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8680Re: [MEFAwards] ADMIN - Remenders and Policy Changes

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  • rabidsamfan
    May 2, 2008
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      Number four has me excited too.

      On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 3:35 AM, melayton@... <melayton@...>

      > Hey guys,
      > 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
      > FAQ
      > --- "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
      > refresher!)
      > *******
      > 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
      > past.
      > 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
      > other.
      > 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!
      > Marta
      > (MEFA Admin.)

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