I know pretty much everyone has the same opinion about this, but I saw a debate on this on Wattpad somewhere (the one time I was on there for judging/hosting ha ha) and wanted to show both sides of the argument.
With this, I'm discussing both user run and official contests. Because I got some choice words about a lot of the official contests, mostly because I see how things are done when I actually read it and it just frustrates me to no end sometimes.
Anyways, enough about my frustrations, this isn't a football podcast, it's a chapter and I don't want it to drag on forever 'cause that would be boring.
Disclaimer: I am not shitting or discrediting or hating on any of this at all. My congrats to everyone that placed or won. I've won official contests off writing apps and I know off some amazing authors that have won official contests. I've partaken in them before, so no hate or anything. Just an attempt at a neutral point of view.
Prizes help more with exposure: if you look, a lot of them deal with book deals - like the Watty's on Wattpad - and also some prestigious ass shit like actual promotion rather than the basic promotion they do or you do yourself.
Actual money involved: like who doesn't want to make money off your hardwork. Especially when you put literally years into it like I have done - and still do - with Fanfictionalized. One reason why I jumped at Radish's offer so quickly and took down most of the story.
Many are just popularity contests: one of the biggest offenders of this from what I've seen is the Watty Awards Wattpad does yearly. Not to shit or take away from the people that have won, but most of these people that do win have thousands of followers, millions of reads. Don't get me wrong, I've read some bombass stories that won that award, but it really makes you wonder about the lesser known writers because this one writer I've read on Wattpad who's stories are legit amazing entered and they didn't even make it to the midway list of winners but this one story I read that wasn't very well written but had a lot of reads because of what it was about made the list and I lost faith in them after that. Also when they changed the rules to make it harder to get in, especially for new and undiscovered writers. And the last Inkitt few Inkitt run contests I entered was similar in how they didn't read the books, it was chosen by the number of 'hearts' it got. Not all the good authors get those readers who will interact with their stories. One of my favorite books on here only had like five hearts. But some books that aren't the greatest will be on here for a few weeks and got a fuck ton. Again, not shitting or discrediting anyone, but I think that way isn't entirely fair. If you get me, you know?
Anyways, rant over, sorry.
Another disclaimer. Not discrediting or taking away or shitting on anyone that enters, wins or anything. Just showing the positives that can happen paired with the negatives that can happen. Not everyone partakes or experiences them, but they do happen and I'm trying to give you guys a neutral point of view on it all. Anyone that follows me on here or Wattpad knows I enter them all the time and even hosted one that just ended yesterday or the day before.
Judged by their quality and content rather than popularity: you know the judge's actually read the stories - it's explicitly stated and also you see the rubric so you know what you're judged on. It's all transparent and even some will post the individual scored so authors know what they need to work on and what they do good.
More exposure: like a lot of them are aimed at helping newer and undiscovered authors. It can help with confidence and show them they're doing good. Also, you can find and meet cool ass people from them.
Some don't judge fairly: this I've heard about more so on Wattpad than on Inkitt, but it's a thing where people will raise the points on people they're friends with or even those that might not have the best stories but write closer to how they do so they give the points to the not as good stories. Some people were saying they lost to people who didn't write good stories and then also read the judge's stories and they were the same as the winners. Basically, biased judging.
So, I tried to do the same amount for each. And again, no hate. Like I said, I enter both. I've won both before. Just placed second yesterday with my newest story, Perfect Illusion. And I ended my contest on Wattpad. Was going to host it here but it didn't catch on and realized it would have been too much.
Also, a big congrats to anyone who evee entered one and honestly anyone who ever posted their stories online because it all takes a lot of guts, and you need to feel proud about yourselves for taking that big ass risk.
If any of you need a new contest to enter, just ask me. Currently in and also judging in the Dragon Eye Awards hosted by @Yiona here on Inkitt. I think I entered How to Love and I need to upload two more chapters for Never Ending Bootycall to complete it's entry in the Humor category.
Hope this helps any and happy 2021 to everyone! Any questions or suggestions, leave them down below. Also, there are probably points I've missed on both sides of the argument but I tried to keep it short because reading long ass shit online can become tedious and boring and I don't want that. The conversation can, like always, continue in the comment! Happy Friday!