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Writing Contests Forum Rules & Guidelines

Welcome to the Writing Contests forum! This forum is where you can hold your own writing contests or participate in contests run by other users.

As a member, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the forum's rules before posting. Posting in this forum implies that you read and understand the rules and guidelines and that you accept responsibility for the appropriateness of your thread or post.

General Posting Rules

Please be sure to follow the Terms of Service and Rules and Guidelines here, as in all forums.

Some common violations to avoid:

  • Spamming: Posts that are gibberish, off-topic, contain advertisements or begging, or have low or no content are considered spam. Please ensure that your posts are on topic and contain an appropriate amount of discussable content.

  • Trolling or Flaming: Posts directed at another member which are hateful, abusive, or intentionally inflammatory are considered flaming. Making intentionally inflammatory or provocative posts to incite responses from other members is considered trolling.

  • Scamming: Taking or attempting to take another member's gold, items or efforts, through false promises, deception, tricks or get-rich-quick schemes is considered scamming and is not tolerated on Gaia.

  • Plagiarism: Claiming another person's work as your own, or posting another persons work without giving proper credit are all forms of plagiarism. Plagiarism should be reported with the name of the original author and a link to the original work.

If you find Terms of Service violations, or threads that may need moved to a different forum, please use an appropriate report. The procedures for doing so can be found here.

You can find online moderators by following the [View Forum Moderators] link at the top of the forum.

Gaia Staff will NEVER ask for your password! If anyone asks you for your password, report it.
Guidelines for Hosting and Entering Contests

Writing Contests are Contracts:
Contests are contracts between holders and entrants, and as such there are expectations for both. Failure to meet these may be treated as scamming, a bannable offense, so please read carefully.

Guidelines for Holding a Contest

  • What is the contest's theme?
    A theme focuses the contest and lets entrants know what is expected of them. The theme can be very specific--a 50-word dark fantasy blurb about vampires, for example--or it can be general, like "fantasy short stories" or "suicide poems." Giving your contest a descriptive title including the theme can attract attention and let people know what kind of contest you're holding.

  • What kind of work will be accepted?
    Specify what kind of entries you're looking for: poetry, short stories, fanfiction, songs, etc. Also include a minimum and maximum length to avoid works that are too short or too long to be properly judged.

  • What about entry fees?
    Whether or not to charge a fee to enter is up to the contest holder, but be aware that fees may discourage others from entering. If you can't afford prizes without charging an entry fee, perhaps it would be better to wait and save up before hosting a contest.

  • What are the prizes?
    Please list up-front what the awards for the contest will be. All promised prizes must be given out so long as there are eligible entries that meet the contest criteria. You may add to the prizes as entries come in, but please do not remove or decrease prizes after you have received submissions eligible for them.

  • How many entries will be accepted?
    It isn't necessary to limit the number of entries, but keep in mind your judges' workload. If only one or two judges are available, limiting entries might be a good idea. Also, you should specify if people can submit multiple entries or not.

  • How long will submissions run?
    Please be clear about the time frame of your contest. If you must extend the end date, please keep the extension reasonable for the length of the time the contest was originally supposed to run for, and do not extend many, many times unless absolutely unavoidable. Please do not extend contests frivolously, as this is unfair to entrants.

  • When will the contest be judged?
    Once you have ended your contest, judging should occur promptly. Set a date for when you will announce winners, and please do not postpone this unless absolutely necessary. Please remember that repeatedly extending a contest with no end in sight or otherwise failing to conclude it will be treated as scamming. All contest holders have an obligation to their entrants to award promised prizes in a timely fashion.

  • Keep up with your contest!
    Keep track of your contest threads--bookmark them or use the subscription system. It isn't fair to people who have entered your contest if you lose the thread and just start a new one. If you repeatedly make multiple threads for the same contest, it can be considered spam.

If your contest doesn't include information on these points, it may be removed from the forum.

Guidelines for Entering a Contest

  • All submissions must be your own original work.
    All contest entries are expected to be original and the work of the user submitting the entry. Submissions of plagiarized works are considered scamming.

  • All submissions must meet Gaia's standards for content.
    Please exercise your common sense and best judgment when posting stories which contain graphic descriptions of violence or sex. If you're unsure whether something is suitable for posting on Gaia, feel free to PM one of this forum's mods before you post.

  • Read ALL the contest's rules and information before entering.
    You need to know what the theme of the contest is, what kind of entries they want, any style or length limitations, and what the deadline is. Reading the contest carefully will save you from possibly being disqualified because you didn't fulfill the contest's requirements.

  • Unless the contest specifies multiple entries, ONLY POST ONE ENTRY.
    Unless the contest allows you to enter more than once, refrain from posting more than one work in the thread. It is very rude to flood someone's contest with your entire portfolio and can be considered spamming.

  • Keep up with the contests you've entered.
    The thread subscription system is very useful if you enter lots of contests. Keep up with the contests you've entered so that if the contest-holder makes any changes or cancels the contest you know about it.

Should any problem with a contest occur, please report it to a moderator using the report system or via PM or scam report, as appropriate.
The report should include a clear and concise description of the complaint and any relevant links, including links to the contest and to any art submitted, if an entry is in dispute.

The staff will work with the contest holder and entrants to arbitrate any disputes that are not clear ToS violations.
Links and Other Information

What does not belong in this forum:

  • Links to off-site contests
    User-run contests held somewhere other than Gaia can be posted in Promotions.

  • Non-writing contests
    To hold or enter art contests, see Art Contests.
    To hold or enter avatar contests, see Avatar Talk.

  • General writing discussion
    Please use the main Writers Forum for general discussion about writing.

  • Posting work for critique, not as entries
    For feedback on poetry and lyrics, see Original Poetry/Lyrics.
    For feedback on original fiction and other prose, see Original Stories/Prose.
    For feedback on fanfiction, see Fanfiction.

  • Chatting or hangout threads
    If the main focus of your thread is chatting with friends or hanging out, please use the Chatterbox and Friends Chat forums.

Other Links
How to Report

Abuse of the report system will result in a warning or ban of your account.

Report a Post

Use the User Image button when an individual post in a topic contains inappropriate content.

    Reasons to Report a Post:

    • The content of the post violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The content of the post is off-topic.

    • The member who made the post has a signature which violates the rules.

Report a Topic

Use the Report this Topic button at the bottom of the page when a topic is not appropriate for the forum.

    Reasons to Report a Topic:

    • The topic violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The topic is in the wrong forum and should be moved to a more appropriate forum.

If you need to contact a moderator via Private Message, please use the "View Forum Moderator" link at the top of this forum to find a moderator.

Report Hacking, Scamming or Abuse & Harassment?

The Hacking, Scamming and Abuse or Harassment report forms can be found at the bottom of the forum index. When submitting a report, ensure that you fill out all fields and include as much relevant information as possible.

    Report A Hacking
    Use this form to report a Hacking. Hacking, on Gaia Online, refers to the unauthorized access of an account by someone other than the account owner. In most typical hacking cases, an unauthorized person enters an account which does not belong to him or her and takes items or gold from the account, often changing the account information so that the original owner can no longer access his or her account.

    Report A Scamming
    Use this form to report a Scamming. Scamming is when another member of Gaia takes your gold or items, or tries to take your gold or items, by making false promises of giving you rare items, get-rich-quick schemes, or by any other deceptive means. Scamming generally involves a situation in which two members of Gaia make an arrangement to trade gold, items, or a Gaia approved service (e.g. avatar art commission) with each other and then one of the parties involved in the arrangement fails to live up to his or her promise of an exchange.

    Report Abuse or Harassment
    Use this form to report ongoing Abuse or Harassment. If you are reporting harassment or abuse that is occurring directly in a thread, please use the "Report This Post" button instead.

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