View Full Version : AW Idol

04-04-2008, 12:18 AM
AW Idol was a board wide contest. There was a forum dedicated to it while it was active (in 2005). This forum is invisible now.

Here's the link if you would like to read what many people at AW consider the ultimate board contest.


I'd like to see some discussion from those who participated in the contest on this thread. It's a great opportunity to tell us (who were not AW members in 2005) about the experience.
Please share your AW Idol memories with us.

04-04-2008, 12:55 AM
I helped build the forum itself. We had some interesting criteria, like setting it up so that everyone could view the finalists subforum, but only the finalists themselves could post there.

Then there was VOTE_BOT, the strange entity that zoomed around the boards reminding everyone to vote. I made sure I voted. Even though it was a lot of reading, it was a lot of fun. :)

04-04-2008, 01:05 AM
Good times, even if Three and I needed new glasses by the end of the submission period...

*sigh* I miss Vote_Bot. Kick the baby.

04-04-2008, 05:30 AM
I was one of the ten finalists. Which totally amazed me. The night they posted the top ten (out of 300 or so entrants) I was not home. I was at my son's school because he was singing in one of the high school's musicals.

When I got home that night, I was really curious to find out who the finalists were. I was thinking this: If I don't make it into the top ten, it will be a little disappointing, but at least the pressure will be off to write one story per week. And If I DO make it into the top ten, that will be really exciting, BUT it will be so nerve-wracking having to compete with all of these very talented writers.

So I logged on to AW and nervously checked out the top ten list. Oh my God, I am one of the finalists! My blood pressure shot up and my heart started pounding. I was happy but panicking about having to do all of that writing. Well, perhaps doing a lot of writing, I should say. It was a matter of staying in the contest. If you were eliminated in a given week, that would be the end of the writing you'd be doing.

So for our FIRST piece of writing, the theme was: Crossroads. Write a story in which the main character comes to a crossroad in his/her life. I can't remember how many words it had to be, maybe 1000 to 1500 words or so. I decided to write an essay--a personal experience. My thought process was to write something very emotional, something that would grab the readers and stay with them. When you have to compete with very talented writers, you have to be thinking about how to compete to stay in the contest. I thought: I'm going to write something that will make them cry! If I make it through the first round, I'll write something funny the next time. That was my logic.

So I made it through the first round. The second theme was Misunderstandings. I may have misunderstood the assignment because I didn't fare so well the second time out. I tried to write a funny story but I think I didn't put enough time into it. There was a time crunch, had to get it done in a week or so, and I had a lot of things to juggle in my home life. But it was good experience--having a time limit, having to edit, getting it in on time.

I got eliminated in the second round. It was very disappointing. It was a rainy day and I was totally bummed out. I left the house for the whole day because I didn't want to face anyone on the boards. I just needed to take a break.

Later that day I was able to face people again. I continued to vote in the Idol competition, reading all of the entries and was somewhat glad I didn't have to compete anymore. Now I know how those singers on American Idol must feel. There is a lot of pressure to do well.

But all in all it was a great experience and I am very glad I was able to participate.

04-04-2008, 11:23 AM
I was one of the ten, too. Like Rhymegirl, I was shocked I made it that far, too. There were so many entries in the first place, I remember thinking Three and Sara were insane for volunteering to vet them.

I remember reading everyone's entries for the week and thinking damn, I'm out for sure, that's way better than what I came up with. I also remember William torturing eveyone by posting his at the last minute. It was torture, to me at least, because his entries were always stellar. And I think he'd like to torture people, but anyway.

I came in fourth, and I knew I was out that week the minute I saw the topic: comedy. I never was able to be funny on command.

That contest was the first time I'd been forced to be creative on schedule, and it was amazing to me how effective BIC actually is. Every week I didn't think I'd come up with something, and every week I did, and that was the best part for me - being forced to produce and actually doing it. It wasn't always great, or good even, but it was something.

I recall a few stories in particular (and no, I'm not cheating and re-reading the thread:)) that must have been great because I still remember them. William wrote about Poe and the Halloween rituals at his grave, that one was fantastic. Joanne wrote about a teacher she'd had, it was a beautiful piece. I wish I could remember more of them; now I really will have to go back and read them all.

It was freaking amazing how many people participated, commented on the entries, threw rep points around. Proved to me that AW was a real community.

Another cool thing for me from that contest is that one of my entries turned into a novel. I finished the first draft last Sunday. So at least I have someone to blame for it now:)

And whatever happened to that guy who made it into the contest and never participated? What was his deal? Anyone know?

Mostly, though, I remember being wowed every week by everyone else's entries, and feeling very lucky to have been a part of it.

04-04-2008, 05:50 PM
I remember it like it was yesterday.

04-04-2008, 05:54 PM
I came to AW right at the very end of the competition and was hooked for, thus far, the duration.

I'm sure it was a huge undertaking, but it was a really, really, cool event.

04-12-2008, 11:39 PM
Oh look at Vote_Bot! Haven't seen him in a while.

04-13-2008, 05:29 PM
This sounds like it must have been a real blast! I'm sorry I missed it. Will we ever have another one, d'ya think?

04-13-2008, 06:30 PM
This sounds like it must have been a real blast! I'm sorry I missed it. Will we ever have another one, d'ya think?

That would be cool!

04-13-2008, 06:35 PM
I've always wondered why they didn't do this again and why they don't.

If traffic is the coin of the internet realm, I don't understand why they wouldn't. This contest bought people out of the woodwork.

It also fostered a real sense of community and promoted participation in the Forum.

It was a real fun contest, and I think that if it were done annually and promoted correctly, it would touch every writer on the internet while also bringing wide acclaim to this site.