Monday, January 12, 2015

The Contest is a Go!


Mrs. Marlow is very excited but her eyes are crossing. She spent all Saturday afternoon / evening and a lot of Sunday organizing (formatting) the flood of story entries that came in at the last minute.

The total count is a whopping 77, nearly the same as last year. That is amazing, since in mid-December, I think I had about two dozen, and only 2 for the ages 14-17. Now there are plenty of entries in each category to give the judges a good run for their money (well . . . I don't pay them, actually). They get a free contest book for all their trouble. I wish I could give them a Starbucks card or something, but this contest already costs me a bundle to put on, and I don't have any entry fees. It's more of a ministry, and God has blessed me with making enough money from the CCAdventures, etc. to host FUN things that encourage kids to write.

A number of parents (and you) have thanked me for putting it on . . . some kids who never write are excited to enter. Even if they do not place, they have learned some important lessons! One fan confessed she had never written a story before and this is her very first try. Wow! Those are great things to hear!

Another note: If you thought the stories last year were good (and they were!), this year's selections are just as good and some even better! I loved reading everyone's stories, even though my eyes got really tired. *pant pant*

This is a BLIND JUDGING. That means I had to take EACH of the 77 or so stories and make them all the same font, the same line spacing, and the same indents. I copied them into my contest template, which has the age category in the header, as well as an Entry #. That way the judges do not know your specific age or your name. This is the only fair way. But it is so much work because I see some of the strangest fonts sometimes. LOL And I was also very gracious to add a missing quotation mark here and there, or spell Mitch's name right (Mich to Mitch)--especially on the little kids' entries.

I am hoping to be able to announce the winners WAY before April 1, but it depends on how soon the judges get the stories back to me. I assure you, we do not want them to rush!

p.s. I'm also thinking of either including "2015" in the header on the book cover (2014-2015) or just call it the 2015 contest, since the winners are announced in 2015 and it's getting confusing since I extended the deadline. And next year I just might move the deadline to January 10 permanently. Any thoughts?


20 comments:

  1. You should move the deadline to Jan. 10th next year,

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    1. I agree. That would be best for me especially since I tend to get things done last minute and with the Christmas season (my b-day also falls right around then) its super crazy and this would give me more time to work on it.

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  2. I think a header of 2014-2015 would make the most sense since the contest starts in the fall and ends in January. :)

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  3. This was my first year writing a story as well.
    Mrs. M, this is an awesome thing your doing. Sacrificing your time etc. for a bunch of kids to learn to write and have a blast doing it!! Thanks a million!

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  4. I think 2014-2015 makes more sense. And the extended deadline definitely helped me! Lol:)

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  5. I'm so glad you got enough entries!!!
    I liked the later date. . .I think it worked better because it gave a little more time after Christmas and New Years!

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    1. Thank you so much for doing this contest :) It's always a lot of fun!

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    2. I really was glad you extended the date too... And thanks to Janelle for finally getting me inspired to write!

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  6. Thanks so much for doing this contest! It was so much fun to do for me, and I know it must be TONS of work for you to put this on. Good luck to everyone! :D

    ~Lydia~ <3

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  7. Yay! Thanks so much for putting the contest up, Mrs. M.!!

    ~Blessing Counter

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    1. Which age group are you in, blessing counter? If you don't mind...

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  8. Praise the Lord that you got enough entries. I really enjoy watching the contest from the sidelines. I thought about sending in a story this year (which would have been my last year)... But I am very busy as I am getting ready to graduate this spring and I need to finish up a few little things, like Physics ;)
    But I felt bad about you possibly not having enough entries so I'm glad those came together at the last minute.

    Thanks Mrs. M for all of your writing tips. And the wonderful stories you share through your blog. It's has been a blessing.
    God Bless you!

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  9. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words! The contest is very fun and the judges are already reading the stories and enjoying them!

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  10. Mrs. M, I'm currently rereading Dangerous Decision and doing the lap book (which I received for Christmas and it's tons of fun!) . On page 10-12 of DD a guy named Peter is mentioned. That's not Peter Wilson, is it?

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    1. No, that's Peter Kincaid, (of Kincaid Vineyards) not Peter Wilson. Peter Kincaid was created before I even invented Peter Wilson.

      I think my Price of Truth "Peter" character was originally Michael, but since it was too close to Mitch, and they were best friends, I thought that might get confusing. When I chose Peter for Peter Wilson, I'd forgotten all about the Peter Kincaid character. Since he's not in the book much, I think it will avoid confusion.

      So glad you like the lapbook! They are so fun. My 2 grandsons (ages 12 and 13) are doing the DD book and lapbook for school. When I was there I caught them reading AHEAD in the DD book instead of doing math. In fact, they both read the WHOLE BOOK and still have a ton of study guide material and their lapbooks to do. But how could I stop BOYS from reading ahead in a book they appear to love. So my DD told me to just let them read if they're enjoying it. OK!

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    2. I didn't really think it was Peter Wilson when I read that. (I couldn't imagine the bankers son standing in the middle of the vineyards passing out bandannas! Lol).
      I received all 6 CCA lap books, they are awesome!! I did most of Long Ride Home Christmas evening and the next day, but haven't had the time to do more until now, with school etc. (9th grade is very different from 8th and not what I expected!:))

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    3. What a fun gift! Slow down and enjoy those things, Faith! LOL
      And yes, 9th grade is very different from 8th. You're in high school now! (I was still in jr. high, and I tell you, I'm glad grade school was K-6, jr. high 7-9, and high school 10-12. I feel so badly for my little granddaughter. Only 11 years old and stuck in middle school. She now hates it. I hope and pray her mom will homeschool her (my DinL). My DD does homeschool, but their cousins do not. So sad, especially when both my son and his wife were homeschooled. :-(

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    4. I absolutely LOVE being homeschooled! I have been since 1st grade (but I went to a Christian school for k5.) and my brother has always been homeschooled.

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    5. Oh, I found it! Peter Kincaid is also mentioned in chapter 5 page 44

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  11. Wow! I am sooooooo excited it came together!!! I can't wait for the judging results.

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Let Andi know what you think!