I would like to participate.
Good luck.I am having a great time going back and reading former competitions. But I have two questions floating around in my head:
1. How the heck did I come up with SO MUCH STUFF in each of those entries?
2. How the heck am I gonna stick to the "new" word count limits given my penchant to write SO MUCH STUFF?
Interesting data. I’m curious how far back you went.I've been doing this competition for a number of years....always as a contestant, and never successfully. So in my long history of losing this contest, I've had ample opportunity to notice some patterns that others might find useful.
More often than not:
Adventures written for non-D&D games will score better than those specifically written for D&D. I'm not sure why...perhaps it makes the author look more versatile and experienced? Maybe non-D&D adventures are easier to write, or just more refreshing to read? I dunno. In any case, don't let the "DM" in the title fool you into thinking this is a D&D challenge. Branch out.
The word count and deadline are important, but they seldom determine the winner. Far more contests are decided by how the ingredients are used than any other judging criteria. So if you're going to stress out over anything, stress over the ingredients. Make sure that the given ingredients have been well-integrated into the story, not just casually mentioned. (I've lost several matches because of this.) Use the same ingredient in several ways: "bow" can be something you shoot, something you wear, a part of a ship, or a part of a greeting...so use them all.
Judges may have a favorite ingredient or two that they will scrutinize more than the others, or that they are expecting to see used in a certain way. The more specific the ingredient, the more likely this is the case. If an ingredient is giving you trouble, push through and resist the urge to drop it in the background...it's likely the judge's darling.
No offense taken. I had been undecided on whether or not to provide a window into my preferences as the other judges had done. Your post provided me a reason (and starting point) for doing so.@Rune, I hope folks take my advice with a grain of salt. I mean, I'm pretty clear about never having won this contest. If I had any magnificent insight, you'd think my track record would be better.
I've been competing for about 10 years (except for one year when I was an emcee and coordinator, and not a contestant), so that's as far as I went back. This isn't really "data," just my own observations and feedback I've gotten over the years. I certainly meant no offense.