Thank you very very much for everyone who has entered the Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge! There are many a Surprisingly Essential entry (around 400 between Blogger and Myspace), and the thread will be open for entries until tomorrow at 5:00 PM Pacific. Please continue to enter in the original contest thread and only in the original contest thread. Some people have missed the mark. I know the original post is getting so large that some people (especially those who are on dialup) are having some trouble entering. If you absolutely cannot make it work, you can e-mail me your entries and I’ll post for you. But for the sake of my inbox, please try everything short of summoning the entire Geek Squad of America to your house before you take that last resort!
In other news, I hope Holly will be speaking to me by the end of the week! Have you checked out her blog? Promised her cat toys and ski encouragement? I hope so! I seriously cannot thank Holly enough for agreeing to help out. This is quite a task.
And in other news, I hate to mar what has otherwise been an extremely fun contest that I am still very excited about (despite the morale meter dipping), but I think I need to address this, so here goes. Some people have expressed concern that their entries are being critiqued on other blogs, and that this isn’t something they signed on for. I’m sympathetic to these concerns — while this is a public forum and people can see their entries, they might not have known that others would be critiquing their efforts, and ultimately I’d just like everyone to feel good about participating. Yes, being critiqued is something that happens when you’re a writer, but this contest is just supposed to be fun. It’s not like anyone is getting paid for this.
So I proposed what I feel like is a very fair compromise: I asked people who were critiquing to please refrain from critiques for the moment, but since I know there are many people who would love to hear feedback, I’d be happy to mention their blog on tonight’s update to send people their way if people want critiques. That way, the people who want critiques can get critiques, and the people who don’t want critiques don’t have to be critiqued. Everyone wins! Even the monkeys, and they never win.
Unfortunately, while one critiquer was extremely gracious about bowing out (I really can’t thank her enough, she was very kind about it), another has disagreed, and UPDATE: Chro has agreed to pull unsolicited critiques and critique all comers! I wish him luck! Check out his blog if you want feedaback! But other than those who have agreed with the compromise, the critiquers aren’t excerpting material, and besides offering a compromise, my hands are somewhat tied here. People are going to do what they’re going to do, apparently. So I apologize to those who are uncomfortable with what’s happening, but I hope it won’t mar their enjoyment of the contest. I tried!
Ultimately, I hope we can move on from this — I hesitate to say there’s a lesson in this (there isn’t!), but from here on out I’m going to be deleting further comments that relate to this issue (I’m serious about this). Let’s just all enjoy the contest and let’s all just get along, and really: we need to remember that Spencer is the real problem here.
Thanks again to everyone who entered! Keep on entering (I didn’t plan on sleeping tomorrow night anyway… or the next day), and I’m seriously amazed and impressed by all the talent out there. You guys are awesome.