the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone (whiskyinmind) wrote,
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone
whiskyinmind

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Fanfiction Awards sites. A How-to guide to getting nominated.

The end of a particularly odd week I've been at work approximately two and a half days out of the five and I don't know whether I'm coming or going... Anyways, I'm bored silly at work right now and I'm currently looking for the contact details for some of the more elusive writers out there who are nominated in the WKA and I started thinking about why some people get nominated more than others. So bear with me here, this is kind of a 'how to' guide to getting yourself nominated at a fic awards site (not just the WKA, speaking of... nominated yet? *g*)

  • Put your fic out there. I know that sounds like such an obvious thing to do, but you'd be surprised how few places people post to. Join some mailing lists or communities on LJ, if you'd rather only post the story in one place then that's fine, but link people to it. People can't nominate you if they don't know where your story is.
  • If you post to your own site, make sure it's user-friendly. If you have a multi-chapter fic, link each chapter to the previous and next, make sure the links aren't broken and try to avoid huge amounts of animation and clashing colours. If a site makes a reader wince when they look at it for longer than a couple of minutes, they are not going to stick around looking for details. Also, from a site point of view, try to ensure your work is easy to find. Awards site organisers and judges usually don't have time to hunt through page after page looking for one fic. Additionally, if you have a long fic, recognise that a reader may not be willing to read the whole thing in one sitting - on the page linking to the fic try to link to each chapter so that returning visitors can pick up where they left off. I design websites, I know that frames can be insanely useful when it comes to layout, but be aware that when you post your fics within a framed site the links don't work and it adds an extra layer of wading through the site for readers.
  • If you are using an archive site run by someone else, look at the layout and navigation of the site. I know you can't control that yourself, but if you find it difficult to find your way around a site then chances are everyone else will as well. Contact the site owner, raise your concerns, or find somewhere else to post. There are countless automatic archives out there which have clear navigation systems, there are options out there.
  • When you post your fic, on your own site, on an archive site, on livejournal, on a mailing list - wherever you post it - make sure you put some method of contacting you on there. Awards sites might not know about you - hell, there's a couple of names on the WKA this round I've never heard of before now - and if they can't email you, or contact you via a webform, any nomination you get will be binned.
  • Let your readers know you would be flattered/happy/keen to be nominated. Hell, if the site allows it, nominate yourself!
    The negative side of that one is this: if you ask someone to nominate you, or if you nominate yourself, make sure your story is worthy of nomination as the site judges will remember a bad story probably longer than they will a good one (it's wrong I know, but judges are human too).
  • Know your audience, respond to feedback in whatever way you like, but accept concrit in the spirit in which it is offered. If a reader suggests something might work better written another way, don't lash out with "what would you know? It's my story and I'll write what I want." Concrit is just that - constructive. (That doesn't mean you have to agree with every piece of concrit.) Of course on the other hand feel free to wage war on the flamers, and know that if you do, I got your back!
  • Reciprocate. Leave feedback for the stories you read, nominate those stories in awards sites. It's a kind of scratch-my-back thing, but if it works, it works!
  • If you are nominated, don't get pissy if you don't win. No one likes a bad loser and a negative reaction will just mean that next time the awards come round that's what people remember.
  • Flipside, if you win, don't be a bad winner.
  • Know the rules of the awards site.

There's more I know, I'll edit this as more things come up. :) Feel free to suggest anything I've overlooked!

Tags: fandom
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