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[Writers' services/contest] Write into Print (Stef McDaid)

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Winternity

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I've just landed on this blog: http://writeintoprint.blogspot.com/ and I don't know if it is just me being too cautious but something about it seems suspicious.

I'd appreciate any info about the blog, the writing competition, or the admin Stef Mcdaid. :)
 

CaoPaux

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To clarify, this is the blogspot website of Stef Mcdaid, who offers editing and ghostwriting services, as well as as short-story competition where "... all winners [are] to be published in the first of our proposed series of Head Hunters anthologies; ..." and, although free, the only prize is "...a free copy, delivered to their address." After which "The anthology will be available to buy at a very reasonable price, which will be fixed once we evaluate the overheads." No mention of who or what the judges are beyond "independent reviewers".

Most troubling to me, though, is that entries are posted in an open forum: http://writeintoprint.freeforums.org/index.php.
 

Winternity

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Thank you for the clarification, CaoPaux.

There are a few disturbing facts concerning that competition, including the one you mentioned about posting the competition entries into the forum. I didn't want to be casting stones so I didn't list all the things that came out as suspicious.

I was hoping someone here might know this person, especially if she's going to be the judge of the competition, as she wouldn't give any more info than what is available at her blog.
 

Stef Mcdaid

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I think I may have tried to answer the PO's question on my entry forum; but since reading your opinion, CP, the competition has been restricted to email entries (private entries were always an option). I thought it would be good if entrants had the option to edit and have their stories read in conjunction with the usual email entry format; like in John Dean's surreal competition a few months back. My bad. Anyway, this is a fun initiative; it's not as though the prize is fantastic, but it is an opportunity to be read and maybe get published. For our part we shall be devoting lots of spare time in order to produce a good quality anthology available at close to cost price.
We have decided to keep our new resources blog separate from our paid services (from which all traffic comes via paid advertising). We are glad to be a member of communities such as this, and we want to share and promote other good services, resources, and useful articles in our blog and on Twitter et al.

In no way do we want to gain bad publicity by failing to deliver - and the judges, once confirmed, will be experienced readers/reviewers; known to some of the writing community, I should imagine.

If you have any reservations, still - then maybe it's not for you - but good luck in your endeavours ...
 

Winternity

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In the post above one can see some of the things I find suspicious like the shift from first person singular to first person plural, contradictions in the statements, e.g. Stef Mcdaid claims
to be a member of communities such as this, and we want to share and promote other good services, resources, and useful articles in our blog and on Twitter et al.
when in fact she has only registered as an AW member today.

Also, I'm sorry but
judges [who are] experienced readers/reviewers; known to some of the writing community
doesn't sound very convincing to me. I imagine one should make sure they have a judge before they start promoting their competition just like one should know who their audience is before they start writing.

Last but not least, it's the easiest thing for me to pass on this competition. God knows there are many of them out there. However, I saw it as my personal duty to let prospective entrants know what they might be getting themselves into. I've myself been a victim of foul play when it comes to owners of websites who parade as promoters of creative writing.

Having said all this, I realize, of course, that I could be wrong. :)
 

mscelina

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I'm just curious--if you're going to sell the anthology that results from the winning contest entries, what royalty do the writers get from those sales? Because otherwise, this looks like a contest in which the prize is that the writers make someone else some money--which doesn't sound like much of a prize. Just sayin'...
 

Stef Mcdaid

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Please try to take on board that this is a fun initiative and not for profit on my/our part. I will be paying for the PoD and postage of the books I send to the winners (who retain all rights). Jeez, take a long look at what I/we stand to gain here - I'm pretty sure I (not-we-this-time) will not break even. The PO seems to be reading a little much into this - and I hoped that a little courtesy would be natural on this forum.
 

Stef Mcdaid

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@Winternity

This is only your 3rd post - about me - yet I do not read anything suspicious about this. You can work out why I registered today if you really want to.

*leaves thread - this can only get more picky ...
 

BenPanced

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Oh, jeez. Not this again...

Stef, as writers, we're only curious about what's going on with your contest. There's no malevolent intent on anybody's part. We're not out to get you or smear your name. We're only asking the same questions we've asked other publishers and contests.
 

Stef Mcdaid

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Oh, jeez. Not this again...

Stef, as writers, we're only curious about what's going on with your contest. There's no malevolent intent on anybody's part. We're not out to get you or smear your name. We're only asking the same questions we've asked other publishers and contests.
Okay, I'm fine with that - but I was kinda asked to provide a CV of sorts on my (now dead) forum. I realise now that the more careful among us worry about the public entry idea. I'm a private person myself, so can understand this.

I'm here because I do care about what Absolute Write thinks about the initiative - and I'm happy to provide info up to a point.

Thanks for that, btw ...
 

veinglory

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So, Stef. I assume the book is being sold at cost if the set up and mailing fees are going to leave you out of pocket? I think that is the crux of the question, if there will potentially be a profit and if so where it will go.
 

Stef Mcdaid

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So, Stef. I assume the book is being sold at cost if the set up and mailing fees are going to leave you out of pocket? I think that is the crux of the question, if there will potentially be a profit and if so where it will go.

I'm happy to donate any profit to charity, veinglory; but I will set the book price at the lower end (close to cost, as stated; hoping for £3.50 or less) to avoid profit (I'm not looking to recoup my overheads) and make it accessible to all. In the event the book went viral; I would surely split the profits equally (one part for us) with the authors (we can dream) I'm a writer of sorts myself, and wouldn't dream of exploiting fellow writers.

In fact, if you want to be privy to the progress, results, and sales/outlay figures, that would be very cool with me ...

Feedback and input is welcome if there any moot points ...
 

IceCreamEmpress

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When setting up a writing contest, it's generally best to lay out as much as you know in advance. Things like what the publication plans are, what the compensation arrangements are, what the relevant qualifications of the personnel are (not a CV, but a brief bio; you can respect everyone's privacy while sharing some relevant credentials).

People are sending you their unpublished intellectual property. Giving them a sense of who will be reading it helps everyone feel more comfortable.

This link gives an overview of what writers generally find encouraging, and generally find discouraging, about writers' contests.

Best of luck!
 

Stef Mcdaid

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When setting up a writing contest, it's generally best to lay out as much as you know in advance. Things like what the publication plans are, what the compensation arrangements are, what the relevant qualifications of the personnel are (not a CV, but a brief bio; you can respect everyone's privacy while sharing some relevant credentials).

People are sending you their unpublished intellectual property. Giving them a sense of who will be reading it helps everyone feel more comfortable.

This link gives an overview of what writers generally find encouraging, and generally find discouraging, about writers' contests.

Best of luck!

Thanks! And I realise that many comps are damp squibs; and reputation means squat: harpercollins promised an anthology a year or so ago (I think) and only one winner was selected (not a big anthology then!) here is my recent post to them: http://www.authonomy.com/forums/threads/52070/act-on-co2-competition-winners-revealed-/
 

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