Saturday, June 23, 2007

Judhth Heartsong Artsy Essay Contest -- A Return to the Glory Days of Yesteryear Perhaps?

This email arrived today from Judith Heartsong who used to sponsor the Artsy Essay contest [see fabulous award under my photo] before leaving AOL for Blogspot.


I have been thinking about the old Artsy Essay Contest a lot lately. It brought together some wonderful writers, brought to light some new wonderful writers, and served as a sort of online coffee house with an artistic flair that I especially appreciated. For those who never experienced this monthly contest in aol journals, I would pick an artsy or oblique topic or photograph and all sorts of people would right an entry or a story or an essay... and when the judging was all done, that month's winner would get a free piece of art created by me in the mail.

Since then, a lot of things have changed. Some of us moved our blogs to a new home, some people have stopped writing, life has moved along, children have grown, and I have taken on a day job while still trying to keep painting and creating in the studio (which has seriously cut down on the amount of time I have to be online and time that I would have for the contest, for that matter.) I do not know if we can re-generate enough interest to make this worthwhile again, and I am looking for your input and opinions.

I do know that if we re-start the contest:

* it has to be open to ALL blog formats so that everybody and anybody can be involved, whether they write at aol, typepad, blogspot, or any of the other platforms. We are community and family no matter where we write.

*it has to be simplified in some way so that I am not spending hours writing up the winner's entry with all the links to each and every essay.

*there needs to be enough participation to make it a community event again... which would mean that everybody needs to spread the word and see if people would like to get the contest going again.

*we would need a new updated logo for the winners' icon.

I can commit the time to read all the entries and create the prizes, if there is interest in getting the artsy essay back up and running. I think that we could rely on the links that people leave in the artsy essay topic entry (if we can just get everybody to get their links right...... that was a challenge previously and I would spend a lot of time finding the correct links to the artsy essay writings that people submitted) so that I do not have to spend so much time putting everybody's links again into the winning announcement at the end of each month's contest.

It might even be a thought to have readers submit ideas for topics now and then, and maybe sometimes everyone could read all the entries and make a group decision about the winning favorite.

These are the ideas I am throwing out there. If we can re-generate interest in the Artsy Essay, I would love to see it become something even better that will bring in more new writers since we have spread so far afield now.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested... leave comments, thoughts or suggestions here.

If you would like to be a part of re-starting the essay contest, please let me know.

Contact Judith Heartsong at Judith

Mrs. Linklater comments:

My first suggestion was to have a group of past winners pick their favorites so Judith could choose the winner from those finalists.  That would save her some reading time. The group could change each month.  It should be an honor to be a judge.

I also thought there should be a separate contest blog which would use an entry to announce the contest and people could leave links to their entries in the comments. The winning essay would be posted in the next entry in its entirety.  That way all the winners could be found in one place.

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments here. 


bosoxblue6993w said...

let's do it the American Way:  To increase paeticipation, lower the standards.

judithheartsong said...

Thanks Mrs. L.... there are a lot of good suggestions.... many of which will save time and make the contest easier to run. I think people should start brainstorming some possible essay topics, too:):):)


ber144 said...

Never knew of this before.  I'm all for it.