> To: gaiman_writingcontest @ yahoogroups.com
> Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 09:31:43 -0600
> Subject: [gaiman_writingcontest] VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER! *gasp!*
The MOST IMPORTANT RULE is the ominous # 13.
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Yup, that's it. That's all it said.
It makes me wonder just how much effort they're putting into this endeavor.
It's funny, really: You're one of the biggest sources of high-profile literature in metropolitan Manila. You're running one of the most extravagant writing contests in the history of the Philippines. You're being sponsored by an influential author with an international repertoire. You're giving details to more than a thousand people, all of whom are most likely scrambling to reach the deadline for your contest.
And in what's supposed to be a "very important reminder", this is all you tell us?
Frankly, I'm disappointed. Who writes these "updates", anyway?
Are they aware that the contest rules on the Fully Booked web site were inaccessible for the longest period of time early this year because something was wrong with their registration system? For that matter, were they aware that said registration system was very inconvenient (and easily bypassed) for anyone who just wanted to read the rules?
Are they aware that the contest rules are displayed as an image on their site? This makes the download extremely slow for anyone who isn't on a Broadband connection. Heck, the contest rules are all in text. Why don't they display it in text format, to begin with?
Are they aware that the contest rules still show the deadline date as "January 31, 2006"? Sure, there's now a label that indicates the deadline extension, but as of their last message, plenty of people still assumed that they were running under the original due date. Either they made the change too late, or the addendum just isn't very noticeable. And why don't they just edit the darn January listing in the first place?
Put all this together, and you can understand why just placing a reference to "Rule Number 13" just isn't going to cut it.
Does everybody have convenient access to the contest rules? No.
Can everybody efficiently acquire a copy of the contest rules? No.
Is everybody aware that the contest rules have been updated? No.
I still have a copy of these regulations from when I first heard about the competition, which was sometime in early December. And based on my little reference here, Rule 13 reads as follows:
"13. For comics, all artwork should be in black and white. No signatures must appear on any of the pages of the entries."
Yup, I'm sure that that must be plenty important.
Obviously, the contest rules have been updated since the time I first right-clicked on my browser window and saved these words for posterity. I know that they've been updated -- I visited the site just this morning.
In fact, when I visited the site this morning, I found it offline. I did manage to find what I presume is the most recent version of the contest rules, but it took quite a bit of trial-and-error on my part.
You're running a competition that rivals the Palanca Awards, people. You're organizing an effort that's supposed to help put alternative Philippine literature in the spotlight. You're speaking to over a thousand people whose entries hang on every detail in every one of your words.
There is a way to do this right, and believe me, you're far from doing it.
Throw us a bone, people. Give us something to work with. Toss us a line. We're your audience, for God's sake. We may be writers, but we're still your audience.
You may have one of the biggest contests to come around since contests were even invented, but we're the people who make your endeavor possible. We populate your little marketing-based world. You need us.
Don't sell us short like this.
Sean's Note: The current Rule Number 13, for those interested, goes as follows:
"13. All rules and guidelines of the contest must be followed STRICTLY. Non-compliance will subject the submission to immediate disqualification."My reference for what I presume is the most recent version of the contest rules is at the following address:
You're welcome to have a look, everyone. Do keep in mind, however, that this may or may not be the final set of regulations that we're supposed to be follow. For your inquiries, please reference the Fully Booked web site (assuming that it's available, of course).
Sean's Note 2: I'm sending a copy of this article to the only referenced Fully Booked e-mail address I know of. They may not like me for it, but at least I know that I'll be saying exactly how I feel, and at least I know that those feelings are justified. And hey, if worst comes to worst and it takes me out of the running, then that means less competition for you, doesn't it?