More on WOL Competitions

I think the main thing that stumps many compers when tackling WOL answers is when it says that ‘the most creative answer as determined by the judges will win the prize’. What exactly is a creative answer? Well, of course, that all depends on the judge’s view and how on earth are we supposed to know how they think?
My approach to this conundrum in the past had been just to do the best I can and then cross my fingers. But lately I have been pondering this a little more and have come up with a few more ideas and suggestions. Here they are:

(1) Add an image. In Facebook competitions often it is possible to add a photo or drawing along with your comment. I have been trying this recently and am not sure yet whether it will make any difference but my thinking is that it will attract the attention of the judge (for good or bad). It is definitely one way to stand out from the other entries.
(2) Experiment a little. Unless you have been consistently winning with your answers (and I hope that is the case) it might pay to experiment a little with different types of answers each time. I have even tried writing my answers as equations. So far that hasn’t worked but you never know.
(3) Be brave. As comping doesn’t cost anything but your time, it is definitely worth being a little brave with your answers. You have nothing to lose.

A Comment about Facebook and Blog Comments

Facebook competitions are a fairly new phenomena and they are fast evolving which means that not only are more and more people running them and entering them but also that some of them are getting quite sophisticated too. As I mentioned earlier, I think that pretty much the same ideas apply for Facebook comments as for WOL answers escept that you don’t have to worry about the exact word limit. Having said that I still think it is a good idea to keep your answers short and sweet. Of course if it is a random draw, it doesn’t really matter what you write, to a point. And don’t forget the more you ‘share’ the more competitors you are setting up but sharing with friends is all about keeping it fun!

WOL – Some Dos and Don’ts

Do keep to the word limit. If it is 25 (or 50 or 100) words they are after so make sure you only write 25 words. Some entry forms count the words for you as you type which is very useful if you are making it up on the spot, but I prefer to think about the answers for a while first, write them on a piece of paper and when I am completely sure I can do no better, enter them. But I am a little old school. For those who might like help with counting their words online I suggest trying www.wordcounter.net. It will count words as well as characters.

Don’t overdo your answer. It can be good idea to mention the sponsor’s brand or product in your answer but only if it makes sense and doesn’t look too much as if you are just trying to impress them and haven’t given much thought to your answer. There needs to be an honest feeling (even if it is not entirely honest) about it as they may want to use it for further promotion.

Do use positive words and ideas.

Don’t beg. There would be nothing more irritating to a judge to simply see an answer that say “please, please, please let me win”. It seems strange that people actually resort to this – but they do!

Do be careful not to use too many clichés – those over-used expressions. Try to be a little different. If you can manage to see the other entries, take a good look and put together something unique.

Don’t enter more times than is specified in the Ts & Cs. If you can enter more than once try a different approach each time and keep a record of your answers for future reference.

Do take a break for a few days, even a week or so (if you can tear yourself away from competitions) if you feel like you are starting to suffer from WOL fatigue. If you are getting tired and sick of them, you’re probably not doing a good job anyway.

Photo Attribution – Jennifer C

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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