Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:13 pm

kentagions wrote:vsutherland01 wrote:
I am still at the point where my absolute best effort barely makes an HM.


But this contest isn't the only one. Nor is it the only speculative fiction market. David is just one editor. Send that best effort to others. See what happens.

Best of luck,
Kent


I will send them out eventually. I get so wrapped up in each quarter I don't find the time to focus on other avenues.
Honorable Mentions: 3
Rejections: 5

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vjalrik
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vjalrik » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:13 am

vsutherland01 wrote:Thanks for this. You have given me some stuff to think about. I have often wondered about creating checklist stories in hopes of stringing together HMs. I suppose I am still new to this contest and after a few years I might have a better idea of my approach, what aspects to be consistent in and when to introduce bold and brash elements.

Another problem with focusing on the ratio is that it can suppress participation. I think some writers sometimes skip a quarter when they don't have a shiny new story out of fear that submitting an old/less polished story will hurt their record.
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R R R),
V36 (Q1-Pending)
Latest sold stories (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:41 am

vjalrik wrote:Another problem with focusing on the ratio is that it can suppress participation. I think some writers sometimes skip a quarter when they don't have a shiny new story out of fear that submitting an old/less polished story will hurt their record.


Yeah that's true. I fear Q1 of next year, I don't want to think about how I might be throwing a trunk story in.

I feel drained after writing my Q4 story. I took it easy the middle 2 quarters of this year but Q4 I went all in. Usually I finish a story bored and ready to move onto something more exciting but this time I am not sure what comes next. I need some time. I am in a weird transitional stage where I am working to get an EMT cert, get a more stable job, then figure out what to do with my completed pre-med bachelors degree. I gotta decide if I want to continue down that path. I spent the last few years writing, backpacking, and generally ignoring the fact that I have no passion for medicine. I have ample frustration to channel into a story so a zesty R for Q4 might be the last bit of inspiration I need to write lol.
Honorable Mentions: 3
Rejections: 5

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:06 pm

My take on trying to improve ratios. It's good to know what Dave likes. It's important to read stories in the market you are trying to sell to, in this case, WotF volumes. But if one starts believing there is a formula that *must* be followed, your stories can become formulaic. The bone work begins to stand out, sometimes glaringly so, and formula becomes cheap magic tricks where you can see the card up magician's sleeve. Personally, my advice is to study good writing, READ good writing. Then go write your own, in your own voice, because that's where *your* magic is at. Write new pieces for every quarter, because that's how you will develop your voice. And SUBMIT every quarter, because your odds at winning can only improve.

Just my opinion. I haven't won yet. But I am just shy of 100% honors with Dave as judge, and what I just wrote is how I've done it. : )

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:31 pm

Thanks wulf. All great advice! I try to avoid formulae, and right now I am battling the formula for awful amateur writing lol.

I do divide my time between reading and writing. I focus on this contest to keep me writing something new every few months but other than that I spend the rest of the time reading. I alternate between fiction and non fiction to keep things interesting and never get into too much of a rut. I just did a long stint of fiction and now I am back into more educational non fiction to keep my brain working.

I hope to one day be landing HMs with every swing like you but right now my biggest goal is to keep fighting the daddy sad heads (adventure time reference) and write something new no matter how bummed out I get. Just keep writing.
Honorable Mentions: 3
Rejections: 5

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morganb
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby morganb » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:18 pm

vsutherland01 wrote:I feel drained after writing my Q4 story. I took it easy the middle 2 quarters of this year but Q4 I went all in. Usually I finish a story bored and ready to move onto something more exciting but this time I am not sure what comes next. I need some time. I am in a weird transitional stage where I am working to get an EMT cert, get a more stable job, then figure out what to do with my completed pre-med bachelors degree. I gotta decide if I want to continue down that path. I spent the last few years writing, backpacking, and generally ignoring the fact that I have no passion for medicine. I have ample frustration to channel into a story so a zesty R for Q4 might be the last bit of inspiration I need to write lol.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to take care of yourself. If you need some time off to recharge the batteries, go for it! Your mental and physical health are the two biggest tools you have in your writing arsenal. If you don’t take care of yourself properly, your writing will suffer for it. Exercise, eat right, and get to know your biorhythms so you can optimize your productivity.

~Morgan
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com

HM x 1
R x 4

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orbivillein
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby orbivillein » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:13 pm

vjalrik wrote:. . .
I feel drained after writing my Q4 story. I took it easy the middle 2 quarters of this year but Q4 I went all in. Usually I finish a story bored and ready to move onto something more exciting but this time I am not sure what comes next. I need some time. I am in a weird transitional stage where I am working to get an EMT cert, get a more stable job, then figure out what to do with my completed pre-med bachelors degree. I gotta decide if I want to continue down that path. I spent the last few years writing, backpacking, and generally ignoring the fact that I have no passion for medicine. I have ample frustration to channel into a story so a zesty R for Q4 might be the last bit of inspiration I need to write lol.

Med tech certification, job-job, medical degree, no passion for medicine, and fantastic fiction writer. If of that traditional post-college mid to late twenties or so age and back from ye olde post-college walkabout wanderjar and still undecided and stuck in gig work, gig life, gig social cohort, gig gigs, transient, that is, what puts all of it together and satisfies?

Many Millennial folk in similar straits. The traditional and conventional big four lifestyles of education, career, social life, and family life establishments declined emphases due to a number of forces, internal and external, since the end of the Boomer generation era.

Gig life and work and transience and confusion and frustration instead substitute for prior presupposed notions of "proper" life goals, not to mention, too, wants for immediate gratification, wealth, and power.

Add in some medical details, like the transient lifestyles of veteran first responders, with fantastic science and technology, and that identity marker territory is fertile grounds for science fiction greatness, a la, say, George Orwell. The heroic work itself an overt action rescue adventure and with a subtext about gig lifestyle and transience's hardships from which a rookie rescuer cannot self-rescue?

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:41 pm

Thanks Orbivillein and MoganB,

I don't mean to hog the post, someone else cut in if this topic is getting old. This is why we have trunk stories I suppose. Q4 was rough. I might need Q1 to slack off, deliver a trunk story and then recoup for Q2.

It's amateur behavior. I am still learning to cope with expectations. During the writing of Q4 I allowed my hopes to get really high, and that helped me work all the harder but the fallout means I will probably not be in the mood to write until I come to terms with whatever the result is. I do have the aforementioned personal/work reasons to put writing aside but those will only last partway into december. I might still have time for a last minute writing frenzy. We will see.

I guess I thought I was past the point of getting over-invested in a story haha, but I thought wrong. Do you folks who have been doing this for years still write those stories that you lay an embarrassing amount of hope in? Or do you eventually build up those emotional callouses and remain cool about every submission?
Honorable Mentions: 3
Rejections: 5

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michaeljwyantjr
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:06 pm

vsutherland01 wrote:Do you folks who have been doing this for years still write those stories that you lay an embarrassing amount of hope in? Or do you eventually build up those emotional callouses and remain cool about every submission?


I’m currently rewriting my first self-published book (going traditional this time) and am finally submitting stories from a world I created when I was 12 years old (24 years ago for those that are counting).

The calluses smooth over the fear and anxiety, but they only dampen your enthusiasm and hope if you let them.
Last edited by michaeljwyantjr on Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
WotF Results:
  • R:3
  • HM:6
  • sHM:0
  • SF:0
  • F:0
  • Last: R, Q4 v35

kentagions
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby kentagions » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:23 am

Hope for my stories?

These are my children, grown from a place of wonder. Raised with discipline to entertain anyone with a spare twenty minutes. Submitted by themselves to stand alone or fall in a critical world of capitalistic judgment.

One rejection has been converted to a format I have performed live to laughter, applause and congratulations from children and adults. That night I cried, thinking about the rejection it had garnered from the contest and how many lives it missed being a part of.

Damned straight I hope. But not just for me. We are the new wave of authors, seeking to entertain an audience that wants to be transported in time and space, taken away from their pain for a few precious minutes to luxuriate in wonder. I hope for everyone on this forum. Our stories have serious gatekeepers to satisfy before achieving publication and I see it as an obligation to help them achieve what I have not yet achieved.

I have great hopes but no embarrassment. Never let passion embarrass you. You're a writer, use it.
Kent

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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby YM Pang » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:02 pm

vsutherland01 wrote:I guess I thought I was past the point of getting over-invested in a story haha, but I thought wrong. Do you folks who have been doing this for years still write those stories that you lay an embarrassing amount of hope in? Or do you eventually build up those emotional callouses and remain cool about every submission?

On one hand, I've always been cool about submissions. Even my first rejection from 2008 (personal rejection from OnSpec, in physical mail) didn't really bother me. (In fact, I consider myself very lucky to have gotten a personal comment). Sure, there are a few cases that sting more than others (e.g. when Dave gave me a straight R for a story KD gave an HM to, which I'd improved through editing too). It generally doesn't get to the point where I cannot work on anything else though.

On the other hand, I did recently rewrite a story from 2009. Then added scenes to the rewrite to turn it into a novella. So yes, of course there are stories I'm attached to and will not to move on from. There are also stories I've trunked after one submission, because I didn't believe in the idea anymore. It's okay to cherish your stories. You just have to manage that while not feeling too down when they get rejected. ;)
Michelle Pang
http://www.ympang.com
1xFinalist, 10xHM

"Subtle Ways Each Time" in Escape Pod.
"The Palace of the Silver Dragon" in Strange Horizons.

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orbivillein
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby orbivillein » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 pm

My way to cope, transcend even, is to ask why did this perform below wanted level and -- and -- the way of dramatic movement incitement, follow-thru, and satisfaction -- plot, that is -- strong motivation to answer why and don't do and do do whatever why. Emotions channeled into growth.

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:16 am

Our Girl in the Glasses got to share her story on creating 5 in 35! Well done, Brittany! Check it out on the Writers of the Future website and see her adorable baby girl too!

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

Bartleby
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Bartleby » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:30 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Our Girl in the Glasses got to share her story on creating 5 in 35! Well done, Brittany! Check it out on the Writers of the Future website and see her adorable baby girl too!

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/


Inspiring. I don't have an excuse to miss a quarter ever again. wotf010
R x 1
HM x 2
SHM x 1

SCAFontaine
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby SCAFontaine » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:35 pm

That's some serious perseverance! Congrats again Brittany, on submitting each quarter and on your baby. She's absolutely lovely.

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vjalrik
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vjalrik » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:03 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Our Girl in the Glasses got to share her story on creating 5 in 35! Well done, Brittany! Check it out on the Writers of the Future website and see her adorable baby girl too!

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

Fun story! wotf010
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R R R),
V36 (Q1-Pending)
Latest sold stories (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

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aidanka
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby aidanka » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:35 am

YM Pang wrote:Wrestled with myself about whether I'm still eligible, whether to submit, whether I even had anything to submit. Portal is still open and I'm so, so tempted. This contest meant a lot to me. And I really wanted to do 4 in 35. But at this point, sitting on five pro-paying publications with another to come tomorrow, it doesn't feel right. I could argue one is flash and another is "not (yet) a SFWA market," but I don't exactly have time to query for clarification.

Plus, the only ready-to-submit story I have is anti-Dave-everything. (Heh, see, even now I'm not saying what the story is; old habits die hard).

On the bright side, my Q3 is still in the running. So I have one last shot. :)


Hey,
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?

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orbivillein
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby orbivillein » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:06 pm

aidanka wrote:
YM Pang wrote:Wrestled with myself about whether I'm still eligible, whether to submit, whether I even had anything to submit. Portal is still open and I'm so, so tempted. This contest meant a lot to me. And I really wanted to do 4 in 35. But at this point, sitting on five pro-paying publications with another to come tomorrow, it doesn't feel right. I could argue one is flash and another is "not (yet) a SFWA market," but I don't exactly have time to query for clarification.

Plus, the only ready-to-submit story I have is anti-Dave-everything. (Heh, see, even now I'm not saying what the story is; old habits die hard).

On the bright side, my Q3 is still in the running. So I have one last shot. :)


Hey,
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?

See Atlanta Nights, Travis Tea, 2005, for a complete anti everything novel of anti-excellence. If a literary circumstance is horrifically problematic, it is monumentally in there, includes any "anti-dave" criteria. Available from Amazon. ISBN 978-1-4116-2298-2.

kentagions
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby kentagions » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:44 pm

aidanka wrote:
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?


Ms. Pang is being a bit too self-deprecating. She is a very good writer as pro editors are finding out.

Dave's list of ten reasons why he will quickly reject a story( https://mystorydoctor.com/ten-reasons-why-ill-quickly-reject-your-story/) represents a good guide to writing a story that will attain Honorable Mention. Violate any of the ten at your peril.

Utilizing a good science fiction writing guide, completing writing workshops, joining writers groups and networking at F&SF conventions will help raise you and your craft to a marketable level. Studying editors and their publications can help you get a feel for stories that are currently accepted in the industry. Control the things that you can control.

There is no "anti-dave-everything." Study, study, study. Write, write, write. Enter a story every quarter. See you on the stage in April.

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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby YM Pang » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:37 pm

aidanka wrote:Hey,
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?

Since I'm not eligible anymore I can probably break out of the "don't reveal story details" habit:
- The main character is a cat.
- The main character is a jerk (because, cat).
- The story is a slow burn and the scope is quite small (not necessarily a problem, but most of the anthologies have big-idea stories)
- But, mostly, the main character is a cat.
Dave has mentioned he doesn't like talking animal stories, but I think I'm probably the only person with that problem. wotf007 So don't worry about it too much.
Michelle Pang
http://www.ympang.com
1xFinalist, 10xHM

"Subtle Ways Each Time" in Escape Pod.
"The Palace of the Silver Dragon" in Strange Horizons.

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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:42 am

SCAFontaine wrote:That's some serious perseverance! Congrats again Brittany, on submitting each quarter and on your baby. She's absolutely lovely.


Thanks so much! I can't believe it's been almost four weeks (will be on Monday) .
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:42 am

vjalrik wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Our Girl in the Glasses got to share her story on creating 5 in 35! Well done, Brittany! Check it out on the Writers of the Future website and see her adorable baby girl too!

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

Fun story! wotf010

Thank you!
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

thegirlintheglasses
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:44 am

Bartleby wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Our Girl in the Glasses got to share her story on creating 5 in 35! Well done, Brittany! Check it out on the Writers of the Future website and see her adorable baby girl too!

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/


Inspiring. I don't have an excuse to miss a quarter ever again. wotf010

Hahahaha now there's pressure for 36!!! wotf011
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

thegirlintheglasses
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:45 am

YM Pang wrote:- The main character is a cat.
- The main character is a jerk (because, cat).
- The story is a slow burn and the scope is quite small (not necessarily a problem, but most of the anthologies have big-idea stories)
- But, mostly, the main character is a cat.


Um, this sounds awesome because... Cat!
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

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aidanka
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby aidanka » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:59 am

Oh huge thanks for the information. I welled up when I read see you in April. You can’t imagine how I want to see fellow writers as I live in another continent currently in Azerbaijan.
p.s. that day that I asked about anti-dave everything could have been my last day alive. I was hospitalised and had an emergency operation, clinical death etc. still recovering I really appreciate you guys time and feel so happy to find community of writers.
p.p.s. if you guys ever would want to have a writing group include me
quote="kentagions"]aidanka wrote:
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?


Ms. Pang is being a bit too self-deprecating. She is a very good writer as pro editors are finding out.

Dave's list of ten reasons why he will quickly reject a story( https://mystorydoctor.com/ten-reasons-why-ill-quickly-reject-your-story/) represents a good guide to writing a story that will attain Honorable Mention. Violate any of the ten at your peril.

Utilizing a good science fiction writing guide, completing writing workshops, joining writers groups and networking at F&SF conventions will help raise you and your craft to a marketable level. Studying editors and their publications can help you get a feel for stories that are currently accepted in the industry. Control the things that you can control.

There is no "anti-dave-everything." Study, study, study. Write, write, write. Enter a story every quarter. See you on the stage in April.[/quote]

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aidanka
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby aidanka » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:37 am

Haha thank you, I’ll make sure to have no cat heros:).
But cat stories sound actually interesting. I’m a cat person

quote="YM Pang"]
aidanka wrote:Hey,
I just wonder what is anti-dave everything? i couldn't find any article about it. could you please spare me?

Since I'm not eligible anymore I can probably break out of the "don't reveal story details" habit:
- The main character is a cat.
- The main character is a jerk (because, cat).
- The story is a slow burn and the scope is quite small (not necessarily a problem, but most of the anthologies have big-idea stories)
- But, mostly, the main character is a cat.
Dave has mentioned he doesn't like talking animal stories, but I think I'm probably the only person with that problem. wotf007 So don't worry about it too much.[/quote]

SCAFontaine
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby SCAFontaine » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:21 pm

Yay, the Q3 results have begun to get released... Now the real twitching begins! wotf009

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:39 pm

Q3 is finally over. Bring on Q4 results! WE ARE WAITING FOR YOU, VIZZINI!

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:46 pm

I wonder how many people submitted to this quarter, it sounds like Q3 was a huge spike in submissions.
Honorable Mentions: 3
Rejections: 5

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:06 pm

vsutherland01 wrote:I wonder how many people submitted to this quarter, it sounds like Q3 was a huge spike in submissions.


It's always a secret, because they don't want to scare contestants out of submitting. But using my "cream rises to the top" theory, and saying that the cream is 10%, and you have around 200 honoraries (Q3), that sounds like 2000 to me. And Q4 had "more than ever before" again. If they're not at 2000 entries per quarter, they're awfully close.

Doesn't matter. It's those 200 that almost made it that you have to beat. And they're sharp shooters, many almost pro, so we better be spending a lot of time on the firing range!

And then standing in the next competition.

Bull's-eye!

~Moon~


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