The rules of The Blogable Fiction Marathon

The badge of The Blogable Fiction Marathon for 2021.

Like any competition, The Blogable Fiction Marathon also has its rules, which you will find below.

1. Signing up

Every year, on 14 February, the registration will open for the Blogable Fiction Marathon. Writers will have roughly a month to sign up for participation.

2. The participants

  1. Everyone is welcome to participate, no matter your level of writing experience, your age, your gender, your race, your background.
  2. The Marathon starts with a minimum of 15 participants, and we allow a maximum of 50.
  3. Each participant must provide the following information:
    • (Writing) name
    • Valid email address
    • A short bio of 50-150 words (links to blog or social media accounts are allowed)
  4. Each participant must adhere to the rules of the Marathon. A participant who is in violation of the rules, will be disqualified.

3. The time path

  1. There are two kinds of ’rounds’ – a writing round and a voting round.
  2. The marathon consists of 6 writing rounds and 6 voting rounds. Each writing round is followed by a voting round.
  3. Before the start of the first writing round, all participants will receive an email containing the rules and schedule of the Marathon. There will be no deviation from the schedule.
  4. At the start of a writing round, participants will be sent an assignment by email. The email will mention the closing date and time for the assignment, as well as the number of words allowed and any other specific requirements. The time mentioned in the email will always be GMT. There will also be a countdown in the sidebar of the site, to remind you how much time you have to write.
  5. Every entry will be acknowledged within 72 hours of receipt.
  6. Participants are not to speak about an assignment until the voting round starts.
  7. Participants are not to tell anyone which story is theirs, until after the voting round has closed. If they do, they will immediately be disqualified.
  8. During a writing round, one reminder email will be sent to participants who have not yet submitted their stories.
  9. If your story is not sent in on time, you will automatically be disqualified.
  10. Writing rounds and voting rounds always start on a Saturday. Writing and voting rounds close on a Friday. Specific dates can be found on the planning.
  11. The anonymous stories are sent to the Jury via email, to award their points.
  12. The public vote is done by means of a survey. Readers choose their three favorite stories.
  13. The results of the voting round will be announced the day after the voting round has closed.
  14. When announcing the outcome of a voting round, we also reveal the authors of the stories.
  15. Depending on the number of participants allowed in a round, the participants with the least amount of points will have to leave Marathon.
  16. The remaining participants will receive the assignment for the next writing round by email.

4. The assignments

The first rounds of the Marathon have shorter assignments, depending on the number of participants. As we continue, more words will be allowed, as follows:

  • Round 1: min 20 / max 50 words
  • Round 2: min 300 / max 400 words
  • Round 3: min 650 / max 750 words
  • Round 4: min 800 / max 1000 words
  • Round 5: min 1250 / max 1500 words
  • Round 6: min 2000 / max 2500 words

5. The stories

  1. Stories (not poems) may be in any genre (drama, horror, romantic, comedy, erotica, sci-fi, detective, etc.).
  2. Always check the spelling, grammar, the use of punctuation marks and the spacing of your story. Your text will be posted unchanged on the website.
  3. We will not post stories which contain sex with minors, incest, sex with animals, (non-consensual) violent sex, or any sexual orientation phobic posts (biphopic, homophobic, transphobic) or stories shaming any group of people.
  4. Stories which contain heinous violence will not be posted.
  5. We reserve the right to decide if a story should be included in a specific round or not.
  6. All stories will be evaluated whether they meet the requirements set in an assignment. If a submitted piece doesn’t meet the requirements, it will be sent back and the participant will have one opportunity to correct it. This only applies to specific requirements such as the number of words or specific elements that have to be included in the story, for example a minimum percentage of dialogue. Requirements, including the word count, are always mentioned in the assignment email.

6. Voting and scoring

  1. The stories are judged by a jury and by the public.
  2. All stories are judged anonymously by the jury and the public.
  3. The jury ranks all the stories, awarding points from 0 to 10.
  4. Each jury member judges the stories separately. The 3 highest scores for a writer are added up, divided by 3 and the outcome will be the score assigned to the story.
  5. The votes of the public will be converted to a score, where the story with the most votes gets 10 points, second highest gets 9 points, third gets 8, etc. If more than one story has the same number of votes, they get the same points. Stories that have 0 votes also get 0 points.
  6. The jury’s score and that of the public are added up and this is the total score awarded to the story.
  7. From round 1 to 4 the writers accumulate points. However, scores revert to 0 after round 4. Giving the remaining writers an even playing field.
  8. Throughout the Marathon authors may ask others to read and vote, but are never to tell which story they have written. It is an important part of the ethos of the marathon that each author adheres to this rule to make this a fair competition.
  9. The outcome of a voting round is final.

7. The knockout race

  1. The writing marathon will start when there are at least 15 participants.
  2. If we start out with 15 participants, no participants will be knocked out in rounds 1, 2, and 3.
  3. When there are between 15-30 participants, no one will have to leave the race at the end of rounds 1 and 2.
  4. Writers with the lowest scores will be knocked out at the end of every round, except round 1.
  5. The scores for round 1 and 2 are added up to determine who has to leave the marathon at the end of round 2.
  6. All rounds have a fixed number of participants, as follows:

Round 1: max 50 participants
Round 2: max 50 participants
Round 3: max 30 participants
Round 4: max 20 participants
Round 5: max 10 participants
Round 6: max 5 participants

* Please note: When at the end of an elimination round several people at the bottom of the scoring list have the same number of points, it’s up to the organization of the Marathon to decide to allow more or less writers through to the next round.

8. Prizes

Each year we will approach sponsors for prizes for the winner of the  Marathon. We cannot guarantee you any prizes, but if we cannot find any sponsors, we will buy you a gift card from our own pockets!

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