Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Winners Announcement--"Uncovered"

Today, we have a first.

*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--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)


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.

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.

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.


Michelle D. Argyle said...

This is so exciting!!! Many of the ones I voted for won! Congrats to everyone, and thanks to everyone who participated. I learned a lot from this, and it was a great experience.

As for feedback, I liked the layout of this a lot. It worked for me!

Cath Barton said...

Thank you for the contest Jason and many congratulations to the winners. I was one of those who didn't make it into the Forties Club, but frankly it was better that I didn't - your comments were valuable and much appreciated and, I hope, will help me to get further in one of your contests in the future!

Vincent Kale said...

Congrats to all the well-deserved winners! Thanks to both of our co-hosts and for everyone who left feedback!

As this was my first time entering a CoN contest, I found that it ran very efficiently. Though I didn't have time to leave a comment on all 74 entries, I did read them all. Too many more than that would be difficult.

I've added a bunch of great members of this community to my reader and am very much looking forward to the next contest!

February Grace said...

Wow! I was honored just to make it into the 'forties'in such company...to get an honorable mention for Wish List is truly incredible and means so much. Thank you.

Congratulations to the winners and other honorable mentionees (it's a word now!) Thank you to Stephen and especially Jason for the fantastic opportunity to participate. It has to be a ton of work to run a contest like this- and it truly is appreciated.

I've found this to be a very welcoming place indeed and I'm so happy I found it. Looking forward to hanging around!


Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats to everyone. Contestents and judges. Well done.

JaneyV said...

Wow! Another great Clarity of Night contest! Congratulations to Josh, Aerin and J. Elis for being clearly brilliant. Such well deserved wins. And well done too to all the Honorable Mentionees (definitely a real word) who were all fab. And of course to all of us who made it here - also an achievement!

Thank you to Jason and to Stephen for all your hard work. It's been a really fun contest.

From the point of view of a participant the new set up was great, particularly in comparison with the two previous contests which were marathons. They were so huge that it was a mammoth task to even read through, let alone comment.

However I think back to a couple of years ago when I first entered and hadn't a hope of hitting the forties club, just entering that contest gave me confidence to write more and try to be better. And it was through this forum that I got to know a great community of writers who have become real friends - and of course yourself and Aine too.

So I guess I can't say which way is better - both have great positives and some negatives. As it's you who does all the work Jason I think you have to go with which way is best for you. For me Clarity of Night will always be like coming home.

Thanks as always for giving this community so much.

February Grace said...

Gee, and I'm so excited apparently I can't remember the title of my own story anymore I typed it wrong above LOL. *face/desktop*

This is the first contest I've ever placed in at all and I've tried at least half a dozen (this was my first CON one)...all of the stories were so good (I read every one and one of my top picks even placed in the top winners! Woot!) It really is such an amazing thing just to see my work alongside all of yours.

To everyone who entered- thank you. Each story gave something to me- each is a gift. Truly, thank you.

Now I'm going to say the title of my story ten times to myself out loud until I burn it into my undercaffeinated brain LOL

Thank you too again to every person who left a comment after my story- I will always treasure them.

Congratulations to everyone who had the courage to put their hearts on the page and hit 'send'.

That is a victory, all its own.


Gia's Spot said...

Though my entry didnt make it in the Forties Club, I was so enthralled with all the others, I never got the chance to vote! I was still reading and tallying! Drat! Jason, I am one who appreciated the feedback. It is never easy getting critcism but yours is always so positive it is easy to take! I look forward to my next entry in the next contest and will use a lot of the advice I see on your site! One can only dream........

Deb Smythe said...

Wow. Thank you, Jason and Stephen, for the Honorable Mention! There are so many wonderful writers and stories here, I feel truly honored to be mentioned. Thanks to all the readers, commenters and participants, as well.

And congrats to all the winners. A lot of your stories made my short list, but I'm going to read them again anyway.

Stephen Parrish said...

As co-judge I was treated to a rare look behind the scenes, and I would like to make some observations.

The amount of work Jason has to do to run these contests smoothly, fairly, and on schedule is impressive, to say the least. He deserves the gratitude of the entire community. I can attest to the care, concern, worry, etc., that go into his decisions. None are made lightly or casually.

If you made the finalist round you have something to be proud of. If you received an honorable mention you have something to brag about. If you placed, well, I'll be asking you for advice in the future. Josh Vogt: you have a very promising future, young friend.

I met some new people and bumped into some old ones. I think that's what Clarity of Night is all about. Thank you, Jason, for the opportunity, thank you, contestants, for the experience, thank you, winners, for the magic.

Posol'stvo the Medved said...

Let me just say that I am beyond honored. Thank you for all the hard work you all put into this.

It is humbling to be in such great company.

I only wish I had more time to be more actively involved this time around. Thanks to everyone for their lovely feedback.

February Grace said...

"The amount of work Jason has to do to run these contests smoothly, fairly, and on schedule is impressive, to say the least. He deserves the gratitude of the entire community. I can attest to the care, concern, worry, etc., that go into his decisions. None are made lightly or casually."

I believe it- and I can't imagine how he does it, honestly. I cannot imagine how time consuming it was to offer individual feedback to so many people- above and beyond the call, that's for sure. I'm new around here and he definitely has my appreciation and gratitude.

As do you, Sir, thank you for serving as co-judge! I will always remember that you two gave me my first-ever honorable mention.


Precie said...

WOOOOOOOO!!! Yay to all the winners! Well deserved!

And thanks so much to Jason for all the work he puts into these contests and to Stephen for being such a great judge and inspiration for this round!

And thanks to Aine for lending us Jason...I'm sure the contest takes up a lot of his time and energy, which he could both be spending with his family.

These contests are always wonderful, always positive and motivating.

I'm with Janey in my response to the new format. On one hand, I found the 40s Club more efficient for voting/reading/responding and more motivating for my writing. (I wrote and discarded an entry before submitting the actual one.) On the other hand, one of the things that's so very great about these contests is the open environment. So I could go either way.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Jason, for a fabulous contest.

And congratulations to all the winners, honourable mentionees, etc!

So many great stories to choose from.

Catherine Vibert said...

1st, Congrats to all the winners and honorable mentions. Pretty much all of you were on my short list, and I'm happy to agree 100% on the picks. Excellent entries and it only being the 40's club made for a very easy to handle round for us out here. Really I do think the format this time was perfect. Just getting my entry into the forties club took care of my need to win (woo hoo!), and getting to read so many well written pieces meant I didn't have to engage in any critique at all. I hate to put that job on you Jason, but what if you gave people the choice on the feedback? Some people are hungry for feedback, and others really are not.

(Actually, I think you should hire Aerin to give the feedback for you. ;-)

Again thanks Jason for all your hard work, and Stephen for all of yours. Great work, great contest, great stories, great fun! (word veri = grati)

Michael Morse said...

Congratulations everybody! This was time well spent!

Laurel said...

Congrats to the winners! Everybody on the list did a bang up job and that Mr. Vogt piece is going to stick with me for a looooooong time.

Regarding format, I don't really have a dog in that fight. Not my money or time that I am investing to run the show. What works best for Jason is what Jason should do.

My personal preference is the more open format because there were always a few that I really enjoyed that didn't cross over with the winners and I don't mind the extra reading. Plus, the pieces that need a bit more polish could probably benefit even more from broad feedback than the ones that make the forties club.

Jason, thanks so much for the effort and energy you put into these. It's like Christmas comes twice a year!

SzélsőFa said...

first of all, i would like to thank all contributors (contestants) for allowing me to read so many interesting and brilliantly written pieces.
unfortunately only two of the entries i voted for got any placement (those were Precie's and Joni's hon. mentions).

i am one of those who disappeared once having been cast out of the final 40's but the feedback i got from jason was reasonable, honest, kind and acceptable.

i disappeared because it no longer felt like my company.
there are language barriers - no doubt about them.
it may be only me, but former contests gave the illusion that we all belong to one group of writers. now there were the group of forties, of those who compose better and i do understand that this pre-selection is good for the judges and for the readers as well.
i understand the reasons for the changes.
yet, i did feel left out.

but this evening is not for lamentations ;)
congrats to the winners.

JR's Thumbprints said...

What I hate the most about the Clarity of Night contest is that it has to end. Congratulations to the top five and honorable mentions! Personally, I like this new format. Why? Because stories like "The Frailty of Birds" (yeah, mine) would've been reworked with the hopes of finding a home once polished. But then again, that's the way the ball bounces. No matter what, I'll always return here to try my hand at flash-fiction.

M. said...

They say that things never happen the same way to you twice, because its not the same thing and its not the same you either.

They are wrong.

I remember how I landed up at Jason's blog when the 'In Vino Veritas' contest was running last year. I remember the air, the atmosphere. It kept making me come back to this blog time and again.

One fine day, I said to myself - hey why not me? I can surely try.. One thing led to another and one fine morning early this January I woke up to a message saying - I got me an entry into the 40's club AND an Honorable Mention in the Silhouette contest. Thrilled to bits, I was!

Only to wake up from that dream today when JaneyV tells me I'm here, again!

Its been a dream run, such amazing writing from all the participants and interaction with people who share the same passion for writing. Most importantly the constructive feedback - on the little things that we miss or ignore or think no one will notice - I don't think this could happen at any other place.

As someone said earlier - 'What I hate the most about the Clarity of Night contest is that it has to end.'

Oh well. I think that in this opera.. the fat lady has just begun singing. More fun, is yet to come!

Anonymous said...

Warm congratulations to all the participants, the Forties Club, the Honorable Mentions, and the winners! Such a great achievement. Also, thank you for the extremely kind words!

Stephen, it was an honor to have you be part of this contest. Not only are you such a talented writer, but you're a great friend. The wonderful things you said about these contests are very much appreciated and treasured. I thank you!

It's my honor to be your host and provide the forum and spirit for these contests. But you all make it happen. For that, and everything else, I'm grateful!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Congrats to everyone that won!!

Meghan said...

Congrats to everyone! It was great to see so many talented people recognize. It's a huge effort so I'm impressed every time that Jason is able to swing this (and I'm so happy it's popular!)

C Ann said...

This is such a wonderful site, and the contest was wonderful as well. I didn't make it to the 40s club as well, but I'm still learning. Thank you for your honest critique and I'm sorry I didn't respond back quickly (I have limited access to the ocmputer). I will be sure to try again the next time! :)

C Ann

C Ann said...

P.S. Can't spell tonight either! :)

C Ann

Joni said...

What a delightful contest! I was so impressed with the entries. Congrats to the very deserving winners. I love being a part of this community.

To Jason, I honor you. You've created something special here. The first contest I entered had 40+ entries. To see where they are now, it's quite amazing.

I'm torn about the format. I understand how valuable it can be for someone who may be sharing their work for the first time to receive some validation, but I also really loved how smoothly this contest ran. As things grow, they must evolve I suppose. I'm with whoever said Jason's got to do it the best way for Jason. This is his party.

Thanks again to Stephen as well. It's always such a treat to have someone who's achieved success come and honor us.

A big kudos and thank you to all those deserving, Jason most of all.

chong y l said...

Hi Jason, thank Q (U2 Parrish:) for great efforts and gOod time management. I'll jest echo JaneyV's sentiments re format and feedback, viz, ditto to her Voice, mine is Midnight's:

"So I guess I can't say which way is better - both have great positives and some negatives. As it's you who does all the work Jason I think you have to go with which way is best for you. For me Clarity of Night will always be like coming home."

My 7th attempt for Seven Stones and it's has again been proven it's my fave number -- no wonder you pulled my number 150th Night Owl.

Lastly, echoing JV again: "Thanks as always for giving this community so much."

PS: I only joined the Forties Club on 6th entrance, with lots of practice and useful interaction wit" fellow 'owlets:) YL, Desi

JRVogt said...

Holy schnitzel. Wow. I'm actually on vacation with my family in Mexico and was out touring Mayan ruins all day, so I didn't get to check in on this until right before bed. Quite a surprise, and it's very exciting, to say the least! Congratulations to all the other winners as well, and thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments and votes!

C.Sonberg Larson said...

Thanks, Jason! I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put into hosting such a great contest.
It was such a great experience.

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions. Your stories are amazing and inspire me to keep sharpening my writing skills.

Looking forward to crossing digital paths again in the future.

McKoala said...

I'm honoured to be an honourable, thank you Jason and Stephen! Congrats to the winners, terrific stories all three.

As for the format, I did appreciate that the lower numbers made the reading easier, but Sizzle's comments on the community aspect are very valid.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Congratulations to all the winners. Especially you Aerin. You'd been at arms length to it for quite some time.

As for the contest format: Though I didn't make it to the 40s this time, I still like it for all the reasons you mentioned including the feedback. Though I didn't disappear but I couldn't read all entries in time this year (yeah, yeah Laurel, brag on! I only have about 10 left and I intend to read them.) because we went on 2 little trips on occasion of my brother's bday. Hence, I didn't vote because it wouldn't have been fair to the ones I haven't read.

Thanks again to Jason, Aine and Stephen for all the efforts they put in.

Erratic Thoughts said...

A big round of applause to all the winners...Yayyy what a feat guys :)

A standing ovation to Jason and Stephen.You both are simply great, I mean I know judging was Real Tough, they are all crazy writers and so are you both.
Jason,I can't Thank you enough for putting this up.I appreciate all your efforts to run these contests with a vigor that drives each one of us to lunacy we cant explain:)
I really really enjoyed the contest and was glued to it till the very end.I have never seen(read) such different perceptions of a single image.I especially liked the way people think, putting it into words comes second to it.There were so many firsts for me(including entering the CoN contest n that's a real dare).I actually re-read many entries just for the fun of it! :)
Would like to raise a toast for all those who had courage to enter the contest and send their entry.

Wait,did I forget to mention the readers and the comments posted.Good Lord!They have some amazing interpretations for single 250-word piece.

Lastly, A Big Thank you Jason, Stephen and all the wonderful writers for such a grand treat! :)

Craig said...

Thanks you so much Jason and Stephen for an amazing vontest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Congratulations to all the winners, you guys certainly earned it.

bekbek said...

I'm still amazed at how many really solid, moving stories there were this time. When I had finished reading and started studying my notes, I had a list of about 15 stories that all in one way or another belonged in the top 3, in my mind. Holy crap! And beyond those 15 were others that I really liked, as well.

It's a tough call on the Forties Club thing, Jason. I do tend toward "whatever works best for Jason" thing, but then that leaves it all in your lap. The way your contests have grown, though, it seems reasonable that at some point, something has to change. Whatever you decide, I know it'll be great. (And see how I just assume there'll be more? Yay!)

Congratulations to all.

Anonymous said...

Jason, you didn't mention that Josh is the first person to place 1st in CoN twice - first for 'Whispers', now for 'Uncovered'. Someone give that man a book deal, already!!

Rabid Fox said...

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks again for hosting a very fun contest, Jason.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Congrats all around, and thanks to Jason and Stephen for another fun contest.

Jason, I liked this format because I was able to read at least half of the entries, and I still received feedback from a good handful of people.

Personally, apart from reading all the great entries, my favorite part of participating here is getting the chance to hear realtime responses to my work from a bunch of new readers. Thanks again for sharing your audience here.



Anonymous said...

Jason, this is a postscript to my earlier comment, esp after digesting SzelsoFa (who I engaged with vigorously at an earlier CON contest:) and JR's Thumbprints' -- maybe as a compromise, how about posting up all the other entries wo did not qualify for Forties membership? (I of curse posted my non-40s qualifier at own blog which thus far attracted amost appreciated feedback from ET (your guess,who this refers to please, and if first response is proven Right, may I transfer that USD15 voucher for Night Owl 150 to thee, with host's AP?:) Regards to all here/hear, YL, Desi

Anonymous said...

Again, let me offer my congratulations and thanks! It was a really wondeful contest!!

As for the question of format, you can see it's a tough choice. If I return to posting all entries, I will need to institute a cut off. Probably 150 entries and no more. Posting all the entries later would be like running the contest twice for me, and I'm not sure folks would have an incentive to really read those entries after it's all over.

Desi, I can't transfer the Amazon gift certificate from my end. Once I buy it, it leaves my hands. Maybe there is some way for you to re-gift it, but I don't know.

Unknown said...

Wow, this is just such a great contest idea, would love to know next time you hold it.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all the winners and those in the 40s club!

I sure know how to pick 'em! Oh, and Jason you did a good job picking the winners as well. :-D

I appreciated your feedback on my entry and look forward to cracking the 40s club. Please feel free to give advice. Just because someone isn't ready to hear it doesn't mean it doesn't need to be said. Feel me?

Thanks again for another great contest!

The Anvil Sings