GoodReviews: The Official Book Review Contest discussion

General Discussion > Other writing contest ideas?

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message 1: by Jessica (last edited Feb 21, 2008 07:28PM) (new)

Jessica (jessicareading) | 19 comments Mod
GoodReviews is just the beginning. We're interested in running more contests, both for creative writing and review writing, and we have lots of ideas. Tell us what you think and what you'd like to see happen on Goodreads!

message 2: by Shadow (new)

Shadow (edwardlover96) I would like to see more creative writings i mean im writing my own songs and stories.

message 3: by Erika Jo (new)

Erika Jo  | 1 comments I think this is a great idea-kernel. How about making general categories (poetry, fiction, memoir, history) instead of selecting three books?

message 4: by Symbol (last edited Feb 27, 2008 08:06AM) (new)

Symbol | 2 comments I'll add my vote to the pot.
I'd love to see a Goodreads creative writing contest! I was initially thinking that the genres already offered for the "Stories & Writing" section could serve as a template. Looking at it again though, I'm thinking that there may be too many categories here for contest purposes.
My feelings would be that there should definitely be Poetry, Fiction, and Non-fiction categories. It might also be worthwile to have categories for Children's and Memoir writing.

message 5: by Russell (new)

Russell | 5 comments I would agree with Erika. Selecting three specific books severely limits the group's ability to participate. And who knows how long it will be until we get to a book I've read and I get to post my most outstanding and snarky 24-word reviews?

message 6: by Ern (new)

Ern Banawa | 1 comments Since members of this site are readers and undoubtedly many of them are aspiring writers, I support the ideas of those who have posted earlier that there be contest for writings in fiction and non-fiction. The idea of book review contest is good but it would be better if you can write a review about any book, then there would be weekly winners who will be shortlisted for the annual best book review held during the end of the year. This contest will be laborious on the part of judging the best entries. But it is a good start. This scheme can also be used in other writing competitions that the site will launch in the near future. In the meantime, I first have o teach my dog Nash how to write a review. "That's it Nash. Just a little bit more and you will get it right." :-D

message 7: by Matt (new)

Matt | 6 comments I think book review contests are the way to go, because that is one element that makes goodreads so good, the book reviews by anyone who signs up.
This may seem a little too much like a term paper, but here is my suggestion. How about a book review essay based on themes that can connect multiple books. Topics like 'Coming of Age,' 'Motherhood,' 'Epiphanies,' 'Immigration,' 'Memoirs,' and etc. For non-fiction there could be categories for historical periods, like 'World War II.'
My idea here is to have broad topics, and therefore all of the reviewers would bring different books to their reviews. Hopefully, the reviews would very a lot more and be more interesting for the readers, instead of the opinions of a certain book being the major difference.

message 8: by Russell (new)

Russell | 5 comments This may seem a little too much like a term paper...

I agree.

message 9: by Darcy (new)

Darcy I think that is a really neat idea, Matt. Grouping books is the basis of goodreads, anyway--people share books (and group them) so that others can find new titles to read. It might work really well as an off-shoot of the reviews contest. So, for example, what three books would you recommend to other fans of The Great Gatsby? Maybe Bodega Dreams, by Ernesto Quinonez, Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. It would be really interesting to see what people recommended and why.

message 10: by Matt (new)

Matt | 6 comments Thanks Darcy,
I have over 70 goodreads friends and know about ten of them. One thing I enjoy is seeing what others recommend, and decide what to read next based off of other reviewers imput. So reviews could work the same way for informing the readers of books they may not have heard of. I never heard of 'Bodega Dreams', but now I'm going to look it up.
Take care and hopefully more people will submit reviews for this and future contests.

message 11: by Roshanak (new)

Roshanak | 2 comments creative writing! Specially short fiction.

message 12: by Edan (new)

Edan | 2 comments While a creative writing contest might be fun, I feel like this site is great precisely because it's about reading, not writing. (And I'm saying this as a writer). If you want a review of your writing, then finish your book, get it published, and await feedback here on Goodreads. Let's keep celebrating already-published literature on this site!

message 13: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3 comments My four cents:

Let GoodReviews play out as is for a little while. Over time, I think the review contest will gain more attention and more participants--and therefore more creativity. The heart of Goodreads, from this participant's perspective, is sharing and reading book reviews. This first contest didn't have very high participation, but I think that might have been because it wasn't advertised broadly. (Was it? I was notified by a friend...)

I like the three book format as is, too. It requires that we read a book carefully, not just toss out some ideas about something we read three years ago. That's closer to a real review.

Other kinds of contests don't speak to the heart of the Goodreads community the way the review contest does. If GoodReads is trying to expand its online audience and function into a more writerly (as opposed to readerly) crowd, then start by advertising a writing contest offline or in other writer-intensive online locations. Use that to draw people to the site to participate in the contest.

Lastly, the contest needs clearer submission formats. Maybe this was the goal, but the discussion board process felt very loose. Fun, nonetheless! :)

message 14: by Darcy (new)

Darcy One way of choosing books might be to base at least one of the picks (of the three) on a current event or an important day. So, for example, one of the July selections could be related to US history. This would be a good time to point out that September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day--such a day is just asking for a GoodReviews contest . . .

message 15: by Gumball (new)

Gumball (pjgatsby) POETRY! POETRY! POETRY!

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Lots of really good ideas here...

COLLABORATIVE WRITING - how about an Innovative Ideas prize about something generated and sustained by the power of the Goodreads social network? One prize per year, going to a higher frequency once established.

I know I'm doing this for my Master's dissertation (at Bristol University, England) so I'm bound to be interested, but there's lots of potential for writing groups to actively collaborate on the detail of a text as it's being created. This is instead of reviewing text that's already completed in the eyes of the writer.

I agree with Edan that this site is about reading and should celebrate publishing writing, but the two things can go hand in hand.

The Goodreads Prize might be for the biggest collaboration, but it would be need to be more than just counting numbers. Judgements about the quality would be needed too, and that's always controversial but can be negotiated.... judging criteria applied by independent judges and all that.

Anyway, you can see what I'm doing at:

I'm a published kids writer doing Master's research about writing on social networks. I've posted a short section of my new fiction writing for young adults on Bebo, and I'm looking for comments.

If you think any of your friends would be interested in writing comments (the research is running for four weeks from today), please pass the URL on to them. And I welcome reading your views on this discussion board.


message 17: by Gary (new)

Gary | 7 comments i've written collaboratively over the internet for several years now, writing a hybrid form of renga [linked haiku] fun enough!

message 18: by rivka (new)

rivka Has GR abandoned the review contest? Or is it just on hiatus over the summer?

message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicareading) | 19 comments Mod
Unfortunately, GoodReviews participation never reached the level we were hoping for, so we opted to discontinue. We're interested in developing a different kind of writing contest in the near future, so stay tuned, and of course we still welcome suggestions!

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GoodReviews: The Official Book Review Contest

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