It's time for announcing the results of the survey, and making some decisions - sometimes not easy ones. Based on the survey results, we are going to change some rules of the contest. We will run these changes in a testing period of 6 months, and only after that, they will become permanent (or not) - depending on their influence on the quality of the contest. Feel free to give us your feedback on the changes in this period at email@example.com.
There were 50 individual participants in the survey. We first evaluated all the votes together, and in certain questions also by giving more weight to the votes of regular writers and voters (giving regular writers/voters 3x points for every vote, occassional ones 2x, and sporadic readers 1x). The possible improvement of the contest by the changes is measured by the sum of points from each vote (improve a lot: +2, improve a little: +1, no influence: 0, worsen a little: -1, worsen a lot: -2)
Making the contest bi-monthly
7 people say it would improve the contest a lot, according to 11 it would imppove it a little, 6 say it wouldn't do anything, 12 say it would be worsened a little, and 3 it would be worsened a lot.
The sum of the votes is +18, or +34 with weighted votes, in favor of making the contest bi-monthly.
But if we make other changes that will make the contest more interesting to more participants, one challenge in two months might become too little, and so we came with a different solution:
- The contest will have a new challenge every month, but the duration of every challenge will be two months.
This means that there will always be two challenges active in the same time, and you will have two months to write or draw for every challenge. For example, one challenge will be posted on February 1st, with deadline on March 31st. The next one will be posted on March 1st and run until April 30th and so on.
Allowing mild non-graphic slash
The results were very even here, with a lot of passionate opinions both for and against.
The votes were: improve a lot: 12, improve a little: 10, do nothing: 11, worsen a little: 7, worsen a lot: 10
The final score is just +7 (+13 weighted) in favour of the change.
Teitho stands for equality, and we do not want to discriminate slash in any way, but in the same time, we want to remain respectful to Tolkien's original works. After a long considering, we are going to make this change in the rules temporarily, for the testing period of 6 months, and we will decide after we see how it influences the quality of the contest. Thank you for being considerate in this period!
- The contest will allow slash under the same rules as het (up to M rating according to fictionratings, which means non-explicit suggestive adult themes, references to some violence, or coarse language.
- In the same time, we will require a mandatory header information for all stories containing:
- penname (revealed only after the voting period)
- warnings (for slash, AU, violence, character death and other potentially disturbing elements to some readers)
Allowing other characters
Teitho's history reaches back to the popularity of Mellon chronicles and fanfiction about Aragorn's and Legolas' friendship. After 13 years, it might get a bit dull to read and write about the same characters every month, and it shows in the poll:
improve a lot: 18, improve a little: 13, do nothing: 5, worsen a little: 8, worsen a lot: 6
The final score is +29 (+59 weighted) in favour of the change, which is rather decisive.
In the following question about mandatory characters, 9 voters are for any Fellowship member, 12 are for any of the characters mentioned in the Hobbit and LotR, and 15 are for any canon character - which is not so decisive, but clear anyways. We will see about the specification of this rule after the testing period.
- The stories or pictures must contain a character mentioned by Tolkien in any of his works set in Middle-earth.
Types of challenges
The majority voted for a picture prompt every 6 month, and a music and joker once yearly. In the same time, Music prompt had the most of votes for "never" - 5.
- There will be a special type of challenge once in every 3 months: a picture prompt twice yearly (march and september), a music, random words or some other type of prompt once yearly (june), and a joker prompt once yearly in december.
Artistic part of the contest
The majority is indifferent about this, but those who have an opinion are mostly for keeping it (12 against 4). So we are keeping this part of the contest, but changing the rules to match those of the writing part - the participation no longer requires a deviantart account. There will also be a special artistic challenge, running all year round.
- The artistic part of the contest will be anonymous until the posting of results, just like the writing part. The entries will be accepted at our email address, and posted on the Teitho site.
- A special artistic challenge will run for the entire year alongside the regular ones: Illustration for a Teitho story posted in that year. Due to the long period of this challenge, the entries will not be anonymous and will be allowed to be posted elsewhere. One artist can participate with several entries.
The voters decisively prefer a poll to email (39 to 2).
- The voting in the contest will be through a poll. The authors are allowed to vote, but not for their own stories, that's why a name will be required for a vote to be valid.
- To enable the voters enough time to read all stories, the voting period will be two weeks for up to 5 stories, and an additional week for each 5 more stories (3 weeks for up to 10, 4 weeks for up to 15).
Facebook, Twitter and tumblr were decisively in the lead of the poll. So now you can follow Teitho updates through any of these pages:
Teitho on Facebook
Teitho on tumblr
Teitho on twitter
Teitho on livejournal
Arda-Inspired on deviantart
Owners of Aragorn Angst yahoo group
You can also follow the collection of stories written for Teitho on fanfiction.net:
Teitho account with Teitho stories collection - continuation of the no longer active All Things Teitho community founded by MB brennan
And on AO3 - once we set up an account there after the waiting period :)
You will be able to find these links under the "contacts" tab of our site.
The voting was very even here, with 22 votes for keeping it 25th with possible extension and 25 votes for extending it permanently. We are going to make a new timeline of the contest anyways, so we will be posting new challenges on the 1st of the month, with deadline on the last of the following month. We will post a reminder about the upcoming deadline on 25th of the month in our social media sites though.
Based on your suggestions, we will also make the following changes:
Contest prizes - there will be unique banners for every challenge, awarded not only to the winners, but also the participants, since we feel that with more allowed characters, the voting might sometimes reflect the voter's favourite characters and story genre rather than quality of writing or art. It has always been so, that's why people were sometimes complaining about the same type of stories winning even in the past. This is due to the same voters participating, and we can't do anything about it. We would just like to emphasize that it's more important to participate than to win.
Reviews - we would like to enable reviews of the stories, that would be invisible during the voting period and revealed only with the results. We will see if this is technically possible - if not, we will encourage the authors to share links to their stories once they post it in other archives, and add them to their stories on the site.
Changes we can't implement (sorry!)
Submitting stories and art directly through the website - we need to communicate with the authors after they submit the story, ask for missing information or send banners, that's why it is easier to do this by email.
We would like to take a month off in January to do some changes on the website, launch our social media pages and divide tasks between new mods. Since we are going to implement the two-month challenges anyways, we will start by prolonging the Joker challenge until January 31st, with the new rules - you can now enter a story for any past challenge, with any Tolkien character! Those who already sent their stories for it are allowed to enter a second one as well.
On February 1st, we will post the new challenge, and also introduce new mods. There were some people in the survey who offered help with the contest, but didn't leave their contact info. Please, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for participating in the survey, and for understanding, if the implemented changes are not to your liking. We hope that we can keep the creative and friendly spirit of Teitho!
Mirach & comp.