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[Sticky] New Results Categories! Introducing DQ and Rejected With Comments

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Kary English
(@karyenglish)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 659
Topic starter  
Hey, all,
Q1 results will be coming out soon, and I'd like to make you aware of two new categories for WOTF judging.
 
Disqualified - We've instituted this category to let entrants know when they've submitted something that we can't consider because it violates the contest rules. Since this is our first trial of the DQ option, we're only using it for the following situations:
  • You left your name on your entry.
  • Your entry exceeded our length limit.
  • Your entry was not in English, or was in a format or genre that the contest does not accept. Mostly this means poetry, screenplays, scholarship essays, erotica, excessive profanity, children's stories, or stories that don't contain a speculative element.
 
Rejected With Comments - One of the most frequent requests we get from entrants is that they want more feedback. They want to know why their entry was rejected, or why it stopped at HM. We've heard you, and we'll be rolling out a new Rejected With Comments category, starting with Q1 and progressing over the next several quarters.
 
If you receive a Rejected With Comments letter, it means your story showed promise, but was held back by one or more issues mentioned in the letter. You will not receive comments specific to your story. Instead, the letter will contain a list of things that hold stories back, and you'll need to evaluate your entry to determine which item(s) may have affected your story.
The current RWC categories are:
  • Failure to Launch - your opening went on too long, was too unfocused, or did not engage us
  • Didn't Stick the Landing - your ending was weak or didn't fit the story
  • Content issues - too much violence, sex, or profanity
  • No speculative element - your fantasy or sci-fi element was not present, introduced too late, or was insufficient
  • Your story was for children - We're OK with YA, but you sent us something for middle grade or lower
  • Politics and Religion - Your story depended too heavily on real-world politics, was better suited to a devotional market, or spent too much time trying to advance a particular religious or political agenda
You may have noticed some overlap between DQ and RWC, so let me unpack that.
 
RWC means "We liked it, but..."
DQ means "Absolutely not."
 
RWC means "Ok, a few too many f-bombs here," or "please scale back that sex scene."
DQ means "Do you know any words that don't start with f?" or "0.o - WTH did I just read? Whatever it was, don't submit it again."
 
RWC means "You sent us a nice haunted house story for 4th graders."
DQ means "You sent us a picture book for four year-olds."
 
In short, RWC is fixable, for the most part. DQ is not.*
 
In terms of quality, RWC stories are somewhere near the border between HM and R. If you've been getting straight Rs, RWC will help you fine tune your craft so you can hit that HM mark. If you've been frustrated that you can't get more than HM, RWC will help you figure out why.
 
For Q1, the RWC category is small, fewer than a hundred stories, and mostly for Failure to Launch. We expect to use RWC more heavily in future quarters.
Cheers,
Kary

* Except for your name. If you get DQed for leaving your name on it, fix it and resubmit it.

WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Hugo and Astounding finalist, made the preliminary Stoker ballot (juried)
Published by Galaxy's Edge, DSF, StarShipSofa and TorNightfire


   
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Yelena
(@scribblesatdusk)
Estimable Member
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Posts: 211
 

The wait was already worth it but this REALLY makes all the waiting worthwhile. Thank you for these amazing changes! I know this means so much more work for the staff but wow am I super grateful, especially for the potential at getting comments on rejected stories! 

V36:Q3 HM V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM V38: R,HM, F, HM V39: HM, SHM, ?


   
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mikewyantjr
(@mikewyantjr)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 180
 

That's amazing, Kary. I can only imagine how much this is going to help folks in the future. Smile

WotF Results:

R:6
HM:15
sHM:0
SF:2
F:0
Last: SF, Q1 v39


   
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Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
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Posts: 448
 

Thank you Kary. I love the new guidelines. 

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: RWC, HM, P
"Amore For Life" in After the Gold Rush Third Flatiron Anthologies


   
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2831
 

@karyenglish These a great new features to story returns, and should be very helpful to aspiring writers. Thanks, Kary!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!


   
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crlisle
(@crlisle)
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Posts: 327
 

This is awesome!

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon


   
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CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
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Posts: 258
 

Wow, this is fantastic! Thank you!!

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, HM, HM, HM
V39: HM, R, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the in-progress Leyward Stones series--including my serial, Macchiatos, Faerie Princes, and Other Things That Happen at Midnight, currently available on Kindle Vella.
Website: http://ccrawfordwriting.com. I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Short story "Our Kind" published in DreamForge Anvil, Issue #5, and also "One Shot at Aeden" published in DreamForge Anvil, Issue #7!


   
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Henckel
(@henckel)
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Posts: 453
 

Too cool!

Thank you 

WOTF Stats
(2014) V31 – R
(2018) V35 – HM
(2019) V36 – HM, SHM
(2020) V37 – R, HM, SHM, Finalist
(2021) V38 – SF, SHM, SHM, HM
(2022) V39 – HM, SHM, tba, tba

Other Achievements
(2019) Cowboy for a Day, published in Escape Anthology
(2020) Magician's Midlife Crisis, published by Sci-Fi Lampoon
(2020) Survived lockdown with minimal emotional scarring
(2021) Mike Resnick Memorial Award - 3rd Place winner!!!
(2022) Echoes of Gliese, published by Galaxy's Edge Magazine (January issue)
(2022) Heaven or Bust, published by Bag of Bones Press: 206 Word Stories
(2022) The Button Girl, published by The Academy of Heart and Mind
(2022) The Reaping of Blackroot Hollow will be published by Galaxy's Edge Magazine later in 2022


   
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Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 392
 
Posted by: @karyenglish

WTH did I just read? Whatever it was, don't submit it again."

That's brilliant. Had me laughing out loud.

Thank you kindly for this update, Kary. Very generous. I'm sure it will help many new writers.

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, R, HM
V39: HM, P


   
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TimE
 TimE
(@time)
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Posts: 355
 

Thanks, Kary. I appreciate you making the extra effort required for this.


   
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HermioneLee
(@hermionelee)
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Posts: 188
 

Thank you Kary! It really helps new writers a lot

V37: R, R, R, R
V38: R, R, HM, R
V39:

Author of The Otherworld Trilogy
Book 1: In the Name of the Otherworld (https://www.amazon.com/Name-Otherworld-Hermione-Lee/dp/1955086362)
Book 2: Marvels of the Underworld (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1956788689?ref_=dbs_m_mng_wim_calw_tpbk_1&storeType=ebooks)
Book 3 I&II: War of the Chaotic Worlds (TBA)

Recipient of the Literary Titan Silver Award in September 2021
Recipient of Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Novel and Best Young Adult Book in the 24th Critters Annual Readers Poll (2021-2022)
Winner of the 2021 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Awards (Best YA/NA Novel)


   
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storysinger
(@storysinger)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1196
 

Thanks for the information Kary.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4
HM-V39/Q2
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts Notions
Silver Ships


   
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David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 359
 

Thanks Kary! We really appreciate the work you do to help the contest entrants. These new categories will be really helpful. 

Winner, Volume 39, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Place
V38: HM, HM, SHM
V39: HM, 3rd Place

Published Stories:
"A Properly Spiced Gingerbread" in DreamForge Anvil Volume 7
"The Last Quest of Corbin the Coward" in Factor Four Magazine
"Reassessed Value" in Third Flatiron's After the Gold Rush Anthology


   
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Todd Jones
(@toddjones)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 51
 

Nice improvement!   I can see this being extremely helpful.

Thank you for the continued support.

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."~ Henry Ford

2021 - Q4 - V38 - HM
2022 - Q1 - V39 - SHM
2022 - Q2 - V39 - HM
2022 - Q3 - V39 - Submitted
2022 - Q4 - V39 - Weaving Tale


   
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Cherrie
(@clfors)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 140
 

These are great new categories! Thanks Kary! 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
1x HM Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion


   
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Ease
 Ease
(@ease)
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Posts: 96
 

@karyenglish, that sounds like a lot of extra work! You guys are crazy!

Now the question is, for those with the rest of the alphabet soup (R, HM, SHM, SF, F, and P), will you be tempted to deliberately collect a DQ and an RWC?

R - HM - HM - HM - HM - P


   
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empressed
(@empressed)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 195
 

This will help so many people! You all are awesome!

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=24
HM= 6
SHM=3
Finalist=1


   
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Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1282
 
Posted by: @ease

@karyenglish, that sounds like a lot of extra work! You guys are crazy!

Now the question is, for those with the rest of the alphabet soup (R, HM, SHM, SF, F, and P), will you be tempted to deliberately collect a DQ and an RWC?

That seems a bit extreme to me, but the prospect is amusing. laughing  

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales
Twitter
4th and Starlight: e-book | paperback


   
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Sinsyne
(@sinsyne)
Eminent Member
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Posts: 27
 

This is a clever and efficient approach. When rejecting a story, you will in the moment have an idea what it lacked, and putting the most common reasons for rejection in a list you can place a checkmark next to gives an excellent ratio of valuable feedback:extra work.

Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.
Terry Pratchett


   
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chuckt
(@chuckt)
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Posts: 431
 

How very nice. Thanks.

Chuck Thompson
6 Rs, 5 HMs, 2 SHMs


   
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Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
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Posts: 1926
 
Posted by: @ease

@karyenglish, that sounds like a lot of extra work! You guys are crazy!

Watching from the outside, I can say that they designed it for the LEAST extra work possible. That’s why you don’t get a specific cause of failure, you get a list of the most common causes of failure. (It’s up to you to decide which cause applies to your story.) They don’t do this for every story, just stories that show promise. So the extra work is something like, “Oh, so close! Put this in the comment folder instead of the rejection folder.”

The extra work is more than zero; but they really thought about how to minimize it.

http://nineandsixtyways.com/
Tools, Not Rules.
Martin L. Shoemaker
3rd Place Q1 V31
"Today I Am Paul", WSFA Small Press Award 2015, Nebula nomination 2015
Today I Am Carey from Baen
The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon, October 2019) and The Last Campaign from 47North


   
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JAbecker
(@jabecker)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 13
 

That's an absolutely awesome addition to the contest. It can totally help people improve. Form R's are so hard to learn something from.

It's almost like a bronze honorable mention, in a way.


   
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Butterfly
(@sandy)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 9
 

This is so helpful and so very generous, especially considering all that the contest does for entrants already. Thank you very much for this addition.


   
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Kary English
(@karyenglish)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 659
Topic starter  
Posted by: @jabecker

That's an absolutely awesome addition to the contest. It can totally help people improve. Form R's are so hard to learn something from.

It's almost like a bronze honorable mention, in a way.

Definitely!  RWC means we saw something promising, something we wanted to encourage in addition to whatever caused us to flag it for RWC.

WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Hugo and Astounding finalist, made the preliminary Stoker ballot (juried)
Published by Galaxy's Edge, DSF, StarShipSofa and TorNightfire


   
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Rey Nichols
(@rnichols)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 62
 

Doing my quarterly forum lurk and I’m really excited for these changes Smile

SHM: 1
HM: 6
R: 1
www.reynichols.com


   
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Loretta T.
(@lusine)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 6
 

@karyenglish Thank you for all the helpful information!


   
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Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Reputable Member
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Posts: 448
 

I looks like I got the new category a RWC. Maybe I should run the by my writing group.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: RWC, HM, P
"Amore For Life" in After the Gold Rush Third Flatiron Anthologies


   
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storysinger
(@storysinger)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1196
 

I got a DNP (did not place) and an offer to purchase the anthology.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4
HM-V39/Q2
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts Notions
Silver Ships


   
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czing
(@czing)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 264
 

I know this isn't quite on topic exactly, but this change which is great by the way, got me thinking about what has changed in the time I've been submitting and part of my brain insists that it has just been a couple years since you @karyenglish started being the first reader. But then I questioned whether it is just that weird time compression/time expansion thing that has marked the last couple of years. And also questioning whether I remember an announcement about that or if I'm mixing it up with something else.

So do you mind sharing when you started as first reader?

(Also I admit I have a re-worked story I'm thinking about submitting but might use something else if you would have definitely seen it before)

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 - SHM; Q3 - HM; Q4 - HM
v39 Q1 - SHM; Q3 - Pending


   
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Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Noble Member
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Posts: 1077
 

Extra! Extra! Read all about it:

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/writers-of-the-future-taps-kary-english-as-new-first-reader/

(I'm not really so old I remember those times or anything. Just sounded like a fun thing to write)

2x Finalist
2x Semi
8x Silver
10x HM
Finalist #2 Read it here!


   
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