Yes, friends, it is contest time again. I do not describe this as a bad writing contestâ€¦not in public, anyway.
Here is something interestingâ€¦apparently Amazon knows what passages are highlighted in the Kindle and they keep track of this kind of thing.
Hereâ€™s how they describe the system:
â€œThe Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Apps provide a very simple mechanism for adding highlights. Every month, Kindle customers highlight millions of book passages that are meaningful to them.
We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. We show only passages where the highlights of at least three distinct customers overlap, and we do not show which customers made those highlights.â€
This note and the list of the current all time favorite bookmarks can be seen here:
At one time, DBâ€™s The Lost Key was the #1 most bookmarked book--ahead of the Holy Bible. Sadly, I must report it has currently fallen off the map. If youâ€™re an eminent writer like Dan Brown, it must really hurt to be less bookmarked than Why Men Love Bitches (50) and Why Men Marry Bitches (275).
But never mind all that, letâ€™s get to the contest shall we?
The Ten Official Rules
1. The grand prize will be $100 in real USD cash, a Writinâ€™ Wombat (Wâ€™W) logo item and an official certificate printed on genuine paper with a picture of a wombat on it. Second prize will be USD $50, a Wâ€™W logo item in the same style as selected by the grand prize winner and certificate. The third prize will be USD $25 and a Wâ€™W logo item and certificate. In addition, the WW FQ-S-A DBF999WC administrator will select his favorite and will grant a special award. The prize is undefined at present but will probably be an assortment of crap from the backseat of his car. The award is not optional; the winner must take this crapâ€”and like it. It is a near certainty that bribes will NOT affect the contest outcome.
2. The contest will start on Thursday, September 15th and end on Friday, September 30th at 5:00 P.M. PST. No votes will be accepted during this period. After 5:00 P.M. PST on Friday, September 30th, votes, via email to kcoffman, will be accepted until 5:00 P.M. PST on Saturday October 1st. The winners, in a maddening and torturous way, will be announced after the voting period is complete. Votes will be submitted via ballot. The ballot will be posted in this Gather article site, watch for it.
3. Links to anonymous entries will be posted in this Gather group site. General discussion will be in the then-current Writinâ€™ Wombat thread. Entrants are allowed to edit and improve their entries exactly once to avoid overworking the long-suffering and endlessly patient ACA (Almighty Contest Administrator).
4. In order to be qualified to submit an entry and vote, you must be a Writinâ€™ Wombat at the start of the contest and have at least 25 Gather Points. In other words, no Sock Puppets (noobs) need apply.
5. You may submit up to 999 words. Anyone submitting an excessively long entry will be ridiculed publicly. Complaints can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org This email address does not exist, thus the email would be pointless, but you can do it.
6. Each person will vote 10 times, with one vote of 10, one vote of 9, etc. This means you will have one vote of 1 and an infinite number of zero votes (sorry unobombers). Mathematicians, statisticians and other nit-picking worldly philosophers are ineligible.
7. The winners will be selected based on the total score. In case of tie, the prize will be split. This may mean a winner will get half of an official certificate (which may or may not have a wombat displayed on it). Do not vote for your own entry.
8. Sock puppets, unobombers, astroturf voters and other nabobs of negativity will be disqualified from voting based solely on the discretion of the WW FQ-S-A DBT599WC administrator. For obvious reasons, the master, Dan Brown, due to unfair advantage, is disqualified from participating.
9. The winners and top five scores will be published by the WW FQ-S-A DBF999WC administrator, but voterâ€™s names will be secret. Results will be available for audit by select mature Wombatians.
10. The rules may or may not change in an annoying manner at the whim of the WW FQ-S-A DBF999WC administrator.
10. Paragraphs submitted must be the original work of the submitter. Lauri C is required to submit, or the contest will be discontinued. No guts, no glory. Be bold and mighty forces with come to your aid. Insert other motivational words of wisdom here.
Others wishing special treatment can submit a polite formal request prior to being denied. Because Beth is amusing, she is allowed one mulligan in her entry (one syntactical, grammatical or spelling error without penalty). Unfortunately, her work is so good she wonâ€™t need it, thus itâ€™s a sad waste of a perfectly good mulligan. Vivian and Sy are permitted to use the word â€˜stygianâ€™ without penalty. Beaker must write her entries with a dull pencil no more than three inches long. Jill must write her entries with one hand tied behind her back to give others a fair chance. Wendy can draw inspiration from the roses in her garden. Pat B can draw inspiration from a walk in the desert. Wanda can draw inspiration from a walk by the sea. Pat S can study an arrangement of discarded tiles to unravel any and all secrets of the universe. Judi, and only Judi, is allowed to rub a magic lamp to get assistance she wonâ€™t need. Dana, as always, is permitted to â€œdo a Danaâ€. Jamie shall be allowed to wield her bonesaw and rock out to Avenged Sevenfold. Your ACA tips his hat to Dale and Dave, from whom improvements to this contest were crassly and brazenly stolen. J.C. is permitted to create flash cards with the words 'renowned', 'chillingly', 'grimly', 'stymie' and 'suddenly' on them...and insert these words at random in her entry. Sy is permitted in pander shamelessly to the female wombats to curry their votes. Sia is permitted to take a long walk on a country road to find inspiration. Adina is allowed to wax eloquent and inject class into the proceedings. Paul is permitted to turn his knobs to 11 and rock out. James is permitted to use an alternate tuning on his Guild flat top and play heavenly chords from God. Dale is permitted to think up wild ideas while riding his bicycle (be careful out there). Cathy...hmmm. I can't think of anything clever. She shall be denied all external sources of inspiration, including coffee. To be clear, she is permitted to drink coffee, but she is not permitted to be inspired byÂ random thoughts while drinking this coffee. Hmm, I could use a cup right now. Perhaps an macchiato. Gotta run.
We salute our friend Rand, who may or may not agree to provide covers for all contest entries. We love you, Rand. We want to bear your children. You are handsome and intelligent. Will you please, Maestro Phares, create covers for our contest entries?
Update: Rand says he's in! This is fabulous news.
10. The real USD cash money prizes awarded in the DB contest will come from money earned selling POD books at local bookstores, out of the trunk of a car at public events, and from online sales. If you see a stigma attached to money earned in this manner, then this may not be the right contest for you. Hell, this might not be the right world for you.
10. If Wendy is the only entrant, or there are no entrants, then she will be awarded all prizes, i.e. $100 in real USD cash, $50 in real USD cash, $25 in real USD cash, the Wâ€™W logo items AND all certificates commemorating her default victory.
10. Any Wombat disagreeing with the rules and rulings of the WW FQ-S-A DBF999WC administrator is completely free to create his or her own damned contest. The WW FQ-S-A DBF999WC administrator will not submit a contest entry or vote but will be allowed to make rude comments and make unhelpful suggestions.
What have we wrought?Â God help us!
Â© 2011 Dan Brown