WRiTE CLUB 2016 - Final Thoughts
Yeah...this is what I'm going to do right after I finish writing this post. It's been a grueling contest! It ran for just seven weeks (shortest time frame to date), but me and my wife have been working behind the scenes since the start of the year doing all sorts of things that are necessary for it to run as smooth as possible. It was a lot of hard work...but it was truly a labor of love.
The payoff came this past weekend at the DFW Conference (which was amazing) where I personally met not only our two finalist - Solange Hommel and Joy Lucas, but many others who submitted their work as well. Some of them reached the ring, others weren't as fortunate, but every one of them enjoyed the contest and thanked me for the opportunity it offered. WRiTE CLUB may not be perfect...and I will do what I can to tweak the formula in order to satisfy the majority of our participants (fighters and readers alike)...but it continues to accomplish the goal that has always been at the top of my list -- bring writers closer together.
Together lets take a look at how well we did this year. It was definitely a fierce competition with 3 different tie-breakers and the closest final we've seen yet. The number of contestants ended up being 95, which was a new record! Our number of votes per bout = 44, which was not a record and a little disappointing. However, overall each bout averaged 524 page views, and during March my blog saw 31,333 site visits...the most I've ever had in one month! Boo yah!! Yes, the entries did seem to be more on the "dark side" this year, but that wasn't by any design or intent. The slush pile judges chose what they felt was the best. We'll have a new batch of judges for next year (let me know if you are interested) and who knows, maybe romance will dominate. <3 br="">3>
Right here I want to thank everyone who did what they could to spread the word about WRiTE CLUB. Without you...this contest would have faded away a long time ago. You are are the heart and soul of what we are trying to accomplish here, so you have my deepest appreciation!
So where can WRiTE CLUB improve? Well right off the bat I can tell you that the SAVE week will be coming back next year. Voters will be given the chance to save a writer they felt was equally matched in their bout and torn about who to choose. If enough people believe you deserve a second chance, then I'll give you that opportunity.
I'm still looking for ways to increase voter participation, especially in the later rounds. In the past I've tried offering a prize for a randomly selected voter, and maybe I'll try something like that again. I'm also considering offering a prize for the person who does the most to publicize the contest. Lots of things to consider, but if anyone has any idea's...I'm all ears.
Really, that is what this post is about. What do you feel needs to be changed? This contest is what it is today partly because feedback has helped shape it. So please, leave your recommendations or observations in the comments below and I'll look them over carefully. But just like a critique of a manuscript, the author should only take actions on suggestions he/she feels will improve their work. I will do the same here.
One of the changes I've already thought of...and I'm enacting right now...is a signup list for notification about when the 2017 WRiTE CLUB is about to begin. All you have to do is sign up on the linky list below and two weeks before the contest opens up to accept submissions (which runs for about a month), I'll send you an email reminder along with any new rule changes. Don't worry if you don't have a blog to fill in - simply use WRiTE CLUB as the title and www.dlhammons.com as the site address, then your name and email address.
I hope to see each and every one of you again next year...and bring your friends!