering and winning, to try and discourage friends and family voting for each other (entries will be anonymous) and if people are giving their mailing address (or email) it was, in my opinion, more likely they will be honest in entering and voting.

    If any of the people who come in the top three places choose not to have the book, they will be disqualified and the fourth placed competitor will move into the prizes. Of course, you'll still have the glory of winning, but no prize.

    Sure, not the greatest of rules. And I am sure there are ways round it, but there it is.
    Ok, i might need to re-read the rules etc. But what 'physical book'? the Valdez is Coming book? (one of my favourite westerns btw! so i will accept that book!)

    ETA!! Ok, think i understand. you want to ensure real people vote, hence you require a real mailing address? Gotcha.
    Last edited by Paul; 01-30-2012 at 02:44 AM.

  18. #18
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    Ok, think i understand. you want to ensure real people vote, hence you require a real mailing address? Gotcha.
    I want real people who aren't the same person entering the comp. I figure the good faith is a real address. I'm going to take out the option of the E-book. I think that, and my awful explanations, are confusing matters.
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  19. #19
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearilou View Post
    What an amazingly timely thing to cross my field of attention. A pool I have not yet dipped my toe into!

    I need to get busy to make the deadline.

    Amazingly marvelous to have you thinking about entering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Gonzo View Post
    I'm all over it.
    Even better!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    Got my story ready. I might do a second one and see which I like better, since we have some time yet
    Jackpot!
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  20. #20
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Hey, is there any age rating we should shoot for? I keep telling one of my characters he shouldn't talk like that, but he just keeps on going. Do I need to wash his mouth out with soap or let him have is way?
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  21. #21
    Le sigh. Tedium's Avatar
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    I'm definitely in. I think it'll be a lot of fun writing western. A nice change of pace at least. Here's to hoping.

    Thanks for putting this together.

    Side note: How do I join the AW Contest user group? There is not join button (that I saw) and I'd like to be kept abreast of these things in the future. If it wasn't for dpaterso's signature, I would have missed out on this.

  22. #22
    In search of distractions Marya's Avatar
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    Sounds good -- I started writing my story last night and look forward to reading other entries.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW bkendall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedium View Post
    I'm definitely in. I think it'll be a lot of fun writing western. A nice change of pace at least. Here's to hoping.

    Thanks for putting this together.

    Side note: How do I join the AW Contest user group? There is not join button (that I saw) and I'd like to be kept abreast of these things in the future. If it wasn't for dpaterso's signature, I would have missed out on this.
    pm harryhoskins. He will invite you. I would but I'm not sure I can. The social group is more comprehensive, but he updates the subforum here as well. BTW, welcome!
    It's ok. Just call me bk.

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  24. #24
    Straw-fed HarryHoskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    Hey, is there any age rating we should shoot for? I keep telling one of my characters he shouldn't talk like that, but he just keeps on going. Do I need to wash his mouth out with soap or let him have is way?
    No age rating for the competition. Though an adult content header would be appreciated when you PM me the piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedium View Post
    I'm definitely in. I think it'll be a lot of fun writing western. A nice change of pace at least. Here's to hoping.

    Thanks for putting this together.

    Side note: How do I join the AW Contest user group? There is not join button (that I saw) and I'd like to be kept abreast of these things in the future. If it wasn't for dpaterso's signature, I would have missed out on this.
    Glad to have you in saddle, Tedium. Have sent an invite and will open up the group to all comers on the first of Feb. Anyone else who wants an invite before then PM me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    Sounds good -- I started writing my story last night and look forward to reading other entries.
    Good to hear it, Marya.

    Quote Originally Posted by bkendall View Post
    pm harryhoskins. He will invite you. I would but I'm not sure I can. The social group is more comprehensive, but he updates the subforum here as well. BTW, welcome!
    Thanks for the able assist, BK. Good work.
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW bkendall's Avatar
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    Harry, just wanted to ask: entering this comp does not constitute publishing and therefore eliminate our entries here from being used for later competitions off site, does it? I think the hillerman one is a novel length comp, but I'm just covering the bases, you know?
    It's ok. Just call me bk.

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