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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Monday
Nov022009

Item

You guys! I'm not sure what to do! So many of y'all are entering THE GREAT EXPERIMENT that I think it might be too time consuming for folks to read all the entries. What do you think? Also, I'm having a hard time getting folks to stay within the 500 world limit.

So I'm gonna try something different for November.

Instead of a $5, it will cost you $10 to enter. And only the first fifteen people who enter will be in the contest. That guarantees at least $150 to the winner (if fifteen of you enter and I'm hoping you do) and assures you won't be reading thirty blogs to vote. Also, there will be no word limit, it's too hard to enforce. I end up feeling like a grumpy, English teacher editing an essay. I tend to think between 500 and 700 words is ideal but if you want to go longer, that's up to you, it's your $10, but you could lose votes for being too wordy. Donating is still encouraged!

November's topic is First Time. Any first time. I am accepting entrants now. If this way ends up sucking donkey balls we can switch it back or try an entirely new way for December. I really like how things are going but I'm not sure how else to keep voting manageable while still making the money pot substantial. So hey, we can give it a try, right? What do you think?

Reader Comments (10)

"sucking donkey balls" = automatic laugh out loud from Xmastime.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime

i like this much better - i usually read the blogs and vote - but this time was just too much (although i have no excuse other than laziness since you left voting up all weekend). but i'm not a writer - so i just appreciate reading other people's crazy stories. however, perhaps in 2010 you could do something photography related? i could look at beautiful photography all day long!

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindi

I think it's a good plan for November. Thanks for running it again.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDigital Bath

I love the photography idea!

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercassie

I think ditching, or at the very least increasing, the word limit is a good idea. I know I personally had big problems getting my entry to fit within the limit last month, which meant it didn't flow as well as I would have liked and so was a little clunky and haphazard than I would have liked.

To then find 7 of the 17 entries, including the winner, were over the limit, made me wish I had broken the rules as well! Not sour grapes, as this is all about fun more than it is the money, but what is the point of rules if they are not enforced?....

Still, I fully intend to have another go around this time, as long as I can get myself in gear and get an entry written before everyone else beats me to it! Good luck to everyone for this month, and thanks again Monica for giving us all this chance to showcase our ramblings!

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDamien

I love that we're forming a community through your website and through the great experiment, and that in the community we're collectively contributing and shaping the rules as we go. What a great social experiment. Damien - I felt the same way as you in September when the winner had a lengthy post and I had a definite twinge of sour grapes b/c I had toiled and deleted big chunks of my post to get it under the limit. But like you, I remembered the reason I entered - to challenge myself, to write on a focused topic of someone else's choosing, and to put myself out there for the feedback - good and bad - of others. Mission accomplished!

ps. the photography idea is a real gooder.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNJ

So if is my entry piece due at the time I pay the $10 entry fee? Or can I pay the fee today and have a few days to write my entry?

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWyndi

Good question about paying fee now to secure being one of the 15 entries and then having some time to write the piece. And good call on word count.
So frustrated was I in the first round to keep to the 500 word limit (mine was 499 to be precise), that I actually wrote Guilty Pleasure Part 2, to fill in the missing bits a few days later.
Then i didn't enter the next 2 months at all. Not sure why because they were both great subjects to write about.

Photography - that would be great. And much easier to judge a lot of entries.

Monica, thanks for giving me the push to start a blog - I never would have done it without your competition encouragement. Even though I've only made a few entries in mine, it's a great thing. I just don't know how you find the time to write 33 great blogs in one month and am full of admiration.

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

If you want to enter, grab a spot now before they're gone. Just like before, I won't ask for links until the end of the month. I have a photography idea in the works. Still working out the kinks! But it'll be great because such a large number can enter. Exciting stuff on the way, guys! Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it!

November 4, 2009 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I'm on board with this new idea. I didn't start reading until just last week and missed voting, but I did go back today (while, ahem, at work) and read the previous month's entries... I think fewer would be much easier, and prevent people from reading a few and then skipping the rest.

And photography sounds nifty.

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

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