Entering a Themed Literotica Contestbyoggbashan©
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Copyright Oggbashan May 2007
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
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I assume, for a start, that you write, and you write and post on Literotica. If you don't write, why are you reading this? If you do write, and don't post your work on Literotica, this essay won't help you.
But if you do write, and have already posted on Literotica, or are thinking of posting some of your writing on Literotica, then this essay might be some help.
Why should I enter a themed Literotica competition?
If you post your work in Literotica, or elsewhere on the internet, presumably you would like your work to be read, appreciated and perhaps have some feedback from the readers. Literotica is a good site for feedback and comments even if some of the responses are irritating, uninformed and just plain rude. The other, intelligent, responses should more than compensate for the unwelcome ones.
However, the length of exposure your work gets is severely limited. Once it is off the first couple of pages of new stories the views, votes and comments reduce to a trickle. Unless you write and post a new story several times a week, your work will be lost in the mass of stories here unless you are fortunate enough to attain a high place in the Top List for the category.
However, if you enter a themed Literotica competition, that entry will be linked from the front page for weeks. You will continue to get reads, votes and attention until the competition is decided. If you win? There's real money. Even if you don't win, you story has still been noticed far more than it would normally be. If readers like the entry, they are likely to look at your other stories, no matter how old, and all your work gets attention.
Is all the attention welcome?
No. There is no avoiding it. Competition entries attract some people who enjoy criticising authors' work unfairly. Among the reasonable responses there will be some 1 votes; some unpleasant comments, feedback, emails and PMs.
But that is true of any work posted on Literotica. Entering a competition increases the likelihood of all forms of attention.
When can I write an entry?
The entry must be submitted during the time specified for the competition. It doesn't matter whether you wrote it the day before, or the year before, as long as you have not posted it on Literotica before the competition. If you think of an Earth Day story in August, you can write it then and post it when the next Earth Day competition comes around.
The list of themed competitions for the year is posted in the sticky thread "Welcome Authors! Please Read" at the top of the Author's Hangout. Unless Laurel and Manu think of a new theme, then the same competitions run each year. You should have no excuse for ignoring Valentine's Day, the most popular theme of the year.
What is on theme?
The theme is stated in the competition rules. If your story isn't really on that theme it might be rejected, but if not, the readers are likely to punish you with low marks and adverse comments. For the "How-To" contest, the work must be a "How-To" and must be submitted in the "How-To" category. That's not difficult is it? Apart from How-To, a nod in the direction of the theme is often enough to qualify the entry.
My muses won't cooperate.
However you name it, sometimes we all get writer's block, lack of inspiration, inertia, laziness but if we deserve the name of author we should have techniques for dealing with the problem. Read some of the excellent How-Tos that already exist.
Write. Try to write something on theme. If it won't work, then perhaps this particular contest isn't for you, but if you have been aware all year round that the themed contests will come, in order, then an Earth Day idea could be developed months ahead.
The Author's Hangout Last Place ™ Contest
The Last Place Contest is a piece of silliness to remind us that popularity isn't always awarded to the best writing. The rules of the Last Place ™ Contest include a requirement that the writer of an entry for the main Literotica contest must declare themselves a contestant in the Last Place tm Contest. If you want to hide your head in shame, there is no need to declare your low score. If you want the acclaim of fellow authors, then perhaps Last Place is for you. You don't get anything other than the title of Last Place winner.
The Literotica themed contests have real money as prizes. If you want to earn money with your writing, then posting it on Literotica might be unwise. If you do win a Literotica contest, that might help on your author's resume with some publishers (probably not if you want to have children's fiction published).
However the reality of the Literotica themed contests is that winning, even with a brilliant story, is very much a lottery that can be affected by factors beyond your control. Even winning Last Place might be snatched away from you by a sweep of ineligible votes, moving your rating from the dire to the mediocre. You can't guarantee winning.
You will get more attention, not just for your competition entry, but for your whole body of work if you enter a Literotica themed contest. Some of the attention will be unwelcome, some even unpleasant, but that can happen with any work posted anywhere on the internet. There is a price to be paid for fame.
Go for it! If you haven't entered a themed competition before, try the next one. Your writing will be read by many more people on Literotica than ever before.