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8033Check Ballots About to Be Posted

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  • aure_enteluva
    Aug 3, 2007
      Hey guys,

      In a minute I'm going to begin posting what's known as "check
      ballots". A check ballot is a list of all the subcategories within a
      main category, including what stories will be competing in it and some
      basic information about those stories. If you see anything that you
      think should be moved, please post here about it.

      A story wins an award at the subcategory level. When you write a
      comment about a story it is assigned a point value depending on how
      long it is, up to ten points for 1,000 characters. Then the point
      values for all the reviews of a story are added up. The story in each
      subcategory with the most point gets first place for that subcategory,
      and the next two highest-scoring stories get second and third place
      respectively. (There are no winners at the main category level.) So
      you see subcategories are actually very important! These are the
      stories your stories will be directly competing against. That's why we
      want to get them right.

      You may see stories that are in a suitable subcategory, but you think
      another category would be better. Sometimes we've had to do this to
      make a too-small subcategory large enough to be competitive, or where
      the author would have had too many stories. So we try not to move a
      story out of a subcategory if the one it's currently in is good (even
      if it's not the best). However, you may see stories in subcategories
      that are really wrong for a story. If you find yourself in a category
      or subcategory you didn't select when filling out your story form,
      please let us know!

      Now, I want to clear up some things about how categorization works. I
      know there are a lot of people new to the awards this year, and this
      really can be a bit confusing.

      Some people have emailed me to ask whether a story that was described
      as AU or Crossover in the summary would necessarily be in the
      Alternate Universe or Crossover main category. The answer is no. When
      we placed stories in a main category we used the three main categories
      the author chose when completing their story form. Some authors want
      to warn their readers that a story is AU, but the AU-ness isn't what
      the story is really about so they'd rather it compete against stories
      in some other genres. Other times a story was of a special type
      (fixed-length ficlet, poetry, or works-in-progress). Stories of those
      types compete in special subcategories against other stories of those

      So if there weren't enough (say) work-in-progress Crossovers for us to
      have a "Genres: Crossovers: Incomplete" subcategory, those stories
      would compete in "Incomplete" subcategories in some other main
      category. This is why we ask for three main category choices, because
      sometimes that first-choice category just doesn't work out.

      Also, some people asked whether we categorized based on length. We
      keep fixed-length ficlets in special subcategories like I said above.
      For the purpose of these awards, a FLF is a piece that's written to be
      some specific word length. We're talking drabbles and drabble
      variants, like double drabbles, triple drabbles, 150-word ficlets, and
      so on. Series where each part is a FLF could compete in those FLF
      subcategories, too.

      Aside from that, though, we don't keep lengths separate. Novels
      sometimes compete with short stories. We did keep an eye on length and
      tried to mix stories of different length so a 700-word story didn't
      end up competing against a slew of novels (or vice versa). However,
      you won't find a "novel" or a "short story" subcategory. Stories are
      sorted based on content. Specifically, we build subcategories around
      what authors select as their characters for categorization, settings,
      events and time periods, and subgenres.

      I hope that clears up some questions you guys might have about
      categories and subcategories. If you're still unclear about anything
      feel free to ask, or check out the FAQ on categories and subcategories at


      Now, on with the check ballots! I'll start posting them now.