Wikinews:Writing contest 2010

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Welcome to the Wikinews 2010 Writing Competition.

Anyone, including you, can enter this competition.

Standings[edit]

The Competition has ended. Thanks to everyone that participated. The final standings are as follows:

Purge

Rank User Points Articles (Auto count value)
1 Tempodivalse 433 109 (108)
2 Rayboy8 247 48 (49)
3 Pmlineditor 226 36 (39)
4 C628 212 43 (44)
5 Dendodge 159 13 (14)
6 MisterWiki 138 24 (26)
7 Blood Red Sandman 113 15 (14)
8 Microchip08 96 24 (24)
9 TUFKAAP 91 6 (5)
10 RockerballAustralia 85 14 (15)
11 The wub 77 11 (11)
12 Bencherlite 65 11 (12)
13 The New Mikemoral 61 7 (7)
14 Tristan Thomas 46 2 (2)
15 Adi4094 43 5 (6)
16 Wizardman 28 4 (4)
17 Blurpeace 16 4 (5)
18 PoeticVerse 15 3 (3)
19 Juliancolton 4 2 (2)
Total 1483 257

Competition rules[edit]

Eligibility[edit]

Anyone, including you, can write articles on Wikinews.

However, there are a few points to bear in mind if you wish to enter the writing contest.

The competition is an individual effort, and where prizes may be awarded you must be 18 (or age of majority in area of residence - that is old enough to go to jail or vote). If not, please discuss with your parents or guardian and name them as recipient of any prize you may win.

For all prizes, personally identifying information will be required. Email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses will never be divulged if you are asked for them in relation to the competition. Depending on the sponsor providing any prize your personal information may need shared with them. Some sponsors may wish to use your name for publicity purposes; if you do not wish this information, and your regional or country location information, publicised please discuss this prior to entering. Where possible competition entrants will be offered an option to donate any prize to charity should they wish to forego it.

In the event that you do win a prize, the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikinews, and any sponsors, disavow all responsibility for payment of taxes or other required declaration of income. You are responsible for researching your local laws related to this, and ensuring you report what you win appropriately.


Please register an account if you do not already have one and sign up here.

Duration[edit]

The competition will start on January 25, 2010, run for twelve weeks, and finish on April 18, 2010. Submissions for review run from 00:00 on start to 23:59 on end. (All times per Recent Changes - UTC).

Point scoring[edit]

  1. Synthesis article (Constructed from several credible sources in your own words)
    1. 1 point only for an article meeting three-paragraph minimum, and other publication criteria, yet below the required 1,200 characters to obtain 3 points. Where several of these articles are produced in a day, they should be collected in a news brief.
    2. 3 points for an article of at least 1,200 characters when published after any required copyedit.
    3. 2 points extra per additional 700 characters after copyedit (5 @ 1,900, 7 @ 2,600, 9 @ 3,300, 11 @ 4,000, ... )
  2. Original reporting (N.B. {{broadcast report}} explicitly excluded from OR eligibility; such may be submitted as synthesis articles)
    1. Points as-per synthesis articles, with an additional 3 points for publication; original reporting content must exceed 25%, or 400 characters, of the article post-copyedit and publication.
  3. Photoessays (A photographic form of original reporting)
    1. 5 points only, provided a minimum of 8 images provided.
    2. 2 points extra for each additional 5 images.
    3. 2 points extra where verbose (per synthesis article point 1.3 above).
  4. Articles, or portions of articles, copied wholesale from compatibly-licenced websites (such as Voice of America), will not be accepted for the writing competition (although you are still free to make use of them outside the contest). All prose in articles you create for the contest should be your own.

You can preview how many points an article gets using the character count gadget (in special:preferences under gadgets). (Note: human judges have final authority in judging if there is a conflict between the gadget and a human judge).

Note! In the event of an unexpected major international event, such as a tsunami, site administrators may decide to withdraw the initial article from the competition and prioritise news reporting. Competitors are, in such circumstances, encouraged to engage in followup original reporting to keep readers better-informed; such will qualify for the competition.

Experienced contributor handicap[edit]

Experienced Wikinewsies may carry out original reporting for the competition. Their final score will be handicapped by reducing to 85% of the total score for the first three weeks, for all articles of all types submitted for the contest.

The handicap for experienced contributors will no longer apply for articles submitted for review after 23:59 UTC on February 14, 2009.

The requirement to identify for prizes should discourage experienced Wikinewsies from creating an account to enter as a new contributor. Suspicion of such as a way to gain unfair advantage in the competition is grounds for use of checkuser on the suspect account.

Newcomers - restrictions and added responsibilities[edit]

As a new entrant, you are requested not to carry out original research for your first 7 articles or the first 2 weeks of the competition, whichever comes first. This is to ensure you have gained experience on the project and had time to look around and see where original reporting is appropriate and how to handle getting it accepted by reviewers.

You are encouraged, after the first three or four weeks of the competition, to apply for WN:EDITOR status. Please note you will be reviewing the work of other competitors (but never your own!). All Wikinewsies carrying out review work during the competition should try to prioritise competition entries marked for {{review}}, surprise breaking news excepted.

Should there be suspicion of a 'group' entry operating under a single pseudonym, this would be grounds for use of checkuser, possibly leading to disqualification.

Post-close Featured Articles[edit]

While in-progress no articles entered in the competition may be put forward for featured article status. Following the close of the competition, all entrants and regular Wikinews contributors will be invited to submit works which are not their own for featured status. (Tentative idea... Members of the WMF advisory board will be invited to comment and vote).

  • Each promoted FA will be awarded an additional 20 points.

This process should run for no longer than two weeks; prizes may be awarded earlier, or based upon sponsors' evaluation of the final scoring.

Receiving prizes[edit]

The following is the current prize pot:

  • Some barnstars
  • X-Rated photo of Wiki-Tân
  • Bawolff is offering $10 (Canadian) and a post card from a foreign exotic land (well it was foreign and exotic in the 1700's)
  • Tentatively offered some NewsTrust mugs — appropriately journalisticly decorated. This may be dependent on NewsTrust involvement in cross-promotion on the competition and their reviewers' opinions influencing the post-submission closure (Featured Article) process and the prizes being dependent on that (eg, top five FA contributors get mugs)
  • Gopher65 will offer the following prizes... but only through paypal. If the recipient doesn't have paypal the prize evaporates. No other delivery method will be offered. Prizes:
    • First place: $30 (Canadian)
    • Second place: $20 (Canadian)
    • Third place: $10 (Canadian)
  • TUFKAAP will (possibly) offer the following prizes: A Wikinews mug, polo and messenger bag.

Essential reading[edit]

Competitors[edit]

When you sign up, you should get the {{Howdy}} template on your user page; please refer to the policy links therein. In addition, read the essay on writing your first article; this lays out vital aspects of article construction to meet the Wikinews house style.

If you are a shutterbug, you might want to look at the rough guide to contributing photoessays. Consider combining this with the Wiki Loves Art project to get access to local museum exhibits and write stories on them with lots of photos. Sporting events are another candidate for photoessays; please check terms of entry on tickets to see whether photography is allowed or contact the organiser. You do not need to be an accredited reporter to request press access to events but, please discuss with existing accredited reporters on how to make an approach - samples of your work will improve your chances of admission.

Reviewers[edit]

Those carrying out reviews during the competition (requires Editor privileges) should review all policies prior to the start of the competition. As some competitors may already have the required permissions they should be careful to be unbiased when reviewing the work of other competitors.

See also[edit]