Yeah, the submission deadline is closed. We don't mind if you delete the random number that found itself in the middle of a word, but the story content should remain the same. We'll have other contests, so don't stress too much.
So has there been any clarification on the process to be chosen for the critiques from the guest judges?
No, nor would I expect there to be. Metrics tend to skew the results. If its anything like Teleport-Us, some litreactor folks will read some of the most upvoted, read pieces, (I think for scare-us there was a points system, but don't rely on that) and from them they'll choose the stories to be sent for critical review, plus which one's ThugLit will decide it's winners from.
Best thing you can do is encourage more reads. On that note, have you read mine yet?
Yeah, I was wondering about the guest judges. I think the rules state something about the top 50%, but I'm curious if that means top overall (using the point system, or based on the ones with the top percentages), or if they mean that as long as you're story is over 50% thumbs up you get put in the pool they're going to drawn out of.
I think I'm running into the same situation Liam was where clicking on Random Subs get me folks who haven't done any reviews. I also have some folks that I've done reviews for that haven't reciprocated (HINT HINT).
I find it best not to worry about the mechanics of the contest, and just leave it to the powers that be. As thrilled as I was with an author review last year, if I'm honest, I got far more out of reviews from fellow contestants and from reading other submissions. Speaking of which, better get back to it. Just 15 more to read...
I'm catching up on reading. (sitting in the garden, a dog under the bench) I always knew I wasn't going to read the lot, but I'm clicking through to everyone, checking to see how many they've read / how many have read theirs before deciding to proceed with a read. I'm also skipping some popular ones until I know if I have time before the comp finishes - there's some stories languishing in no mans land by people who have voted, but haven't had a read for a while, and aren't in that 90%+ category that might attract attention for those looking for the cream of the crop.
I'd count myself in that category, by the by - hoping to get to 80% but that would take a few more up and no down votes. Hoping to get more votes than last year - in total, and up votes.
I'll list those gems I've turned up when I get to half way, (tomorrow, perhaps) if anyone wants to join in. I am, as ever, in gobsmaked wonder at those reading the whole lot, and giving a good chunk of feedback as well. A pat on the back for you all.
I know Hector's calling me out! Maybe it's just a guilty conscience. I owe reciprocal reviews for a couple people and will get on them soon. This story started spinning out into a novel in my head so I'm trying to outline it while the idea's still fresh and exciting and see if there's anything to it.
Alas, I promise I'll review the owed stories soon.
It's clearly a guilty conscience on your end, because you've reviewed my story already.
In truth I'm just doing some shameless pimping/begging. I got lucky where work was dead at the start if the month so I had time to read more stories than I normally could, and understand not everyone has that time on their hand.
Good to hear about you expand your story. I'm probably going to do the same once I'm done with my current WIP
Right now I'm attempting/hoping to catch up on people who've reviewed mine and will certainly give yours a look. The process of culling feedback especially in these type of workshop environments is always interesting.
Okay, my top three from the half-way (oldest first) review of the hidden gems!
Your Return Policy - Nice modern cyber crime. Fairly popular, this one, but worth a read.
Why We Can't Feed the Ducks in Winter - Being haunted by your victims is an old trope. But this is a nice twist on that.
Last of the Cruiserweights - I'm thinking these two characters need their own series. That said, this is a mid-series episode, not a lot of backstory that'd make for a standalone short story. Wanting more isn't a bad thing though...
(Stats :Of these oldert 75, I make it 28 I've read. 36 stories are by (largely) non-voters - a few have voted for one or two others, (The excellent "Costumes" Included) though many haven't voted for any. 11 are popular enough for my input not to be a rebalancing - some are undoubtedly gems, but I'll only probably get to these after I've read the second half of undervoted stories.
The stories above are those that I think deserve a look by voters who don't have time to read the lot. They are the best of the ones written by authors who review, and which don't have a huge number of votes, and which I upvoted. And I'm harsh, man, really harsh - everyone thinks so! (Well, those I downvoted anyway...).)
Oh my god, I'm pretty sure I tried to pimp Why We Can't Feed the Ducks in Winter at one point and I'm so happy someone else is now too. That story is fantastic. I love it. It's such a trip. Seriously, no matter what your personal approach is to this contest, it deserves a read.
Another page (25 stories), another couple of hidden gems unearthed. (For definition of hidden gem, see above)
A need to be Bold - A great job gone wrong story.
Poachers - Nice modern set up, frightening degree of knowledge, and getting inside a mashed up skull.
P.s. If you like the ones I'm recommending, if you like my taste in stories, then you might (just conceivably) want to read mine. Knock yourself out. Criminal Class
So a question about the voting -- I went from 88% on 9 reader to 66% on 9 readers in a matter of hours. Was it a drive by voting or a change of mind on the reader's part?
You have 6 upvotes and 3 downvotes, which equals the 66% reflected. I'm not sure why you saw 88% on 9 voters at any point. An 88% would have reflected 8 upvotes out of 9 total, and since you only got one additional vote this month, that couldn't have happened. Perhaps the system wonked out for a second, but your current score is the accurate one.
It's taken a while, but I have now read, voted and commented every single story. If I have missed anyone then please send me a message and I'll read yours, but I think I've done them all.
My personal favourites are:
Venus Virga by Robert VanCleave - transgressive brilliance
The Sum of His Parts by EC Crouse - near perfection, in my opinion
Circus Crime by RhysWare - all kinds of insanity
The Heist by Amy Taylor - almost everything is hidden between the lines
Pork Chop by Bob Pastorella - brutal black comedy with a violent taste
My story is Donation. Please feel free to read and review.
Thanks for the clarification. As of Sat, like I said, I saw something different than what was there today. Your explaination makes some sense. Can people change their rating?
After reading a few more stories, I think my two favorites are "kitkat" (http://litreactor.com/events/arrest-us/kitkat) and "Burn, Baby, Burn" (http://litreactor.com/events/arrest-us/burn-baby-burn). I realize these have already gotten a decent amount of attention but it's well deserved. Chances are if you're looking at this thread you have already read them, but if you haven't you're doing it wrong.
I would appreciate any constructive feedback given on my short, A Christmas Story (http://litreactor.com/events/arrest-us/a-christmas-story). There are still a few people I need to read that read mine, but I promise to respond to anyone who takes the time to leave a thoughtful comment.
I tip my hat at you Seb, I'm going to try to do more reviews, but I'm not sure how many I'll get to considering this is looking like a busy week at work and I still need to focus on my own writing.
THAT SAID, if you read my short story False Impressions and leave a comment, I will make sure to return the favor.
If you don't read my short story, I will cry and probably eat a whole bucket of ice cream.
Aud, thanks very much for mentioning Circus Crime!
And you Seb, you don't understand how good it makes me feel knowing it's one of your favourites! I'm going to get reading and reviewing Donation right now, so expect that soon.
If anyone else fancies some insanity, check out Circus Crime, and I'll send some leftover birthday cake if you leave a nice review.
And if that doesn't entice you to read Circus Crime, I'll leave you with the first five words of my comment on it - What. The Fuck. Was That?
But in a good way.
Everything Adam says is true, he did say that.
Slice of cake heading your way, mate!
After reading through page 4 of this thread I apparently fucked-up and and re-uploaded a polish on Curtis is Crazy - deleted the old one from my chromebook.
I rationalized that in the spirit of this intended forum of community feedback, I'd best serve the story - and some reviewers who've taken the time to point out problem areas (not Liam, hahaha) - I was doing a good thing.
Anyway, glad to have squeezed some life outta the story for the past month and contributed some to the site. Best success everyone. I'm sure Thuglit could produce a solid 'Litreactor Special Edition' with a buncha stories from here and not miss a beat on their own drum.
I'm actually considering removing my story from competition. Overall, it's getting good reviews, THANKS for all of that, and I'm sure with a little polishing it could be a great story. The main reason is I'd like to use the characters in another capacity, and I'm fiercely protective of my characters. The other reason is that I am woefully behind on reviewing other stories. It's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I'm so damn busy. It takes time to read the stories and be able to give constructive criticism, and I don't want to play editor digging through a slush pile and giving every story just one paragraph to grab my attention. That doesn't help anyone. Just the thought of removing it makes me feel like a quitter, and that's a bad feeling, so I'm just considering it, probably not going to do it. I'll probably be right here, chugging along.
I’ve finally limped over the line, having read all the submissions. There are some very strong stories covering every aspect of crime writing, and I’ve learned a lot from reading them. I do think the quality might be even higher than Teleport Us.
I tried to come up with a top ten, but there were a few that were of a similar level that I wanted to mention. So here is my top twelve (though I’ve not been as good as Seb to link them):
The Quiet Detective
A Need To Be Bold
Alchemy & Atrophy
There were lots of others that almost made it for me, but these were the ones that really stuck out for me.
What are you waiting for? Go read them!
Thanks for placing me on the list, Adam, it's an honour!
Such a unique story just had to go on the list. I've honestly never had that reaction to a story before.
Taking that as a massive compliment, mate. Can't really find the words to use now, which is ridiculous as I'm a writer.
Hopefully I can get you again with another story of mine in the future.
Adam I have to give you credit, I don't know how the fuck you managed to read them all in that space of time! I've read 15 of them, the last time I counted. Granted I wrote a fairly in depth review for each of them but it's nothing compared to the time some people seem to be finding...I admit I've hung up my reviewing cloak on this contest now; I simply can't make time for any more, but I really enjoyed what I did read.
Appeciate making your list, Adam. After such a long ass day, that was a breath of fresh air.
Chacron - I've been doing nothing else for the whole contest. I made the decision not to do War because I wanted to throw myself into it, having learned so much from reading the entries in Teleport Us. The difficulty was in giving decent feedback this time, because last year most of my comments were a paragraph at most. I've learned a lot again though, and I'm very glad I did it.
Dino - appreciate reading your story. I'd be willing to bet it would feature in most people's top stories.
Thanks for the props Adam! Going for the double again?
Don't know about that, Mads. I would be very happy with that, but I don't have any expectations. I'm happy with the way my story went down, but Thuglit are a different proposition entirely.
Donation by Seb Reilly
Is this a short story or a how-to guide to duping gullible sods into giving you some of their hard-earned?
- The Guide, Guardian
Is this a short story or a how-to guide to duping gullible sods into giving you some of their hard-earned?
- The Guide, Guardian
So I got reviewed in the Guardian by someone who watches too much nonsense on YouTube. Read the full review here.
Or read the story here and then leave your own review.
My hat is off to you Seb, you have taken pimping to a whole new level.
I'm off on holiday for the next week and will be offline. Best of luck with the final week everyone. Keep reading!
I've read 55 stories, and of those, here are my top 5 :
Read them if you haven't already, and see if you agree!
(Plus, having read 55, I'm kind of disappointed to only get 22 votes/feedback. Thanks to those who have, but if you want to add Criminal Class to the list of things to read, I'd be very much obliged!)
Since everyone is posting their top five list, I guess I'll post mine:
On the offhand you get through that first list, I guess I can give you a couple more recs:
The Ralph's on Third and Vermont
Keys in the Ignition
Food for Crow
Pearls in Pigsty
I could probably list a bunch more. There was a wide variety of stories and talent in this contest that I can't imagine how difficult Todd's job is going to be in picking the ones that will appear in Thuglit.
Who's still reading? Can I expect any more reads before the voting closes on 1st August? Figure I'm owed a few - way short of half the votes for my story than those I've given out. (Boo hoo)
But that's no reason to read mine. These are five reasons to read mine, given by five readers (thx!):
On the other hand, it's far from universally liked, so quite interested in a bit of a bigger sample of feedback!
Go to it : Criminal Class and thanks to all who have already.
People that don't return reviews are worse than Hitler.
Do you want to be worse than Hitler?
I know! After all that time I spent knocking Mein Kampf into shape for him...
Wow, Costumes on 2 best-lists. Thanks people! To be certain, no one else is reading it these days, haha...
For anybody that reviewed mine that I didn't get to (basically, 4 out of 5 of you at this point), I apologize. I had intended on doing them this week, but we got really busy at work and I've been doing 12 hour days. If I manage to leave at a decent time tonight, I'll get to it.
EDIT: Got to it! (sans 1)
Well, I guess that's that until they start to announce the results.
A big thanks to everyone that took the time to read my story. For everyone that didn't, you're all dead to me.
Heck, still got half a day's worth of voting... and what else you going to do on a Friday afternoon?! Still looking for one more read/feedback to make it more than half the feedbacks I've given, I got back, versus currently less than half (it's an odd number of reads I've done). C'mon!
Maybe we come out sounding too desperate here, and that's turning potential readers away.
You know what? I don't care if I don't get another review. I got other cooler, more awesome stuff to do.
That's it now, friends!
I've read some really great work here, and I've had some really great readers for mine. I appreciate every single one of your comments and especially the time taken to read it!
To the people that managed to read everyone's, congratulations. You're incredible human beings with either superior dedication or lack of a social life! I lack the life and the dedication, I'm sorry for that. But I did manage to review the majority of my readers, and I did review others that hadn't read mine, so I feel justified.
Basically, this is a Good Luck to everyone here.
FUCKING GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!
Just wanted to say thank you to all of the people who reviewed my story. This is basically the first story I've written and taken seriously. Your feedback has been incredibly helpful. I'm glad that I got the chance to take part along with so many other great story writers.
I also wanted to jump on the thanking train. This was not only a total blast but also probably the greatest writing lesson I've had my entire life. Ol' William Blake totally had it right; nothing compares to actual factual experience. I'm really grateful for the fantastic one I had here and I hope to see you guys again soon in the workshop.
I've been skulking around and reading whenever I can. A lot of solid stuff out there folks (sorry, never had time to leave feedback, but definitely voted a few times).
Now, ignore these boards and go write other stuff - go submit elsewhere. DON'T THINK ABOUT THIS CONTEST ANYMORE.
It's the best advice I can possibly give or you'll go insane. Besides, you're not banking on a single story, right...RIGHT?
And while I got you, I really hope folks took the chance to check out Todd Robinson's "The Hard Bounce". If you're gonna get a writing lesson in crime, it should be from the dude who runs the journal everyone wants to be in.
Bored already. When do we find out results!?!
Though I probably should be a leetle bit patient, I think Teleport Us it was 2 to 3 weeks, and even longer before the critiques as prizes were all done and dusted. I should probably just go off and write something for a while...