*Not only did Stephen and I agree on the winner before we compared notes (actually, that's not a first)...
*Not only did we have a very high correlation in all our rankings...
*Not only do we have a rare DOUBLE WINNER...
But, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time EVER in a Clarity of Night contest, the top three vote-earners in Readers' Choice voting matched the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners!! Holy frijoles!!!
Of course, you'd like to know who I'm talking about, right? Details, details.
But first, let me tip my hat to all the skillful writers who made the Forties Club. Each and every one of these entries employed solid writing to bring the story idea to life.
(Drum roll please). Without further ado, I would like to recognize the following writers:
1st Place--Vogt, Josh, The Care and Feeding of Angels (#9)
[Prize: $100 Amazon gift certificate; signed copy of THE TAVERNIER STONES]
2nd Place--Aerin Rose, Heirloom (#72)
[Prize: $50 Amazon gift certificate; signed copy of THE TAVERNIER STONES (moved from Readers' Choice, since Josh Vogt is already receiving this prize)]
3rd Place--Morgan, J. Elis, Synesthesia (#28)
[Prize: $35 Amazon gift certificate]
4th Place--Posol’stvo, Easy Chair (#29)
[Prize: $30 Amazon gift certificate]
5th Place--Eaton, Loren, Chthonic (#4)
[Prize: $20 Amazon gift certificate]
Honorable Mention--Precie, Child’s Play (#12)
Honorable Mention--Dudley, Peter, Smoldering (#17)
Honorable Mention--Smythe, Deborah, Broken Shores (#19)
Honorable Mention--Snowden, Shona, Value (#43)
Honorable Mention--Nagel, B., Fifths (#44)
Honorable Mention--Haws, Joni, Anniversary Dinner (#62)
Honorable Mention--Grace, February, Wish Trip (#63)
Honorable Mention--Tricia S., The Cold Hard Truth (#64)
Honorable Mention--Jones, Samuel I., Haina Baraka (#68)
Honorable Mention--Sharma, Mayur, The Amethyst (#70)
READERS' CHOICE AWARD
Readers' Choice--Vogt, Josh, The Care and Feeding of Angels (#9)
[Prize: $40 Amazon gift certificate]
Readers' Choice, Runner-up--Aerin Rose, Heirloom (#72)
Readers' Choice, 2nd Runner-up--Morgan, J. Elis, Synesthesia (#28)
NIGHT OWL AWARD
Y.L. Chong, "Seven Stones"--$15 Amazon Gift Certificate
A tough, tough competition. The Honorable Mentions could be much bigger.
Just how successful was it? Your 161 entries have generated 74 Forties Club Finalist, 26,774 hits, and 8,796 unique visitors!
As we know by now, entries scoring at least 40 out of 45 in my scoring system are inducted into The Forties Club. This time, all of the posted entries were Forties Club members. In my judgment, these writers have done their job excellently. Their strong, skilled writing brought their stories to life.
KEEP THE COMMUNITY GOING
Don't let the community end here. I hope to see all of you back at The Clarity of Night and on your own blogs. Link to each other and give your insights and gifts freely. If you'd like, I will definitely trade links and visit you on your own blogs.
SO WHAT DID YOU THINK?
Lastly, please let me know what you think of this contest format. On the positive side, fewer posted entries (with more skilled storytelling) were easier for people read and keep up with. Also, getting posted is an extra goal for people to work toward. On the negative side, people who did not get posted generally disappeared, and their lack of involvement reduced the reach of the contest. Secondly, the ones not posted lost the opportunity to mix with more practiced writers and learn through interaction.
On the I-really-don't-know side, people who didn't make the Forties Club got some direct feedback. Some found it valuable, some probably found it frustrating, and a couple didn't take it well at all. Giving feedback to people I don't know is not something I would generally do. You really don't know if the person on the other end is unprepared for critiquing or is too wrapped in their ego. Yet, feedback is so rare in submissions. I'll do the work if it gives something back to the writing community. On the flip side, it certainly would be much less effort for me not to do personalized notes.
Thanks again for a great contest experience and for all of the excellent writing. Give the winners a pat on the back for their outstanding work. The Clarity of Night will soon return to its normal content of poetry, fiction, and a few curiosities.
Feel free to contact me anytime. You will always find a welcoming place here.