There is so much wrong here I don’t know where to begin. (Warning: This is an exercise in sarcasm and parody, so don’t take any of it too seriously. Undies = to remain unbunched.)
A recent contest, let’s call it BULLSHIT CONTEST, was held where a bunch of unknown, starry-eyed author types were whipped into a frenzy in the hopes of being discovered and hitting the big time by getting their book published with real live publishers! Woo hooo!
I really don’t have an issue with that. Contests are fun and you can meet other author types and learn stuff. Yay, contests.
Here’s the thing. While the contest bigwigs were filling hopeful authors’ eyes full of sitting down with Oprah, a lot of the “judges” were trying to get you to do some other things. Like buy books from some of the “judges” in order for your book to have a better chance at being reviewed (“judges” is my term, not theirs; theirs is much worse as far as I’m concerned), subscribe to some of the judges’ blogs, follow some of the judges on Twitter…
Again, I have no problem with any of that. Okay, a little… But if somebody thinks they have a better chance of getting a book deal with a publisher because they bought a book by one of the judges, then they are acting foolishly and they deserve what they get. Buyer beware.
As part of the feeding frenzy, these judges held (and will hold again) parties on social media and use the contest hashtag to get the starry eyed ones to grovel for visibility from the judges, beg for table scraps, and worse.
THAT, I had a problem with. I’m not into humiliating people, as I saw in the contest. And it went on. A LOT.
And I said so. On social media.
And the judges replied. On social media.
Oh, did they respond. I made my comment to one judge, who reacted poorly, and some of the other judges apparently felt I was insulting them (the judges), so they recruited the other judges to pound on me. Live, on their contest site – showing the world, hey, if you dare step out of line we will stomp you like a bug. Grovel! Beg! But do not defend yourself.
By the way, some of the contestants thought my comment was aimed at the contestants. So they started firing at me as well. Others, with NO CLUE about the dishonesty of comments being said about me (he took screen shots? DAMN!) – and retweeted and favorited the BS, many using the contest hashtag.
That was fun. Yay, contests.
Well… I don’t intimidate easily, so I blasted back. They kept up the assault for about six hours.
So did I.
One by one, a lot of judges and some contest participants took shots at me (they had about 100 judges; maybe less than 15 took part in the online assault) and when the smoke cleared, I had added almost 1000 followers to MY Twitter account over the next 24 hours and blocked or been blocked by about 30 people – a lot of them loudmouth, bully-wannabe judges in the contest.
Around that time, one of the judges thought to ask, hey were you directing that comment at the judges or the participants?
In other words after trying to blow me out of the water for hours – and failing – the judges finally got around to asking if judges were in fact the ones my original comment was directed at. That’s an admission they didn’t even know who I was talking about!
Get insulted first, ask questions later.
These are people who profess to work with words. Author types.
Shortly thereafter, I did get a nice Twitter direct message from the head of the contest saying she basically had stepped in and called in her dogs, saying she would talk to all of them. That came right after she apparently realized how stupid her online mini-bullies were making her contest look.
Can you say damage control?
Now, the contest is over and SURPRISE, they didn’t honor their end, so I won’t honor mine. If I made one.
See, the deal was, the judges were supposed to get hundreds and hundreds of people to submit – wow, what a word – SUBMIT to the judges, I mean submit manuscripts to the judges and then dance like monkeys – I mean, wait patiently. The judges were to send back feedback to all contest applicants. Then a few lucky people would be moved on to the next round, and eventually – ready? EVENTUALLY the judges introduce the starry eyed manuscript to the judge’s agent!
Are you kidding me? Like you couldn’t do that yourself for free and without humiliation? Anyway…
The thing is, these judges have the inside track, right? They’re judges! They have agents! They are the connection you’ve been waiting for and they have books published and…
Well, no. A lot of the judges who are supposed to be teaching and guiding you do not in fact have a published book.
Or even 1000 twitter followers.
Or a lot of other things they want you to think. Like maybe an inside track.
But what they DO have is an obligation to review EACH manuscript that got SUBMITted and give feedback to the author.
Somehow, mine didn’t get reviewed and fed back! I know! You’re shocked, just like me. I can’t say I expected it after the blowup but hey, I didn’t write the rules. They said they’d do it, they didn’t say they’d do it ONLY if you behave like a good boy. See, when you have a contest over state lines, you have to play by the pesky rules of that state. That’s why Florida has guys who work at Hooters wearing little orange shorts. We insist on fair play.
The bad judges of the bullshit contest do not.
Neither does the contest runner, I guess…
TOMORROW: Will I name names? Will I post screen shots? Will I show you the apology from the contest runner? CLICK HERE to find out.
Maybe I’ll just show you the follow up contests they’re holding (shocker! Fool me twice?) or a really, REALLY BAD piece of advice from one of the people who used to be involved in the contest about how since you weren’t selected, it’s okay to quit writing now! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?
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