LeAnne, I’m going to ask Merien what we should do about that. We need you receiving notices from this forum and the board forum, in particular.
If we get rid of the un/published divisions, should we then just make it open to anyone, but the work itself must be unpublished?
How many pages per entry?
True, if we did the book cover contest, we would have to have a separate contest for unpublished writers. It was suggested, though, so I asked Connie to check into it.
I like the idea of offering different prizes. Another thing we could do is offer a year’s worth of FTH workshops. We kind of do this already, by making them a member. But perhaps emphasizing that aspect of the prize would be motivating and it costs us nothing.
My suggestion is we cap the number of entries so we know exactly how many judges, etc. we’ll need. I’ve seen where a lot of contests do this. It would make planning easier. However, I should add that this year’s contest only had 120 entries overall.
What do we think of doing a hook contest? How appealing would that be to our final judges, do you think? If the point of entering is to get your work in front of a judge, that is a consideration.
Although a blurb contest sounds great, my worry is any sort of contest that involves a blurb, query, or synopsis is going to put people off. Unless I already have a synopsis or query written, I almost never enter contests that request them.
Just a thought.
One suggestion was made to me privately that I found interesting. A flash fiction contest. This is done a lot in other genres but hasn’t really made it to romance. I don’t think we’d want to replace the contest with this, but it might be something we do as a side contest. We could open it up to anyone, (have to look into the liability implications of that) advertise it on Twitter, really hitting those flash fiction hashtags (Thoughts, Shannon?). Offer prizes like Amazon cards, free workshops, things like that. We could charge a low entry fee and maybe only allow the membership to vote so it doesn’t become a popularity contest. Not sure about the judging part just yet, still thinking that through. Also, this would likely involve the new website, so I’d have to hash out the details with Marie and Merien, but I thought it was worth mentioning, even if the first year we did it for free as an experiment.