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Monday, April 29, 2013

Why I Hate Entering Contests but Love Running Them


If you saw my crazy post earlier this month about the grandma with a gun who saved my husband,you may have read that I've been reconnecting on social networks. It's been awesome to catch up with people I've missed and to meet lots of new folks to chat with! That said, getting up to speed has quickly reminded of this weird thing I have about contests. 

I hate contests. 

The ones I'm referring to today are "Best _____ Ever"  contests that sound like merit-based awards, when in fact they are popularity contests. These competitions are decided by popular vote, meaning entrants are pegged against one another to see who can promote/beg/bludgeon/bribe the most votes out of people.

Maybe this sounds like the sour grapes of someone who loses these contests, but I've actually won some in my day. I did the rounds, relentlessly announcing and cajoling and posting all over the internet in order to get votes. I was happy to win, sure! But afterward, I asked myself what that reward truly said about me. In the end, I decided it said I'm kind of annoying, because I was willing to repeatedly harass friends, colleagues, fans, and perfect strangers in the name of the Almighty Win.

Meh.

Since then, I've discovered that handing out awards is far more enriching than trying to get them. Sometimes it's a "just because" award, like when I participate in various blog awards or when I offered my Green Reader award for people embracing "green" approaches to reading or writing. (Go ahead and grab this graphic if you're an e-reader owner or otherwise a green reader!)  Other times, I've hosted a merit-based contest, like the Best NaNoWriMo Line Written contests I held three different years.

Well, this past week I decided to start a not-contest that is a combination of both these types. I'll be giving out a Superb Snippet Award every Sunday to the writer whose Snippet/8 Sunday post is my absolute favorite. That definitely makes it merit-based, but since these are handed out spontaneously to people who never entered a contest, it's also a "just-because" award.  It's my way of recognizing folks to thank them for their efforts. I had the pleasure of handing out the first award yesterday, and it really made me smile. (If you want to see that winning snippet, check out Teresa Cypher's blog! And if you're unfamiliar with Snippet Sundays, check out any of my Sunday posts or Weekend Writing Warriors. )

Okay, comments! Have you ever given or received a "just because" award? Do you find it annoying when people repeatedly troll for votes? 

And now for that plug I promised! Tomorrow is the last day for my April commenting contest! Anyone posting comments this month will be entered to win a $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card. Have a happy week!


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On Mondays, I gab about whatever's going on. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Goodreads. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.


1 comment:

  1. Way to go, chica! I, too, hate the popularity contest "polls"- I don't take part unless I've actually read the book and then I only vote once.

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