Talk:Event E2/Proposal Peanutswench

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Two Stage Approach

Curious why the two stage approach? --Jacquilynne / Jasandrea 12:40, 17 January 2006 (PST)

I went with the two-stage approach for a few reasons. One of my biggest worries is that this event requires more effort than other familiar story/art contests, so I was looking for ways to streamline the process and the judging. Stage one alone is a small part of the project. It’s designed to get people thinking about their story and hopefully encourage them to start working earlier on the whole entry. The idea is similar to professors asking a student to enter a synopsis of a term paper early in the process. Stage two is far more extensive, but is made easier if the entrant had completed a synopsis of the plot and thought about the artwork. Cutting to 30 seemed a good approach, but the number could be adjusted if the mentors thought allowing more would be appropriate
It also helped to narrow the amount of time the judges would need for the final judging, which was important given the events time constraints. Plus, I’m still toying with the idea of giving some kind of prizes for the first stage apart from a whisk depending on input from mentors.--Peanutswench 14:19, 17 January 2006 (PST)

A Few Questions

Huzzah, something I can actually critique: my knowledge of blockade boards is sadly lacking, utter rubbish. So, let's see...well, before I actually start my comment, let me say that I have much love for your contest title.

Anyway. So, what if two pirates want to unite together to produce an entry? Or three, with one writer, one artist, and one editor. Or even five? Are you going to let them, or laugh in their faces and say no? (And, well, prizes aside, why wouldn't you let 'em? I'm curious about the reasoning.)

What if a crisis happens, worst case situation, and Geocities crashes? I mean, let's just imagine this. What happens in regards to the judging? And while I'm at it, wouldn't pop-ups and banners and the like take away from the effect of the book? (Point being: are people with their own webspace endowed with an advantage.)

Is there going to be standard...well...image sizes? File sizes? Maximum page limit? (I see you've got a minimum.) And if I write five pages and send the link to you and then realize that the story would be so much better if the pirate got carried off by the giant bird, can I go back and edit said book provided that it's before the ultimate deadline? And why or why not? And how would you prevent people from going in after the deadline to make some changes?

Yeah...I think that's enough for now. -Shikyo

Wow. Okay, bear with me while I answer them.
First of all, what you are reading here is not the actual forum post for this event. You can see a portion of what mine will look like, but I fully expect to make some changes during mentoring and I left room in my write-up for these changes on purpose.
I say individual entrants because the prizes are set up for a single person. For example, I guess if two people wanted to write a story for Bia’s Halloween contest they could have, but they would still enter under one pirate’s name. There's no way to know if more than one person wrote it, so I don’t intend on policing that. They will, however, enter with the knowledge that the contest is set up for a single entrant and the prize will be distributed accordingly. I do *not* expect to hand out 7 familiars if a group enters this contest. This is also the type of detail that I expect to address in the workshop phase. I considered (and decided against) allowing this to be a pairs event (writer and illustrator), but there have already been contests to find the best writer and the best artist. This will be the very first contest to find the person that excels in combining both skills.
Geocities was just one example of a hosting site that an entrant could use. They could also use photobucket, their own website, or one of dozens of other options. No hosting method will be favored over any other, as long as the judges can view the entries. Of course the judging wouldn’t be swayed by pop-ups, as that has no bearing on the things the judges are looking for. Judges know that free servers will be used and will be expecting ads. I’d also like to point out that this is similar to the way the Avatar Art contest accepted entries. If photobucket had gone down then, that familiar contest would have been in a pickle. If one of the major hosting sites goes down, I could make adjustments, including allowing email submissions that I would host myself. Because I have no life and live at the forums (email and PMs as well), I’d have a good idea that there was a pickle coming. In this contest, there're several images that have to be in order (pages in a book). I wanted contestants to feel safe in the knowledge that they didn’t accidentally give away the ending by placing the last page first. If I hosted them all, they wouldn’t know until the contest was over.
Yes there will be standards for image size. The dimensions of submissions will probably be between 350 and 500 pixels along each side – the requirement will of course be discussed during mentoring and detailed in the final forum post. File sizes are unimportant because images are hosted on third party sites. There will be no maximum page limit, but creating too many pages will work against contestants because quality will likely suffer. I will be stressing quality over quantity and make that clear to contestants. Any and all edits up to the final deadline are allowed. As I said in the event description, judges will not be looking at the entries until the entry deadline is reached. Each stage will have a judging turnaround of well under 24 hours (thanks to wonderful volunteers), so it is unlikely a contestant would have time to make major changes before judging concludes.
Thanks for taking the time to critique my event idea. :o) --Peanutswench 00:15, 22 January 2006 (PST)


Well I'm toying with two ideas I’d like some input on:

1.) Should I increase the prizes for those that make it past stage one? Currently they're all getting a whisking potion. I’d like to add something to that as a token for their effort, but it must fit in a sleepy or writing theme. Maybe something like a scroll?

2.) I need a spare judge to break ties. Should I bring in the ultimate children’s book judge? Meaning should I bring in a 6 year old? I know a little cutie that likes to watch her mom play the “pirate game”. Or should I just bring in a player to break ties? --Peanutswench 12:06, 24 January 2006 (PST)

I like the idea of giving the ones who get past the first stage a little something more. Makes it not quite so much work without reward type-ish.
As to the second, I can see you doing one of two things. One: start with an odd number of judges to prevent ties in the first place (that's how they do it in things like debate tournaments), or Two: going with the kid. I think it'd be best to have someone it's aimed at help with it.
Hope that helps! --Gloraelin 15:34, 26 January 2006 (PST)
That helps a ton. I'll think of some more prizes. The hard part is trying to make them fit my sleepy theme. Because this goes across oceans, some things don't have the same value on each. For example a whisk is nothing on sub oceans, but is a neat thing on the dub oceans. I could just give out 1-2k per person plus a little something like a whisk for the 30 people that move to stage 2. Hmmm something to think about anyway. Just have to make sure stage one prizes don't outshine the contest prizes.
Also, I do have an odd number of judges... but because it's a scoring system, it's possible to tie (though unlikely). I loved the idea of a tie breaker being a 6 year old... but I wasn't sure if others would mind that. At the very least she has no flag ties or political agenda. Though I bet she could be swayed by offers of candy.  :-p. --Peanutswench 21:21, 26 January 2006 (PST)

Username & template

The wiki's a little sticky wicky about upper/lowercase. Please switch the username to lowercase in the template or move the page to the same articlename, but with uppercase Peanutswench. --Guppymomma 18:17, 25 January 2006 (PST)

Done. Thanks for pointing that out. Making lowercase URLs is a bad habit of mine. Thanks for taking the time! :o) --Peanutswench 13:43, 26 January 2006 (PST)

Judging Question

  • Also, judges will not know who wrote what story for stage two because the links to the entries will come to them via an email from me.

In stage one entrants have to submit thier title, cover, and basic storyline...Does this not leave little doubt in stage two as to who wrote what? Shandra (Taco)

Well, you have a good point. They’ll have an idea if they feel like sifting through all the stage one entries again (and I hope that would be quite a few to sift through). So that would cut it down a bit. I figure that two things will happen: 1) stage one will have a bunch of entries and unless the judges make an effort, they probably wont remember who wrote what. 2) I can move a child to be a regular judge and not just a tie breaker for stage two. This should also help. In the end, as with all contests, I have to really be careful to pick judges who can be impartial. I hope to cut down on their ability to know who wrote what… but I can’t do it completely without sacrificing the excitement and fun of all of us seeing sneak peeks of stories. That’s why finding people who have a reputation for fair dealings is the most important thing.--Peanutswench 20:43, 28 January 2006 (PST)

Use the kid!

I love your idea of having a 6 year old serve as a judge. It's fantastic! Why have her only as a tie-breaker, though, and possibly not even get a chance to judge (poor l'il thing might be disappointed!) I say make her one of the judges, period! That sounds like such a blast! Anyways, cute contest :) --Elsquido 15:30, 28 January 2006 (PST)

I can tell now (thanks for the feedback) that during stage two at least one child will be helping. I think I’ll have to talk to some mentors. But right now I’m leaning towards the judging all staying as written in the post except for the following: Once the top 3 are chosen, they will be shown to a 6 year old who will rank her/his favorites (of course his/her parents will have nothing to do with the contest, and yes I already have a munchkin in mind). Entrants will receive a score according to their ranking. This would add another score and *could* sway the placements. She would also break ties, making her score the most important of all. (I say only the top 3 because I don’t want to be a slave driver to the poor thing). I’ll continue to kick around the idea of having a 3 child panel pick once the field is narrowed to 5-10, but the time constraints of the contest made me sideline that idea for now. --Peanutswench 20:45, 28 January 2006 (PST)

I just wanted to second that I absolutely love the idea of using a kid (or kids) to help judge this contest--nothing like input from the target audience, especially when dealing with children. I can't tell from your description of the 3-kid panel, but I would suggest that such a panel would be in supplement to the adult judges you already have, not instead of. It seems to me that for this kind of contest, a healthy blend of kid/adult judges might be the best way to go. Can't wait to see how it turns out! --Lizperk23 14:33, 30 January 2006 (PST)

Well that’s a great idea. I’ll have to run the idea by the mentors (if I make it to the workshop phase), but I think I’m going to settle on a mix of children and adults. I was trying to think of a way to have enough time to have children be involved, but if I use both children and adults I can leave the kids with only having to read the top stories and add their input (I'm going to add a little time for the extra judges). I’ll take the top 4 people and have 3 kids read the stories. Collectively their favorites will be ranked and then a score will be added to the total of each entrant in the top 4. In the event of a tie, the story the children liked best will win. That way the kids aren’t over loaded, but their input can affect the top few places. I have two children on the hook…. I just have to find one more I can force into story reading slavery. :-p I have one in mind, but I need to make sure she’ll be available.
I really would like to use children judges for a few reasons. Mainly it is the best way to find out what kids really would like, but it would also cut down on complaints that the winner was picked because of “who” they are. Anyway, I’d like to thank everyone for his or her input. I really like the changes and adding children to the judging panel. I think it adds a bit of originality. If anyone sees a hole or has a suggestion with the system I’m talking about going with above, please let me know. --Peanutswench 17:32, 30 January 2006 (PST)


So far, this is the best (and only) idea I've seen that really warrents a familiar. (Loose comes in second). I like it.

Haven't read the ones past "pea" yet :-) Behindcurtai

Heh. Why thanks mate! No need to keep on reading then :-p (Kidding). I really hope that I get the kind of turn out I am hoping for (assuming I get short listed). I'll have to go around the oceans poking people into realizing their latent desire to write a piratey children's book. --Peanutswench 17:57, 5 February 2006 (PST)