A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

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Brad R. Torgersen
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A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:44 am

Someone in one of the other threads said they felt like I'd made fun of people who've experienced problems with e-submissions for Q4, and that bothered me because I realized that my comment about a general genre issue from 2009 had translated to me poking a stick at people who might have lost manuscripts to the new WOTF e-submissions system. So my apologies to anyone I might have offended -- my job here is to help all of you, not poke fun at you when you have trouble.

Having said that, I want to offer a few thoughts and suggestions.

1) If ever you have any trouble with the e-submissions system of any sort, your first contact is Joni Labaqui, Contest Administrator. Her e-mail is contests@authorservicesinc.com and she is the one who ultimately ensures that your manuscripts go from California to the Coordinating Judge K.D. Wentworth in Oklahoma.

2) If you're having trouble contacting Joni or getting a response from the e-submissions system, then yes please drop a message here in this section of the forum and let me know what's going on. Joni gets hundreds of e-mail a day, a lot of it spam, and there is a real chance your mail might be getting lost if you're not getting any response. I can assist in cutting through the noise and get you an answer.

3) As my own experience has shown, the e-submissions web form is subject to browser difficulties, depending on what you use and what operation system (OS) you're running as well. If you're having repetetive difficulties with the s-submissions form, please do consider printing and submitting on paper. That's still a perfectly viable option and it may save you some headaches. Even if it costs money.

4) No software is perfect. I've been doing applications support for over a dozen years, and I have yet to see anything that is 100% bulletproof reliable, all the time, under all conditions. Because the Contest accepts entries world-wide, entrants will be submitting using a variety of web browsers running on a variety of operating systems. Not everyone is going to have the same experience with the e-submissions process as a result. Joni and the Contest are working to make it better -- all the time -- but there will probably never be a day when it's infallible.

5) Lost or missing manuscripts is a frustrating issue, no question about it. There will be a natural emotional response upon learning that your story -- which you've waited on for months, to learn if you've won -- was never even sent to the Coordinating Judge because it never made it through the e-submissions gateway. Please know that the Contest does care about this sort of error. But also please realize that missing or lost manuscripts are an occupational hazard in the writing business. Try to treat a lost or missing manuscript issue like you would a form rejection: it's unfortunate, but it also doesn't mean anything other than that the story can be sent out again. Heck, it can be re-sent to the Contest again, and if it was good enough to win when it got lost the first time, it ought to be good enough to win on the second try.

A lost or missing manuscript is not a disaster.

I repeat, a lost or missing manuscript is not a disaster.

Annoying, yes. Perturbing, yes. And Joni and I can help you as best as we're able. In the end I want to advise patience, and if possible, a sense of humor. The publishing world can be a crazy world. The way things ought to be is often not the way things actually are. That's part of the game. Learn to roll with it, and use the tools you have available to set yourself up for success. Setbacks and problems happen for everyone. If you've had a setback or problem, such as a lost or missing manuscript, especially due to technical error, don't let it get you down. Seek assistance from official sources, and ultimately don't treat that one story submission as your first and last chance.

There is a new quarter every three months, and three new spots open for three new winners. The only way you can't be one of those winners is if you let setbacks and roadblocks get in your way and you stop submitting. I repeat, the only way you can't be one of those winners is if you let setbacks stop you. Especially something as pedestrian as a technical issue.

Again, my job is to help as best as I am able. But I also want to try and inject a little reality therapy, too.

Good luck everyone. if the system ate your manuscript for Q4, no reason at all why you can't send it up for Q2 of vol. 28 right? And if you get the same problems as you have before, or don't trust the e-submissions, the paper alternative is alive and well.
Coming up: "Life Flight," in Analog magazine
Coming up: "The Chaplain's War," from Baen Books
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kyle
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby kyle » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:56 am

If anyone whose manuscript was lost pros out before they have a chance to resubmit it to the contest, please let us know! :)

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soulmirror
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby soulmirror » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:39 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Someone in one of the other threads said they felt like I'd made fun of people who've experienced problems with e-submissions for Q4, and that bothered me because I realized that my comment about a general genre issue from 2009 had translated to me poking a stick at people who might have lost manuscripts to the new WOTF e-submissions system. So my apologies to anyone I might have offended -- my job here is to help all of you, not poke fun at you when you have trouble.


Feel free to delete this comment if you wish, Brad, because I understand how you might prefer the thread to remain cleary Problem/Solution rather than another open discussion or He said/Then He said etc ...

But I caught the recent characterization / comment TO you ... and I think I remember the discussions from before too ... and I certainly didn't think you'd meant your comment as a jab of any kind at anyone or even at the e-sub process.

Misunderstandings seem to arise whenever anyone tries to characterize what the other guy "meant" ...

You're not the sort of guy (imo) to feel the need to give offense either intentionally or otherwise in a forum (that is, you're careful and precise in your words as a writer should be, so it's hard to misunderstand what were clearly meant to be words of advice and help, not a jab)
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby A.R.Williams » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:06 am

It might help to use this area to list known problems and the solutions to try, kind of like a Knowledge Database. For instance there was someone who posted on SFF Newsgroups this:

the problem: http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&gr ... rtnum=5704

their solution: http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&gr ... rtnum=5705

Bard Constantine
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Bard Constantine » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:10 am

Quick question: I just e-submitted, and had the problem that the page sort of froze up and never seemed to process. So after an Age I hit the 'refresh' button. I got the message that my manuscript was submitted. So now I wonder... is there a way to verify that the entire manuscript went through, or do I just have to hope that it did?

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Brad R. Torgersen
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:52 am

Bard, did you get an automated e-mail saying your story had been entered? if not, I would re-send it again. And CC a note to contests(at)authorservicesinc(dot)com to double-verify with Joni that your entry made it OK.
Coming up: "Life Flight," in Analog magazine
Coming up: "The Chaplain's War," from Baen Books
www.bradrtorgersen.com
Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell nominee.

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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Bard Constantine » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:54 am

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Bard, did you get an automated e-mail saying your story had been entered? if not, I would re-send it again. And CC a note to contests(at)authorservicesinc(dot)com to double-verify with Joni that your entry made it OK.


Thanks. I actually did not get the automated email, so it probably didn't go through. Probably a good thing -I made a boneheaded mistake anyway, thinking it was a new quarter. Since I already have an entry for this quarter, I'll just hold on until the next quarter and try again...

Alberto Z.
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Alberto Z. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Hello,

I submitted my story for the 3rd Quarter that ends on June 30th 2012 online as a .doc
I did not get an immediate automated e-mail response, so I thought something was wrong and I sent an e-mail to contests@authorservicesinc.com asking if it had arrived ok.

The very next day, I effectively got the automated e-mail which is powered by "wizehive" (I think its called) and also an answer to my question (from the e-mail I listed above) from Contest Director Labaqui who wrote back positively and confirming that my story arrived just fine.

So if you don't get the automated e-mail immediately, it could very well arrive the next day (as it did in my case).
If it doesn't then contact contests@authorservicesinc.com and I'm sure they will be very helpful to you.

Hope this was helpful.
Cheers
Q3-V29 R.
Q4-V29 Sub.

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:28 am

Thank you, Alberto, and welcome aboard!
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

Alberto Z.
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Alberto Z. » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Thank you, Alberto, and welcome aboard!


Dear Martin,
I'm a complete newcomer to the forum and the contest so I appreciate the welcome.
Thank you!
Q3-V29 R.
Q4-V29 Sub.

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:06 pm

Alberto Z. wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Thank you, Alberto, and welcome aboard!


Dear Martin,
I'm a complete newcomer to the forum and the contest so I appreciate the welcome.
Thank you!


We have a "New Users Introduction" thread. If you post there, you'll get lots more welcomes. I just happened to notice that was your first post, so I knew it was time for a welcome! There are a lot of friendly, helpful people here with a lot of experience in the contest, and they love to answer questions.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:29 am

ITT: an attempt to stop deletion. wotf001
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

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Elen Tel'Ithil
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Re: A general statement about WOTF e-submitting

Postby Elen Tel'Ithil » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:15 am

Aha! So that's why I can't read the PM that I have. At least it's only 10 days now until Vol.31's grand finale.
"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." - Ray Bradbury
"Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious." - Christina Katz

HM x 2
R x 2


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