Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
KD Julicher
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Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby KD Julicher » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:42 am

I think this is great news for the contest, as fast as it's been growing. Kary is a wonderful person to help Dave read the thousands of entries every quarter. So exciting!

Congrats, Kary!

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:39 am

Great news, Kary! Our submissions couldn't be in better hands! Congratulations!

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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:48 am

And let's see if we can get Kary to do a guest appearance to tell us what she looks for in a story! Inquiring minds want to know!

amoskalik
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby amoskalik » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:27 am

Exciting news. Congrats, Kary! Will you be serving up your Rs with brownies of commiseration?
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storysinger
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby storysinger » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:27 am

Congrats Kary on joining the contest team. wotf010

Does this mean the time of twitching will be reduced?
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Kary English
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Kary English » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:10 pm

Hey, all!

Wow! Thank you for all of the congrats and good wishes! I am super excited about signing on as first reader, and I have to say that this was something I never even imagined back when I first heard about the contest in high school. Sorry it's taken me so long to post, but I've been swamped with all of the entries. :)

I also apologize, repeatedly, profusely, and with lots of brownies, for any of the rejections I might send your way. I'm sorry!!

As you might imagine, they threw me straight into the deep end, with Q3 already over before I started, and Q4 looming. After Q3, there should be a huge change in how quickly results come out. Much less twitching! Dave said things have been super smooth so far, and Q4 should go pretty quickly once all the entries are in.

Here are a few tips. For most of you, you know these things already, but I'll say them anyway because there are always new folks and lurkers around.

* Be careful with sex, drug use and profanity. Keep it to PG-13, please. A single f-bomb isn't an auto-reject, but a bunch of them will be (and the f-bomb will be edited out if you win, so might as well not use it to begin with, really). No explicit sex. Drug use is very subjective. We've had winners before where the plot revolved around cyber-drugs, fantasy drugs, addictive technology, etc., but things like massive coke fests are not a good idea.

* Double-check your formatting / conversion before you submit. Standard Manuscript Format saves lives! Scrivener conversions sometimes come in with a super-huge font where only 6 or 7 sentences fit on a page. Make sure comments and track changes are all deleted / turned off. I saw manuscripts in all kinds of strange fonts and colors, all in bold, single spaced, no paragraphing, no caps, etc. None of that is an auto-rejection, but it makes the manuscript look unprofessional.

* Triple-check to be sure your name isn't on the manuscript. Remove your by-line. Take your name out of your contact info on your title page (if you even have a title page - you don't really need one). If your email looks like MyName(@)somedomain-dot-com, remove your email, too. Don't put any part of your name in your header, footer or pagination. It's exceedingly rare that I would see your filename, but just in case, use your story's title only, with nothing from your name.

* Horror needs to be speculative horror. Straight horror, such as a serial killer or kidnap/torture/escape stories, aren't speculative.

Feel free to ask questions, but I am very limited in what I'm allowed to say, so I might not be able to answer some of them.

I saw someone ask if the first pass email means that everyone left will get HM or above. Unfortunately, there will still be some rejections, but hey, you're getting close!!

Above all, keep submitting!

Cheers,

Kary
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vsutherland01
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby vsutherland01 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Thanks for the response and all the information! We're glad to have you as a judge.

Good luck with Q4. Happy reading.
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RSchibler
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby RSchibler » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:35 am

Thanks for the post and info. Congratulations :) Glad to hear it's going smoothly!
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amoskalik
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby amoskalik » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:35 am

Kary English wrote:
I also apologize, repeatedly, profusely, and with lots of brownies, for any of the rejections I might send your way. I'm sorry!!



No need to apologize, but the brownies are always welcome wotf007
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Wulf Moon
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:30 am

Thanks for taking the time to share the info, Kary. Always good to hear it from the horse's mouth! Thanks, Mr. Ed!

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guthington
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby guthington » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:55 am

How awesome it is to hear from Kary English who in my book is a WOTF legend and brings us brownies on top of that! The next Writers of the Future volume I intend to read from start to finish is the one with Kary's winning story in it. Can't wait!!! wotf015

Thanks Kary for posting in the forum. And super thanks for the insider tips you offered to those of us who haven't risen above a rejection yet. wotf009 I'm sure these tips will be very helpful! wotf013
Amy [url]http:lapatrick.com[/url]

Harion
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Harion » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:42 pm

Kary English wrote:* Triple-check to be sure your name isn't on the manuscript. Remove your by-line. Take your name out of your contact info on your title page (if you even have a title page - you don't really need one). If your email looks like MyName(@)somedomain-dot-com, remove your email, too. Don't put any part of your name in your header, footer or pagination. It's exceedingly rare that I would see your filename, but just in case, use your story's title only, with nothing from your name.

about this, i'm not sure if you check, but if you look at the file author, some ppl forget to remove their author tags in MS word.
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thewritescott
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby thewritescott » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:26 pm

wotf010
Great news, Kary. Enjoy the reading.

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morganb
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby morganb » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:52 am

Harion wrote:about this, i'm not sure if you check, but if you look at the file author, some ppl forget to remove their author tags in MS word.


Can someone explain what this means? "File author"? "Author tags"? Does this mean all of our personal information under the File > Info section of Word? I don't feel like I should have to edit or delete that information. I don't even really know how. Isn't that information populated automatically based on our computer registration? If judges and first readers don't want to know our names, then they shouldn't go looking for it in the file information. It's easy enough to open a document — just double-click the file — without looking at that information. Is this something I really need to worry about?


~Morgan
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RSchibler
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby RSchibler » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:07 am

Morgan, there was a thread on twitter about this a while ago - my understanding is that on some mobile readers, if you convert the file for reading on a kindle or a nook for instance, sometimes the file info becomes visible as part of file names or some such. On a desktop this wouldn't be an issue, but on other devices, it could result in anonymity being lost. Better safe than sorry :) As far as the how - if you go into it under properties, I believe you can delete any identifying information there.
Trying to refute entropy with words.

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morganb
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby morganb » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:43 am

Phew! Okay thanks. That's one less thing to stress about. Since I do my writing directly in Word on a computer/iPad Pro, and I don't convert for Kindle or Nook, I'm going to assume I'm okay.

~Morgan
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
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Harion
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Harion » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:02 am

If you're using MS Word, just click File ->Check for Issue -> Inspect Document -> Remove All

Author tags and other document properties will be removed.
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Galen
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby Galen » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:09 am

Very awesome that Kary English took the time to leave some tips and general thoughts here. (...with Brownies no less)

Hopefully we can encourage her to consider doing so again from time-to-time in the future.

Guthington is right: entirely separate and apart from her new position, which is decidedly of great self-interest to us, she's also an incredible author and former winner and we'd be lucky to hear her thoughts on the contest.

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AlexH
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby AlexH » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks for the tips, Kary.

I didn't realise first-pass was so close to HM. That makes the first-pass e-mail I had one quarter even more exciting!
R, R (FP), ?

TimE
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Re: Contest First Reader - Kary English!

Postby TimE » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:45 am

Finished 1st draft yesterday, read thru today and entered. mmm... could be better, I'm sure.

However, as per Kary above, I edited to get all my sex, drugs and profanity on Page 13.

And as with Kary - I'm English. Got to be good, right?


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