Wulf Moon wrote:
[...] Finalists (usually eight) do know they are in the running--the contest administrator calls them, but they're under strict orders not to tell anyone. [...]
If finalists are ordered not to reveal that they're finalists during the time period between when they're notified they are a finalist and when they hear whether or not they placed, that's new. That was certainly not the case in my quarter, and if you go back through the quarterly threads on the board you'll see many, many instances of people talking about the wait to hear if F becomes 1/2/3.
Heck, telling people is the *only* valuable part of the "you're a finalist, now wait" procedure. Getting to find a foxhole with other people under the same crazy circumstances leads to great friendships/writing-relationships. Without that benefit there's absolutely no upshot to the contest creating the added anxiety (unless the contest does it just so that winners will all have dramatic shared experiences that end in joy and thus to create good PR fodder).
The only thing that was close to a "sworn to secrecy" thing was that when I got the "you won" call, Joni initially said "don't tell anyone for a few minutes... actually, no you're the last person I needed to reach so go ahead. I just don't want someone to find out they didn't win because 1, 2, and 3 all posted about it without me getting a chance to tell them myself."