Contest Update: April Retrospective

I wrote a while back about how one of my entries in WEbook’s PageToFame contest had been rejected. That post turned into a lengthy criticism of the methodology of this stage of the contest, and it’s been a couple of weeks, so today I’ll explain where I stand currently. (I’ll tag those who gave me advice earlier in the Facebook version of this post, so they know how their recommendations fared.)

I originally entered three novel first half-pages in the contest: The Invasion, Sunshine Civil War, and An Internal Conflict: The Second Time Around. Of these, only Sunshine Civil War remains “in play”; Internal Conflict was removed by WEbook after 73 people had rated it and only 17% voted to promote it, while The Invasion was removed after 105 people had rated it and only 20% had voted to promote it.

When WEbook offered a free entry in either half of the contest to anyone who entered two pieces in either half of the contest, I entered two poems (“If you’re not she” and “A Love Unknown”, the two recommended by one of my trusted critics), then used the promotional code to enter “A Murder, A Mystery, And A Marriage”. So far, as of Wednesday, Sunshine Civil War has been rated 108 times, with 36% voting to promote it, while “A Murder, A Mystery, And A Marriage” has been rated 21 times, with 38% voting to promote it. From the FAQ I understand that a work has to be rated at least 100 times and meet their dynamically-calculated “rating threshold”; Sunshine Civil War meets the first requirement and has around twice as much appeal so far, so I have some hope it will be selected. Rating of poetry hasn’t started yet.

On the other hand, I still think that An Internal Conflict would have the most potential if it had gotten past this stage, and I think the reason it was so disliked was the nature of the prologue, which consists almost entirely of Persephone’s recollections. If some benevolent soul would be willing to help me turn the beginning of the first chapter into a polished, presentable “first page,” I would be very grateful.

On the poetry front:

As I am a notoriously bad critic of my own work, I’ve been seeking your advice as to what poetry to enter in the “shorts” half of the contest. As mentioned above, I did enter two poems, but I’m still having trouble narrowing my choices down. I’ll list the poems that remain on my short list below; please help me decide what to submit by telling me which of these (or my other poetry, or for that matter any of my essays) you think I should submit, and which I should cut, and any ideas you have on how to make them better.

The remaining poems:

Comments? Please review!

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