The Rules (from the original contest announcement)
We will have seven voting categories and two non-voting categories.
The Voting Categories
Non-Fiction(NF) - Stories from your real life. Examples: Funny stories, romance, horror (we all have those), or whatever else you want to tell us from your life.
Creative Writing has been divided into three categories since it receives so many entries.
Flash Fiction(FF) - Short short stories should be posted here. I'd offer a word count guideline, but that's a pain in the butt for people to keep track of. Generally, if your story can fit on one page without scrolling, it's Flash. For those who write in Word, there's a tool that gives you a word count. Generally, anything under 1000 words is considered Flash.
Short Stories(SS) - Any fiction that is longer than Flash should be posted here.
Humor(HU) - I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Top Ten Lists should be entered in this category as well.
Persona Narrative(PN) - A story based on your online persona or others. However, you can include others only with their express permission. If you include someone without his or her permission, your story will be removed from the competition. Chat transcripts, Epics and anything else involving poster personas goes in here. There will be a blanket permission thread posted. Entries in this category are always hugely popular.
Poetry has also been divided into two categories since it receives so many entries.
Free Verse(FV) - Poetry that doesn't rhyme should be posted in this category.
Rhyming Poetry(RP) - Poetry that does rhyme should go here.
Visual Art has also been divided into three categories, by request (actually, the request was for two categories, but there are many types of visual art that don't fall into either of the two suggested categories, i.e., OFG's garden, so a catch-all category should cover those; I'd hate to miss out on them for lack of a category).
Painting/Drawing(PD) - Paintings and drawings should both be entered in this category, regardless of medium.
Photography(PH) - Artistic photography should be entered in this category. To be fair, I'd like to suggest not allowing pictures of one's children into this category. I'd love to see pictures of posters' kids, of course, but I'd rather see them on OT.
Visual Art(VA) - Visual art that doesn't fit into either of the two above categories should be entered in this category.
The Non-Voting Categories
Exercises(EX) - If you have writing exercises that you'd like to share, please post them in this category. We all can use a push when combating writer's block.
In-Progress(IP) - If you have a piece that you're still working on and you'd like serious in-depth feedback, post in this category. This can be hugely helpful for any writer who really wants to polish a specific piece.
Here is how the competition will be run. Create your work for whichever category you want. You may submit previously posted works, but they must be resubmitted under the following guidelines. Start a new thread for each work. This way we can all tell you how wonderful you are. The Subject line should indicate the category and submission title in the following format.
SSC4(NF) "Title of story" (Substitute the NF with the proper category that your work falls into.)
You may not submit works that were entered into previous Summer Story Competitions or the Winter Story Competitions. Once again, there will be a limit of two entries per category. Please understand that all writings are welcome even if they aren’t for the WSC, and this is certainly true year round. If you want to post more than two per category, choose the best two and enter them, and then post the rest without a tag.
The contest will run from July 10 to August 10. On August 16 (or thereabouts), all submitted works will be categorized and posted on a ballot by IceCat(thanks, Icey!). The voting will then begin. Voting will run from August 16 through August 23 and winners will be announced sometime after August 23. To avoid hurt feelings, the voting will take place through email and will be kept confidential. Everyone will get to vote. Votes should be mailed to IceCat (and he'll post an email address when the time comes). Please vote for a first through third place winner in each category.
The first through third-place winners of each category receives nothing but Blowies. I may also be awarding the fifth Salman Rushdie Award to the person that best personifies the spirit of the contest that didn't win a specific Blowie.
That's it. I hope that everyone participates. I also encourage everyone to reply to the entries. I know that some people have a hard time with one-sentence “great story” type replies, but in this case it is important to give encouragement. It isn’t easy for most people to post this type of thing and in most cases a lot of work went into it.
Above all, have fun! There are many tremendously talented people on these boards. I'll bet you're one of them and I'd bet even more that you'll love the stuff everyone else posts.