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  • Category: Suggestions

    Let the contest participants be the judges too

    Dear ISC and Members,
    I strongly recommend that the contest participants should be the judges for the contests. How does it work?

    Supposing that it is a story writing contest.
    There are seven participants. (A to G)
    Let all the seven participants evaluate the seven entries (exclude self entry)
    Let all the participants evaluate and grade the participants as 1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th,5th,6th (Each participant would do this) and e-mail it to the Managing Editor.
    Let the ME total up the grades of each member.
    The participant scoring the least number should be the winner, and the next higher number should be the runner up, and so on.

    Let ISC try this once and understand the concept.

    Participants >...... A B C D E F G
    Grades awarded
    Particpant A .........0 5 6 1 3 4 2
    Participant B..........5 0 4 3 1 2 6
    Participant C.........6 3 0 2 1 4 5
    Participant D.........4 2 3 0 5 6 1
    Participant E...........3 4 6 1 0 2 5
    Participant F...........2 1 5 3 4 0 6
    Participant G..........4 2 6 2 3 1 0
    Total ..........................24 17 30 12 14 19 25
    Since D scored 12 points, D is the winner, and E with 14 points is the runner up. B with 17 can be awarded a consolation prize.
  • #707223
    While we respect the decisions of the ISC in respect of contest and announcing the winners, what I feel that when the site is so transparent in all issues, as regards to selecting the winners of the contest. there seems to be lacking of exact evaluation and thus a performer member feels dejected for not having selected for the awards or rewards. We do not know what yardstick has been designed to select the winners, but participation and taking opinion of the members to the contest would further increase the transparency of this site to further extent. By the way do not think that we are invading in to the working style of administration, but as suggested by the author, there can be more decisive way to announce the winners. And the winners announced in GD is on what basis, is that the more contributions of threads, rebuttal of others or any other plus points.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #707227
    This proposal has no relevance to active GD. This pertains to only contests where there is a need to read, understand and analyze it. Mainly essay /story writing contests fall in this category.

    Also, when ISC announces a contest, it can openly indicate the names of Juries connected with that contest. As of now, there is a doubt that the decision is by a single jury which should not be.

    No life without Sun

  • #707245
    There are many ways to decide on the winner. A jury consisting of the members of ISC other than participants can also be one of the methods. Example: Let us say that 20 members are active on the site. A contest is announced and only 10 participated. ISC can select judges from the other 10 non-participating members so that they can decide on the marks or grades, whatever is agreed and can be decided the best.

    What the author proposed in this thread is also a good method and the same also can be implemented for judging the best participants.

    I don't know what is the method ISC is adopting for evaluating the best contributions. Probably they are making the jury with some Editors on the site. This is also a good way of selecting the best. All Editors are also the members, they can also participate in the competition. Such Editors may not find a place in the jury.

    This is a matter that is to be decided by the top people of the site. I think as members we have no say in this. If we want we can participate in the contests or we need not participate also. You have that choice. But you have no choice of deciding on the methodology of deciding the winners.

    always confident

  • #707263
    Mr. Rao,
    My recommendation is only to have a good system. The recently concluded short story writing contest on friendship where only 3 out of 15 entries were considered fit for prizes and found all other 12 entries as useless and not worth of awarding prizes. This is the pitiable state of stories written by ISC members who spend their time and waste their energy to participate in contests.

    No life without Sun

  • #707272
    What I have mentioned in my post is that the method proposed by you is good. What I told is a fact. There is no say for you or for me or for any other member. There may be very good proposals. But the person who takes the decision should like it. Otherwise, there is no use.

    always confident

  • #707278
    Mr. Rao,
    Again you are bringing in the one-man army by saying 'But the person who takes the decision should like it. Otherwise, there is no use.' Who is that person? No. there shouldn't be a single individual to select a prize winner. It should be a team of people with different minds. It should not be a 'Yes Boss' team. One person decides,and others say 'Yes' to it. NO. My proposal is to avoid such juries at ISC.

    No life without Sun

  • #707285
    I do respect the decision of the jury in every contest and there is set rules and guidelines for every competition that is organised not only in ISC but everywhere. There are times when some may find a bit awkward when we or the contestant whom we thought did not win any prize and it is obvious to raise an eyebrow on the organising panel or the jury but we need to understand that going through every contestant, making observations according to the set rules of the competition varies according to every individual and thus the result may vary. I do not have any objection in having few members in the panel but I think the organising committee does take input from members for some competition which are not disclosed on the platform but they do take input form some members. Even the suggestion from the thread originator is good and will help members to play a role in different competition and even understand the work of juries and organising committee.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #707286
    To date, there has never been a single-member jury panel and there is no necessity whatsoever to disclose who the jury members are.

    Those who cannot trust and have no faith in the decision-making system and disrespect the decision of the jury in such contests are advised not to participate in them. Once a member becomes a participant, there should be respect for the decision and sportsmanship as well. A genuine query about some aspect of the contest is understandable but to lambast the entire jury panel and raise questions about their ability to judge is hurtful, disrespectful, and extremely unsporting.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #707291
    Well, I don't want to comment upon the judgement because that's not my jurisdiction at all. What I felt wrong was about the reduction of the contest prize. Vandana Madam commented in one post that such decision was taken in other contests too, but nobody remarked upon it, maybe because it went unnoticed.

    I want to clarify that nothing goes unnoticed. I noticed it, and many of us must have done so, but this particular competition had many rules to follow, which most of them followed. It was conducted on the occasion of ISC's 13th birthday, but the non-winning participants were given 'chiller' for their creative mind. In the rules, it was not mentioned that the story on friendship should be based upon missing friends uniting again, friends helping in need and so on age-old conditions of making good friends. Out of the box, creativity was completely ignored. For rightly guessing the mystery writer, I received 8 points and 8cc, while for creating an original story I received 7 points and 7cc which is very demotivating. ISC is an educational site which should promote good work. It's not about winning or losing, but it's about being treated with respect. It's not that the authors or you may say the general members need a website to write, but I think for the functioning of the site in a proper direction the site owners and the editorial members need the users like us. So, showing respect to each other's commitment is very important. Don't treat creative people like beggars by giving a little alms for their creation. It's very disgraceful.

    Though this post is related to the short story contest, I want to put forth my opinion regarding the GD too. Among the best participants, one name is such who wrote rebuttals to almost every author who disagreed with the topic. When her points were rebutted by those whom she countered, she never came up with her next round of opinion. She didn't even make a concluding statement in the GD, which is vital for any group discussion.

    Finally, both the contests talked about left a demotivating impact upon me. I should participate in the upcoming competitions or not is a question in my mind, at present. I have won some and lost some in various contests. Losing is not an insult, but the treatment meted out to the non-winning participants is unjustified.


  • #707294
    I have full confidence in jury for selecting winners in all contests but there is nothing wrong in taking the volition of members into consideration also regarding choosing winners of contests provided that ISC management see it feasible.

  • #707295

    We understand that members may be extremely disappointed and upset with the points and cc that we gave to non-winning participants but to say that we did not respect the participants' work is uncalled for. You stated "Don't treat creative people like beggars by giving a little alms for their creation. It's very disgraceful." - what a thing to say! That really, really hurts. Do you mean to say that all these years the cc is like flinging coins (alms) at beggars? The time and effort put in by participants are definitely considered each and every time - and that is respect.

    I am completely stunned and shocked by your analogy and that more than anything else is the most disgraceful thing to say. I clearly mentioned that it would not be fair to give a prize if an entry is not worthy of it, Same with the other entries - should we assign cc (not give alms, mind you) off the cuff, with no thought to the jury panel's discussions and what they saw lacking in the story or found untoward in it? Would we deliberately demotivate members in this fashion?

    As for the active GD, like in any other contest, somebody may think an unworthy participant got one of the main prizes and even feel that he/she deserved to get it, instead of that winner. Like I stated, surely the decision of the jury panel should be considered. Otherwise, what is the whole point of holding contests in the first place? Might as well dissolve the entire rewards' contest system on creative-based topics if this is the unanimous opinion of the majority of members. We'll just stick to articles' contests. Let us know, seriously.

    All these years I and other editors are giving our all to organizing contests just for merely giving alms?!! Don't have anything more to say. Very upsetting, for sure.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #707297
    Okay, does that mean that there should be student representatives to evaluate examination papers because the evaluation by teachers, individual or group, is not acceptable? Or that an advocate representing the complainant and accused or a deputed representative must be allowed to be part of the jury or must be allowed to take part in the proceedings when it is before a single judge? And so on?

    Let us remember and accept that we are all adept in finding mistakes and criticising, no matter whether we are right or wrong. Go to some local tea stalls or barbershops and you will find people criticising full bench Supreme Court decisions with confidence. They criticise because they feel that the verdict should have been the other way.

    So, in that context, I don't find anything wrong with the author suggesting a panel to assess competition entries. Now the question is, what if such decisions too go against the expectations or perceptions of the author or anyone else having the same view? Let me, for example, include Sun and Mohan in a panel to assess an e-book contest. Once the results are declared, Dr Rao and Shampa come up alleging that the decision was not perfect. What would be the next step? It is a vicious circle.

    So, you need to trust the jury. And what is wrong if a contest is assessed by a single person (though it is not done)? If you feel that the rewards have been given to a wrong person, be brave enough to point out your choices and also say why so and so's entry was not worth.

    Sun has, in his response to this e-book winners announcement thread explained and glorified his story saying why it should have been considered. Any author should at least realise the inherent flaw in his writing when you are required to give an explanation to what you have written.

    Shampa, since you have mentioned about the GD results, let me tell you that it is how one puts up their points, the points they cover, how they try to establish their points, the counter-arguments, the content, the wordings and so many factors that are considered in total while assessing the winners. While concluding one's discussion is, of course, important, I doubt whether we can strictly go for the same in a virtual platform. Let us be practical.

    For the consumption of all, let me say that it is quite natural for one to feel that his entry is good and deserves a prize. To be frank, I wait for the results to be announced to see whether I could make it. And again it is natural to feel a bit bad when you find that you have not won any prize. But that feeling should end there. Don't carry it forward.

    Remember that when you say that someone else should have won a prize, you are also saying that the one who won it is not deserving. Don't raise your hands for the sake of it. It is mutual trust that will take us along. If anyone of you has any sincere doubts, please put it up to the Webmaster for his intervention. And if you don't have belief in the Webmaster also, no one can save you in ISC. God Bless!

    “The door to wisdom is knowing yourself." Anonymous

  • #707299
    Managing Editor,
    I think you have given point and CC to ' the non-winning participants ' but not to 'non-participating winners'. You have to correct the same in your post # 707295.

    always confident

  • #707300
    Usually, the participants are ensuring to bring forth the best in them. It is a contest and not everyone can become winners. I have no problems with the decision of the jury. It is accepted that sometimes we feel that the other person had written well but everyone thinks on the same grounds there will not be a blueprint to judge the contests at all.
    I am happy with the decisions till now, for all the contests at ISC. If I do not have an idea, I stay away from such contests. Our main motto here is to learn how to communicate and expresses our views in a positive path.

    Lead the leader

  • #707303
    Your words - "Sun has, in his response to this e-book winners announcement thread explained and glorified his story saying why it should have been considered. Any author should at least realize the inherent flaw in his writing when you are required to give an explanation to what you have written."

    I would like to know the inherent flaw in my writing. According to my knowledge, I did not make any spelling or grammar mistakes. Your clarification would help me to know what went wrong with me and my storyline. It would also help me to decide whether I should write stories in the future or not.

    No life without Sun

  • #707305
    Lead Editor,
    There is a mistake in your post no # 707297.
    Sun has not glorified anything about his story in the thread E-book of friendship short stories contest winners. But he discussed his story in the thread raised by Mr Hakumuddin, The philosophical view of my story. I request you to kindly refer both the threads once.

    always confident

  • #707307
    Dr Rao, please check out Sun's response at #707133 in the thread. Yes, he had mentioned it in the thread by Hakimuddin too. Sun, please read properly. The inherent flaw I mentioned is that you have had to explain your thoughts and ideas further which means that your story is not clear by itself.
    “The door to wisdom is knowing yourself." Anonymous

  • #707311
    ISC is a virtual site, and we do not know what happens behind the screen. In our practical life, we physically see the jury or know the juries present on the dais who evaluate and announce their scores. Here at ISC, the so-called juries could be only the editors who are known to the members. While there are tons of editors, there are only very few visible editors. I see only two active editors. One full editor Saji and another part-time editor Jagdish. No other editor is seen at ISC. Both the editors are the participants. Who else is left to form a panel of juries?

    It took no time for the juries to decide the winners. Hence a doubt. Never in the ISC history, the result was announced so quickly. Even quiz/puzzles/riddle contests which has a definite answer used to take more than a week to announce the result.

    If ISC is a transparent site, it should announce the jury panel along with the announcement, especially for article/story writing contests. Other contests can be dealt with by a single Editor.

    No life without Sun

  • #707312
    Lead Editor,
    I have not seen #707133. I have seen other posts of him in that thread. I regret the inconvenience.

    always confident

  • #707315
    Saji and Rao,
    My discussion on the other threads were only to enquire about the reduction in the number of prize winners. I quoted the glory of my writing, giving importance to ISC's 13th birthday in my story. Saji says there is a flaw in my writing. Let him hightlight the flaws.

    No life without Sun

  • #707316
    Editor Saji Ganesh,
    You are responding to this thread and commenting on my Friendship story in which you were not a Jury. You too were a contestant in that competition. And how could you comment on my story writing and find the flaws, if you were not a jury, but was a jury and received the consolation prize for your story? How?

    As you were not a Jury to that contest, you should have refrained from commenting on my short story.

    Something is wrong with ISC. This is evidence to prove that something is wrong with ISC juries.

    No life without Sun

  • #707321
    Sun, let us not rely on confusing tactics (I know you are an expert at that). That does not yield results any longer. I quote what I said, "Any author should at least realize the inherent flaw in his writing when you are required to give an explanation to what you have written." Does it require a Masters in English to understand what I meant? I repeat, if you have to explain or issue clarifications for your entries, that means you have failed in your attempt to convey the idea and therefore you do not deserve to be recognised.

    And Sun at # 707316, so you are well aware that once an editor participates in a contest, he cannot be part of the jury (?). And to pass a comment, can't I do it as any other member? Common Sun. Smartness will be appreciated but not at the cost of this site. Just remember.

    I challenge you. Come out with solid evidence that our assessments are wrong and that we are pronouncing winners without due application of mind. We will all approach Tony sir to take our tag away and remain just members with no additional responsibilities other than putting up this kind of threads for the sake of it.

    I have not yet referred to the contests you have conducted and the utter chaos that was created. You know better. Please do not force me to dig graves.

    Dr Rao, I am seriously concerned about your role in this thread. Please keep away if you have nothing to contribute.

    “The door to wisdom is knowing yourself." Anonymous

  • #707322
    Sorry Saji,
    ISC is a virtual site. I cannot do that. Since you have said that there is a flaw in my story writing to realize, you should have explained the flaw here. That would have been better as an editor to do so than dilly-dallying with challenges. Truly speaking my story doesn't deserve 5(Rs3). It is an insult to my story writing caliber.

    Let me put up my story for the members' comments in a separate thread. Let the members find out the flaws in my story. Assure me that you won't delete that thread I raise. I shall do it. If members come out with serious flaws in my story, I will stop writing stories for ISC. Are you ready?

    You said "I have not yet referred to the contests you have conducted and the utter chaos that was created. You know better. Please do not force me to dig graves."

    OMG! You can dig the graves. It would be nice if you do so. What do I lose? I will learn something good out of it. But it is not expected from a Lead Editor like you. You should have done it then and there when there was chaos. You failed.

    Also, first let me know, How you being a jury, award a consolation prize to your own story?

    No life without Sun

  • #707330
    I am one who believes in conforming and complying with established systems and policies. Probably I have never complained about anything even if (in certain occasions) I felt that my post/entry was not properly rewarded. I leave it to ISC team and accept the verdict without any complaint.

    But I feel bad that, now, an issue which could have been closed by a two liner reply is being elongated bringing out unwelcome comments and replies.

    The thread is posted under category 'suggestions'. The author has given, and 'strongly recommended' a suggestion. Being the author it is natural that he recommends it strongly. It is only a general suggestion. There is no reference to any specific contest in the main thread. It is only when a responding member made a pointer to a contest that the author clarified as a reference to a particular contest.

    A member may put forth a suggestion and it can be impractical, weird and utopian too. But the ISC's authorised person(s) can say whether it is acceptable or not and end the matter there. It can be accepted or rejected or taken up with WM if there is some merit in that. It is natural that the suggesting author may persist with the suggestion trying to justify it. But it need not be accepted if it does not suit ISC's system, ethics or policy. , and ISC ME/LE need not fall victim to any pressure or provocation express or indirect.

    In that regard reply by ME vide post #707286 would have been sufficient and apt, but it got spoiled by the avoidable (and even poking) long first sentence in second para. That is an unnecessary challenge and spoiler. Even in earlier occasions also I meaningfully and well-intentionally suggested ME not to get entangled into avoidable arguments and squabbles.
    While the language at some places is not proper, Shampa Sadya has some valid points in her post which would be lurking in minds of many other members too.

    I request LE Saji Ganesh also not to enter into clause by clause answering or repudiating or finding hidden or subtle meaning in every word of a particular member. Members are also intelligent and can see through things whether hidden subtle or express.

    Personally I do not see any practicality in the suggestion in this thread as of now. Whether acceptable to us or not the decision of ISC in selecting winners in contests or awarding other prizes HAS TO BE ACCEPTED. Any grievance may be taken as a case to case basis with sufficient justification and proof complying forum guidelines.

    However announcing number of prizes and then reducing it is a dampener for participants. It is just natural justice to announce winners as per announcement even if the entries do not come to threshold quality. Usually participants decide to participate or not, based on number of prizes, ease of contest, amount of prize etc.

    It will be good if once in a while some suitable contests or activity are arranged to select winner as a sort of Gallup poll by members. That will give more participation feeling. We had it earlier.
    I have been always suggesting and supporting for more prizes with even less prize amount so that disappointment is limited.
    I hope and request that my response be taken in the right spirit.

  • #707331
    Vandana Ma'am,

    Yes, it hurts when someone uses harsh language. Let me make it clear that when someone receives cc such as 3, 6, 7, 8, it hurts a lot more. It should have some respectability, and the amount must not be so meagre in comparison to the prize money assigned for the winners. The amount you gave for a story writing could be acceptable where the prize money is less such as month-end TOW.

    Next is, my intention was not to hurt but to make you understand what goes in the minds of the authors whose creation gets negligible amount. You have mentioned clearly that no other story was worthy to receive an award. It's up to you to decide, but I can say about my story, that it was original and presented a new form of friendship which failed to connect with you all. It's okay, but still receiving 7 cc is very disheartening. I will not mention which prize-winning stories I liked, but I must mention that one among the three stories had nothing new to offer. One could make out from the very beginning what is going to happen at the end.

    Yes, about GD the jury was the final authority. I have nothing against any winner because he/she wins when the jury decides. I felt something wrong in decision making because a GD needs total participation throughout the period. The member did not make a concluding statement. She countered the opponents, but when others made comments in their defence, she remained silent.

    Well, I have previously mentioned that I have nothing to say about the decisions taken by the jury. My only objection is regarding the assigned cc, which completely shatters the effort of the creative writers.

    I have joined the site long back but was never active here. In 2018, I first started contributing and enjoyed every bit of it. Showing disrespect to anyone is not my attitude, but when I get hurt, then I decide to present my point of view. If it has hurt you, then I am sorry, but request you to give a thought on the points I have raised. If possible, then make some respectful changes so that the participating members do not feel let down.

    Saji Sir,

    In school, students are free to consult their teachers after they get back their answer sheets of any examination. The teachers guide them thoroughly, and at times marks get increased too. Even in the Board exams, the students get an opportunity for re-evaluation, so the comparison you made is not right.

    You have conducted GDs earlier too, I had participated in them and won also. Earlier I won that does not mean I would have won this time too. I know the grounds on which basis evaluation of a GD is done. GD requires full-time participation, and a conclusion is a must. It is a virtual GD, that does not mean one should not conclude. When someone counters, then in a GD reply is a must, in my opinion.

    As you wrote that you wait for the result of a contest, I do the same. I feel happy when I win but feel dissatisfied when I lose. It's a natural process, but I try to find my mistakes so that I can improve next time. The experience at ISC is overwhelming with creative satisfaction, but meagre cc hurts a lot.

    Let me say to you clearly that I never doubt anyone's ability. Yes, when my mind says that someone received injustice, then I feel it's time to put forward my opinion. I am not in a position to judge others, but yes, I can make out the difference. It is up to you and other editors to pay or not to pay any attention upon my observation. No decision can indeed make everyone happy, but at least you can try that no one gets disheartened by the assigned cc. That much respect, I think, all the author members deserve.


  • #707338
    How do you include an editor who is a participant in a contest as a member of a Jury panel? And also award a prize to the same editor participant? Does it happen anywhere in the world? While ISC has too many editors numbering over 15, what is the need to include a participant editor?

    As rightly said by Shampa Sadhya, Rs. 3 is a petty alms amount to award to a member who spent the time to write a story. Better you should have avoided paying it as they are substandard and worthless stories, as considered by you. An equal amount to all the non-winning stories would have been better as a consolation prize for their participation.

    No life without Sun

  • #707339
    Venkiteswaran sir at #707330, yes, this thread would have been fine and it would have sufficed for me or the ME or any other editor to just give (or not to give at all) a one-line response saying whether the suggestion is feasible or not if, I repeat, if, this was the first time the author is raising this point. Please refer to the e-book contest winners thread for his responses, one of which was deleted and he raised the same point again, and this thread which was locked with an explanation and now another one which stands deleted. When a point has been responded to, whether to the liking of an individual or not, I don't think it is prudent to come up with the same issue time and again albeit in different versions. I feel that clarity needs to be brought in if someone is trying to hit the nail hard. Editors are no special beings and I don't think we need to take everything lying down, not at least when the intentions are clear. What best can be done when someone keeps repeating his frustration by feigning ignorance?

    I am sorry if I have hurt someone but I do think that there should be a limit to everything. I don't think I need to repeat the story of the horse being taken to the pond every time while dealing with such obstinate attitudes.

    All said and done, I am off this thread with the note that the suggestion by Sun is not practical.

    “The door to wisdom is knowing yourself." Anonymous

  • #707340
    True, I brought out the issue on the other threads which have gone into the deaf ears of ISC. I questioned the reduction in the number of prizes. Hence, I thought of recommending a system to satisfy the selection of winners. There has to be someone to bell the cat. We can't be mere observers to accept everything that ISC editors do. There is nothing wrong with questioning the authorities if something goes wrong with ISC. And we are not the horses with bridles to drink dirty pond waters.

    Please respond to my question at response #707322. I also expect Vandana to respond to my response #707338.

    No life without Sun

  • #707342
    In your Friendship story writing announcement thread, you have said - " We may give up to two consolation prizes, and all participants will get enhanced points and cc up to maximum Rs.25/-, but if rules are not adhered to will get only a few points for participation."

    Now let me know, in my friendship story, where I did not adhere and flouted the rules, to be awarded the minimum CC of Rs. 3/-.
    1. I have posted my story well in time within 4 hours instead of 13 hours.
    2. I have commenced my story with a word that was ended by the previous story writer and ended with a good word.
    3. I did not exceed the maximum word limit.
    4. There is no grammar or spelling mistake.
    5. I have given the title within 5 words.
    6. My story was written in English without any mix.
    7. I did not use any indecent, absurd, slang words.
    8. I have given much importance to number 13 which others not given.

    What else do you expect? What else rules apply and I deviated? Where did I flout the rules? What went wrong with me? Don't you feel that injustice has been done to the story writers? Please justify your stand.

    I would say that all participants adhered to the rules very sincerely except Monika Kushwaha who could not post her story in time and exceeded the word limit.

    Update: 19th August 2020
    After not having received any valid response to my last two responses, I conclude saying that there is something wrong with ISC management in selecting the winners of the contests.
    1. Participants in the contests are forming part of juries (A wrong practice)
    2. ISC ME is not able to explain/justify the rules flouted by a member for awarding very low CC.
    3. ISC needs to improve

    No life without Sun

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