8680Re: [MEFAwards] ADMIN - Remenders and Policy Changes
- May 2, 2008Number four has me excited too.
On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 3:35 AM, melayton@... <melayton@...>
> Hey guys,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> As I mentioned in an email a few days ago, the 2008 MEFAs will begin
> accepting nominations this Sunday, May 4. Nominations will be open until
> June 15. So right now seems like a good time to make some announcements
> about what will change about that part of the awards.
> First, I want to explain about this email I'm writing right now. The
> MEFAs are a complicated awards system and take some getting used to. So
> to help educate members, every week I'll be making a post at MEFAwards
> and at the LJ community mefas. These won't be sent out as special
> notices but they will have a subject starting with "ADMIN." So watch out
> for these; I hope everyone will take the time to read them. I'll try to
> be quick, though this post will be longer than most, as there's a lot to
> talk about.
> Second, I want to remind everyone: keep an eye on your spam filters. All
> MEFA-related emails should be coming from addresses ending in
> "mefawards.net" after the @. But we're emailing you to let you know
> you've been nominated for an award, and many spam filters are sensitive
> to emails like that - so please, before you delete your spam box, check
> that there aren't any emails from an @... email address.
> Now, on to the changes about this year's awards.
> 1. New FAQs and Rules
> I've added several new items to the FAQ section of the website, prompted
> by questions people had in 2007 and also by changes we made in the
> post-mortem after the 2007 awards. Some new FAQs:
> --- "Are series and anthologies of stories eligible?" in the Eligibility
> --- "What are main categories?" in the Categorization FAQ
> --- "Can I include spoilers in my reviews?" and "What do I do if a
> review contains spoilers but isn't labeled as such?" in the Voting FAQ
> --- "Common Acronyms and Terms" - a totally new FAQ
> In addition, there will be lists of the most useful FAQ items for new
> nominators, voters, and authors. So if you're new to the awards, that
> will give you some places to start. (Or even if you just need a
> 2. Changes to the Website
> The overall structure of the website is basically the same, so if you
> participated in the past there will be a lot that is similar. But there
> are some important changes that I think people will enjoy discovering.
> For instance, there is now a timer on the review form that tells you how
> long until you are automatically logged out. Hopefully this will help
> people from losing their review because they logged out while entering it.
> Another thing about entering the reviews that has changed is that
> there's a check-box at the bottom of the review form that allows you to
> tell the website that the review contains spoilers. This will allow us
> to warn people reading your review that the review might give away part
> of the story. Use the golden rule: if you hadn't read the story and were
> looking at the review, would you like to be warned that the review might
> include spoilers? If so, check the box.
> The page where you go to look at the nominated stories now is a little
> simpler. There's a neat new feature that lets you see how many stories
> involve any of the available places, characters, events/time periods,
> subgenres, lengths, or source materials; and with a single click you can
> pull up the listings for all of the stories that involve those things.
> Also, on the home page (what you see when first logging in), there will
> be a randomly-selected story displayed. There will also be a
> randomly-selected review, from those that are visible at that point of
> the awards (i.e., final while the awards are going on, final or hidden
> after voting closes). The point of this is to make it easier for you to
> vote. If you don't have time to look at the whole story list, maybe this
> randomly-selected story will spark your interest.
> 3. Characters, Settings, Canonical Events, and Subgenres
> One of the most common frustrations I've heard about in past years is
> that it's hard to use the lists of characters, settings, time periods,
> and subgenres. And those lists often can get long and unwieldly, I
> agree. So we've put a lot of work into making them easier to use.
> On the nomination form, the list of characters will be grouped by races,
> so you'll be able to see all of the Gondorians together, and all of the
> Elves together, and all of the Hobbits together. There are also lots of
> "other" character listings - like "Other Kings of Gondor" or "Other
> Brandybucks" or "Other Elves of Aman," where you can select a general
> group if a character you like isn't listed. If a character changed
> races, she'll be listed with the race of her birth (like, Arwen is
> listed with Half-elves, not with Gondorians; Eowyn with Rohirrim, not
> with Gondorians).
> Settings are listed by regions, too. So the Houses of Healing will be
> listed as "Gondor - Minas Tirith - Houses of Healing," and will be
> displayed with all the other settings in Gondor. Canonical events will
> be listed in chronological order, and subgenres and poetic forms will be
> listed separately.
> All of this will hopefully make it easier for authors to find
> appropriate settings, characters, and so on, because it will display
> similar items near each other.
> 4. The Archive
> One of the most useful (IMO) additions to the site is the archive. This
> will list all of the stories nominated in previous years, by author.
> Which we had in 2007, but the archive does much more. For one thing,
> it's searchable, which some people had requested in the past. It stores
> basic nomination info, like what category the story competed in and what
> prize (if anything) it won; who nominated it; and the summary. Plus --
> and here's what I'm really excited about -- it displays the votes.
> So as an author I can see all of my stories that have competed, and all
> of their reviews, in one place. And as a reviewer, I can now search for
> a specific title or author and find whether it's been nominated in the
> This is a majorly cool part of the site that I'm really excited about.
> It will replace the old list of previously-nominated stories.
> You'll still need to look both here and at the list of stories that have
> already been nominated in 2008, but I think having the archive will make
> it a lot easier to tell what's eligible and what's not.
> Speaking of eligibility....
> 5. Changes to Eligibility Rules
> There are two major changes to eligibility rules. They have to do with
> works-in-progress and poetry that is posted in larger stories.
> In previous years, works-in-progress had to have been updated within a
> year of when that year's nominations began. For instance: in 2007
> nominations opened on June 1, so all WIPs had to be updated since June
> 1, 2006. That's no longer the case; we won't be checking when WIPs were
> last updated.
> That doesn't mean that every WIP is suddenly eligible. Remember, WIPs
> are only eligible if they've never been nominated before, and finished
> stories are only eligible if they've never been nominated as finished
> stories. So if your WIP competed back in 2005, even if you're still
> plugging away at it, it's not eligible again until it's finished.
> Another thing we looked at in the post-mortem is how to deal with poems
> that also appeared in longer stories, like a song that some of the
> characters sang. This causes a problem because of that same rule that I
> mentioned above, that finished stories can only compete once. If a poem
> competed, and then a story containing that poem competed in a later
> year, you could argue that the poem competed twice. This is why we don't
> allow drabble series to compete, and then for drabbles that are part of
> that series to compete in a later year. (Or vice versa, for the drabble
> to compete first and the series to compete later.)
> However, there's often an added factor with poems: a lot of times the
> poems and stories are by different authors. And unless both are listed
> as co-authors, maybe in the past the poem competed without the poem
> author's permission, if a story containing it competed. Or, in the
> reverse situation: maybe a poem competed that would make a story
> ineligible, without the story author giving the go-ahead.
> So: if a poem and story are by different authors, and both authors
> aren't listed as co-authors when a piece is nominated for the MEFAs, the
> nomination of one won't affect the eligibility of the other. If the poem
> and story are by the same author, or if both authors are listed as
> co-authors, the nomination of one *will* affect the eligibility of the
> Oh, and there's a grandfather clause - if a piece was nominated in 2007
> or earlier, we won't count it against you (because this issue was
> vague); but if you accept a nomination in 2008 or beyond, you need to be
> aware that you could be affecting the eligibility of a poem that appears
> as part of the story, or of a story that is published including that poem.
> One last thing I need to talk about. I know this email is a bit long.
> 6. The Two-Weeks Rule
> One big change for the 2008 awards. Is the two-weeks rule. Here's the
> idea: the liaisons will try for two weeks to contact an author, through
> email and anything else we can think of like LJs or archives where the
> author hangs out.
> If, after two weeks of trying, we've failed to make any contact with the
> author, then the liaison will approach the person who nominated the
> story. The nominator will be given the option to withdraw the story and
> nominate another one in its place; or to leave the story in competition
> in case the author *does* make contact. (The nominator can try his- or
> herself for a little while, and then later have it withdrawn if they'd
> like.) The point is, if it looks like we won't be able to get in touch
> with an author we may let the nominator replace it. This is why it's
> important to enter your nominations early so you can replace them if the
> author is hard to reach.
> This doesn't mean the author has to finish everything to do with a
> nomination within two weeks. All an author has to do is let us know
> they've received emails about the MEFAs; just a two-line email along the
> lines of "I got your emails, I'd love to compete, and I'll work on the
> stuff you told me to do this weekend" will do the trick. Or even "I got
> your emails, I need to think about whether I want to compete." In either
> case, the liaison now knows that she's being read.
> Also, this doesn't mean that stories will be automatically withdrawn two
> weeks after they're nominated. This will only happen at the liaison's
> and the nominator's discretion, when they're run out of ways to try to
> reach the author.
> Btw - when you nominate an author it's really helpful if you drop them a
> line to let them know they've been nominated (if you know them, of
> course). That way they can be on the lookout for an email.
> I'll end this email with a brief note on time zones. And then I really
> will be done.
> I said that the MEFAs would start on Sunday May 4, but for many of us in
> America it will actually start Saturday May 3. This is because the MEFAs
> are based on Greenwich Mean Time. All MEFA days begin at 12:00:01 AM,
> GMT; and they end at 11:59:59 PM, GMT. I have no head for time zones and
> so I won't try to explain when exactly that is in various local times.
> Instead, go to http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/, the 2007 website. At
> the bottom of the page there will be a line like:
> Page Served at: 2008-05-02 07:33:20 GMT
> This is the official time according to the site clock, at the time you
> loaded the page. Compare that to your current time, and you'll see when
> the MEFA day begins and ends. (For reference, when I loaded that page,
> it was 3:34 AM on May 2, here in the U.S. Eastern time zone.)
> Thanks for reading this far! If you have any questions, please reply and
> I'll do my best to answer them. Otherwise, happy nominating in a few days!
> (MEFA Admin.)
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