New Clitorides Awards Site

Hello everyone,

Back on February 15th, 2007, Souvie posted the following in message on Usenet in the ASSD group (alt.sex.stories.d) id Message-ID: <dqk9t2tihhc7as6cf8qv704v44utjfqttk>:

> I will not be running the awards next year, someone else has taken them over. I’m sure everyone’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, it’s been fun. :)

> I’m going to email Kenny and see if he wants me to do the Silver Clits for the time he’s been away, and it’s possible the person who’s taking over the GCA will be taking over the SCA (depends on what Kenny says).

> Now that I have no legitimate excuse not to write, I still won’t be writing. It’s not fun right now and if and when the fun returns, maybe then I’ll pick my pen back up.

Well, time has come to reveal that I’m the one who volunteered to try to handle the awards. I’m sure many of you have already known or guessed that little fact.

I registered a domain for them, it’s at http://clitoridesawards.org/

I always thought the clitorides were a great idea, but the awards suffered from the fact that, usually, one or two people took the responsibility of handling them. Those people should be thanked for taking on such a big responsibility. However, that usually meant if the person got too busy, or simply lost interest or whatever could happen in real life with them happened, the awards suffered. The awards are a big job and a tedious one. Nobody wanted to do the job forever.

I believe that a central website that can handle most of the grunt work and overseen by volunteers from the community can go a long way to establish the awards as a legit entity.

I’m here to announce my plans for the awards and to seek all input.

Personally, I don’t have any particular interest in running the awards or influencing them in any shape or form. My only interest is the general health of the writing community. I believe that well established awards are good for the community.

What I offer is my technical expertise and my resources to build and host a site for the awards.

What I’m here looking for is the input of everybody who is interested in the issue.

In order for me to finish implementing the site and have it work properly, I need a clear set of rules that most would agree on to govern the awards. I also need a group of volunteers to oversee the nominations and handle the final announcements.

The site’s engine would handle receiving nominations, sending out confirmation messages if needed, and tallying the results.

As of now, the site is up and running in limited fashion. It can handle user registration, log in, author nominations and story nominations for the Golden Clitorides awards for 2007.

Currently, there 20 story categories and 2 author categories. They are the same that Souvie used last year. The old archive pages are there, the only change to them was that I put them in the site’s template, otherwise, they’re still as they are on the old site.

What I’m looking for now is suggestions for changes, the creation of a set of rules to govern the awards and volunteers to moderate the awards. There is no admin section to the site yet because I don’t have any guidelines what needs to be implemented other than there should be a way to verify and moderate nominations.

I’m not sure which way is best to start this process; I don’t have a forum. We could use this blog here and the comments system below, or we can create a page relating to the issue on http://storieswiki.org/.

So, lets get this process started :)

Published by

Lazeez

Owner and operator of storiesonline.net

33 thoughts on “New Clitorides Awards Site”

  1. Haven’t Souvie and the people before her already set up some rules and guidelines governing nominations, acceptance, and awarding of these awards?

    I can offer a little of my spare time, but after reading your blog, I still am not sure what kind of assistance you’re seeking. Anyway, when given the job natures, I think you can count me in for some dirty works.

  2. I guess I was a little vague on what I need.

    1st, I need volunteers to do the moderation on the site. That means, when a story or author nomination comes in, somebody needs to check the nominations for eligibility. So a moderator needs to check the actual story nominated for date of posting, kind of story and stuff like that and make a decision whether the nomination is accepted. Also, moderators need to check for duplicates, for example many stories are posted on multiple sites. So a moderator may need to mark a nomination as a duplicate of another (that increases the number of nominations a story or author gets).

    In the beginning, moderators should also be beta testers for the admin functions of the site. I think of all the features that may be necessary, so while I would start with the implementation, I need suggestions how to make it better.

    Another point of discussion:

    Somebody suggested a long time ago that stories on storiesonline that get a certain score should get automatic nomination. Does that make sense? should it be that way?

    Many of the rules that governed past years were done because the moderator of the awards didn’t have enough time or resources to enforce many rules, that’s why we need to re-discuss those rules.

    That’s all I can think of right now. I’ll post more as I get more feedback.

  3. About auto-entry. I also had that instinctive feeling whilst reading your initial ideas. It seems to be a good idea, and probably would expand the scope. However, I’d say no. It will introduce allegations of conflict of interest and thereby has possible adverse effect on esteem of the awards. Also, if top stories on SOL get auto-nominations, what about top stories at bingpron.com or something like that?

    I’ve never really paid much attention to these awards (even though I’ve read some of the awarded stories), because my works weren’t even remotely comparable. I therefore have little knowledge of the volume of nominations.

    What you as SOL administrator can hopefully promote the award, besides handling the process, is probably dedicating a small corner directing readers’ interest to these highly regarded works.

  4. I just had a look at the site, and would suggest two things.

    1. A link on the front page to a page where people can see the rules without having to register – you’ll get more interest that way.

    2. A link to a page where the current nominations are listed.

    Just a couple of ideas for you. I, like many others, like to be able to see if I really WANT to register before I actually do register.

  5. I’m willing to help in any way you think I can. I do have time on my hands, whether I need it or not.

    In another vein, I would not be in favor of any automatic entries from any source. If the story doesn’t generate enough interest to be nominated by a reader I can’t see how it would merit consideration.

    I also have a suggestion but I’m pretty sure I’m not qualified to do it myself, though I think it needs to be done.

    Previously people have used the relatively unknown aspect of the awards, outside the asstr community, to their benefit. I think a brief history and explanation of the whole process should be made available in a prominent spot. In my view the wider the distribution of the details, the better.

    I should also point out that I think Lazeez’s participation can only be a big step forward for the awards. His technical expertise and experience will be beyond value for the stability of the award process and I for one hope he can be convinced to do the same for the Silver Awards.

    cmsix

  6. First off, I am willing to help in any way I’m qualified. I would be happy to go around checking stories or whatever. I know nothing about website building or anything like that but I’m willing to help and have time to do the job.

    Second, I agree with earlier comments. Stories from SOL, no matter how well rated, Should NOT get automatically nominated. It makes it feel like a story on SOL would get preferential treatment. I think it would make people second guess their idea of nominating a story that isn’t posted on SOL.

    Keep the two entities, SOL and the GCA, as separate as possible!!!!!!!!

    I haven’t looked around the new site yet so I don’t have any ideas on what improvements to make there but I’ll let you know if I come up with anything.

    -Jefferson

  7. I am not an author but just an avid reader. I would be willing to help out as one of the moderators and/or beta testers for the new site.

  8. I would offer sseveral comments:

    1. I read what Cazna said earlier (12/2 10:46 pm) and would second both points.

    2. I would also endorse a few others’ point about avoiding auto-nominations.

    3. With respect to the categories of “Best…of the year”, why not try something different. Close direct nominations for those categories. Let direct nominations go to subject categories like “Best Hetero story”, etc. or whatever. Glean nominations for the overall categories from the subject categories. For the best author category, count the nominations for actual stories under his/her name.

    3. Perhaps the date structure could be liberalized a bit. For example, stories posted early in the year are “out of sight/out of mind” by the time December rolls around. If there were no calendar restriction readers might reflect on their total reading experience and remember works that they liked regardless of posting date. I know there’s a “Classic” category, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

    4. Think about adding the following three categories:
    a. Best reviewer
    b. Best editor
    c. Best site

    That’s all I have right now.

    AW

  9. First off I’ll add my voice to those saying that automatic nominations aren’t a great idea. I agree that if readers aren’t motivated to nominate, then a score doesn’t really mean all that much.

    I haven’t looked at the site either, but, as a reader and past voter I do have one recommendation. Each story nominated should have a link to where it can be found, and read. I saw all kinds of nominations that looked interesting, but didn’t know where to find them and didn’t have time to search multiple sites. That might increase the number of nominations for stories already there. I didn’t understand for the first year that a story could be nominated more than once, and that that mattered.

    Once again we owe a debt of gratitude to Laz. He’s either a prince of a fellow, or a glutton for punishment. Maybe both.

  10. Alright, we’ll drop the auto-nomination issue. I only considered the suggestion because of my own tardiness in implementing the site. Stories that were posted early in the year won’t get as good as a chance.

    I intend to keep the awards site and storiesonline as separate as possible. I prefer that the site be administered by a committee. If there is enough interest in such endeavour, we’ll have to agree on the rules governing this committee and how it’s formed. If I don’t get enough interest, I’ll do this as a solo effort, hopefully with the support of the community.

    I’ve posted the Awards’ FAQ, which is basically the rules. They’re on the site and I’ve posted a copy on storieswiki.org.

    http://storieswiki.org/index.php/Clitorides_Awards_FAQ

    Anybody can make changes, please discuss potential changes in the talk page.

  11. I do have some time that I could give to this if you are still looking for volunteers.

    One thing that would be useful for the site is a list of the stories you have nominated. I’ve got a list of stories that I’ve been waiting to nominate, but this list is spread between three computers and probably contains duplicates.

    It is also not clear whether you can vote for multiple stories in the same category.

  12. Thank you Lazeez, for once again helping the writing community, and even more so, us readers. Your continued efforts are very much appreciated.

  13. Like others, I offer my services to assist with the site in any way I can.

    Like others, even though the matter seems settled, I don’t think there should be “automatic” nominations from any site. Quite simply, SOl and other sites that have ratings also have audiences that enormously prefer certain types of stories and don’t like others.

    I would not like to extend the categories much, if at all. Best editor in particular is a category that can’t be measured by the reading public. Best Site would almost certainly always go to the site with the most readers and Best Reviewer is doubly subjective.

  14. While I’m always in favor of recognition for editors, I can see too many problems in making it an award category. Beyond the problem of how it can be judged (most prolific editor, or highest quality of editing, for example) it could result in some truly negative consequences. Truly skilled editors would (if interested in the awards) gravitate towards more skilled authors, at the expense of beginning writers.

    Rewarding reviewers is even worse of an idea. Other than SOL, how many reviewers are there that anyone would recognize? And even on SOL, there were only 23 reviewers this year, by my count. Besides that, reviewing should be a service provided to aid readers in making story-reading decisions, not an attempt to gain recognition.

    Auto-nomination is likewise a bad idea. A slightly better one (which would no doubt skew things in favor of those posting to SOL) would be to provide a link – at the bottom of each story posted in a given year – to submit a nomination for the awards. Actually, if this was a standardized link which could be provided to other story sites, it could offset the skewing… although the higher readership of SOL would likely still skew things.

  15. Something I considered posting in my earlier comment but was afraid it would go the wrong way.

    Maybe you should think about involving others who run sites where erotic stories are posted to do what the anonymous poster said and put links, at the bottom of stories, on SOL or other sites, so that people who read the stories during nominations and during voting would have a link, right there, to go and vote for the story. It would take the cooperation of those who ran the various sites but it could be done. If you can’t get, at least, the five or six largest, most popular sites, I wouldn’t do it at all for exactly the reason the last poster gave, it would skew the vote in FAVOR of the site or sites that did do it.

    I have no idea how closely tied the erotic story site community is. Whether you know, or have had contact with others who run similar sites. If there’s very little, I wouldn’t do it. If you know the people, then it’s a possibility.

    One other thing, possibly build a banner of some sort for the GCA’s that other sites could put up, especially during nominations.

    This may have been done in the past, but I’ve never seen it. Then make sure that the site owner(s) know of the GCA’s and see if they’re willing to advertise. The more sites that advertise, the more stories will get nominated, the more votes that are received, the better the selection will end up being.

  16. Just two points.

    Simple volume of work should not help a nominated author to gain indirect advantage. Thus candidates for “Best Author” should not have an inherent advantage if they write lots of short stories nominated as against writing one superb novel (which took a year to write).

    The idea of “Best Editor” seems very strange to me. I am sure most editors do not regard editing as a competitive activity, nor are they trying to please the authors for whom they edit. An author tries to please an audience (and awards can measure that) whereas an editor tries to help an author.

  17. Hi. Gary Jordan here. I ran the Golden Clitorides for a year and the Silver Clitorides for two. It wasn’t disinterest or “too busy” that made me give them up, it was a heart attack.

    I wish Souvie could have kept up with them, but in her case it was Real Life and a new marriage that interfered.

    I’m glad you decided not to auto-nominate from SOL or anywhere else. The awards would have ended up exclusively the SOL Awards.

    I inherited the “most nominated=finalist” meme from Maria, John, and Rui Jorge. I never liked it. It added an unnecessary layer of complexity. I think you should let EVERY story that’s nominated be voted for. Now, if no story earns 50% of the vote, take the top 3 or 4 or 5 and have a run-off. What I saw with “most votes wins” is that of 10 stories, one might get 11 votes, and nine might get 10 votes each. Is that story really a winner?

    The hardest thing I ever had to worry about was voting fraud. Everybody and his cousin can have 99 email addresses these days. Do you have any idea how to keep it to “one person, one vote”? Does it matter?

    Good luck!

    Oh, for the people who were proposing an award for editors and such – with the Golden Clitorides comes the “Sons of Martha” site. Check it out.

    Gary

  18. Just a couple of thoughts. (Russell Hoisington would say I don’t have more to spare.)

    As far as new categories, I’d like to see a COMING OF AGE category. Two of my Trailer Park books were nominated in the last two years as humor stories, and while they contain humor, that’s not how I see them.

    Best Editor would be a great category but impossible to judge. I’d nominate Russell in a heartbeat but only a couple people see my raw output and would realize how hard he has to work.

    Good luck.

  19. I think that even by automatically listing potential nominees you’re going to streamline the process. Maybe if the larger story sites got together they could agree on a format to stream the Clitorides potentially qualifying stories? I agree that “automatic nomination” is a bad idea, but making the nomination process easier for the folks nominating AND the people trying to figure out if a given story qualifies is probably a good thing. Barring an “automated” process, I suppose you could work with an honor system and allow authors to promote their completed stories onto a “nominate me” page or something? There’s so MUCH literature out that, I just think it’s better to figure out SOMETHING.

  20. I’d like to help out, but since I’m not even able to concentrate well enough to write much these days, that’s out.

    All I can say is best of luck and have fun and I wish you all well.

    .B

  21. Lazeez,

    I would like to volunteer as a nomination moderator. I am not a writer, but I am a long time reader at a number of different sites. I am retired and have time available.

  22. Placing a tiny “GC Nominee” logo beside each nominated story might generate more reader interest and more voting. I get the impression the nominees and winners are determined by a very small slice of the readership. I’m sure you want to encourage wider participation.

  23. The biggest change I’d like to see is a better granularity (read: more choices) in story length. There has basically been a Best Short Story and a Best Long Story category. I’d like something more like:

    Best Story under 5000 words.
    Best Story 5000 – 25000 words
    Best Story 25K – 100K words
    Best Story Over 100K words

    Different length make for very different kinds of stories, and it’s not fair in my mind to make them all compete in just one or two categories.

    –DB_Story

  24. @Jefferson:

    I don’t have any connection to other story sites, so I guess it’s not a close community at all. It’s up to authors to encourage the other sites to participate. I’m open to all participation. I’m planning to create a banner for the awards as well as a system for authors to register their own stories on the awards site and create a direct link to nominate their stories, something like digg’s links. However, this will give the advantage to authors who participate and make the effort to promote their stories.

    @Garry Jordan:

    That was my real motivation. Whatever the reason for your stop or souvie’s, the awards suffered. So a site with multiple moderators is more stable. And stability is good for this kind of thing.

    “One person, One vote” is impossible without sacrificing personal privacy. So it’s impossible to do. The best that I can do is ‘One email, one vote’.

    Once I’m done with the golden awards, I will do the silver awards, however, from previous experience, monthly awards may not get enough nominees all months, so I would suggest changing the silver awards to Quarterly awards instead.

    @Wizard:

    Every author sees their own stories in a different light. From my experience with storiesonline when I implemented the story genres, there could never be enough genres to satisfy everybody. However, if the request gets seconded, I’ll add the category.

    @DB_Story:

    Currently we have flash story, short story and long story. Flash can’t be considered with ‘under 5000 words’ it’s already defined as under 300 words.

    So we need to expand the length considerably. If we consider your suggestion, we’ll need 5 categories:

    * Flash
    * Very short
    * Short
    * Long
    * Very long

    Any suggestions? additional support?

    For everybody that volunteered, thank you very much.

    I’m still working on the moderation side. I’m having hard time finding the time to do it, so it will be a little while at least. When it’s done, I’ll make an announcement on SOL and on the clits site. Meanwhile, the way to do it is to register a user account on the Clits site and email me and give me your user name there; I’ll upgrade your account and when the system is up and running, you should see the difference.

  25. I always wanted to add different story lengths. I used the following guidelines, which may be found in numerous submissions sites of various publishing houses:

    Micro-Fiction: up to 100 words
    Flash Fiction: 100 – 1,000 words
    Short Story: 1,000 – 7,500 words
    Novellette: 7,500 – 20,000 words
    Novella: 20,000 – 50,000 words
    Novel: 50,000 -120,000 words
    Epics: Over 120,000 words

    With regard to the Monthly Silver Clitorides: If you wish to make a quarterly award, by all means do so. But PLEASE choose another name. Platinum, Mithril, Bronze, Brass, even Aluminium. While they were active, the Silver Clitorides were associated with being monthly, and were listed so at Jane’s.

  26. About story lengths, I have a different opinion. These are awards for excellencies. They are not categories serving readers to read those they prefer.

    I agree that it involves very different skills planning, and talent to writing flash, short stories, novelettes, and novels. Thus it’s reasonable to separate into some broadly recognizable categories, but should never be over-done.

    I’m especially reserved about those beyond novelette level. I don’t really see a difference in excellency or craftsmanship that leads to different level of works there.

    And for Lazeez, if you haven’t already put my name on your volunteer’s list. I’m in.

  27. I agree with Bingain about story lengths, I’d suggest

    Flash: up to 1,000 words
    Short: 1,000 – 7,500 words
    Medium: 7,500 – 20,000 words
    Long: 20,000 – 50,000 words
    Very long: 50,000+ words

    If possible it would be good for the site to know how long a story is and move it to the right category. So if FooStory is 19,750 words long and submitted to the “Best long story” category the site would say “FooStory is not eligible for the “Best long story” category so it has been nominated for “Best medium-length story” instead. If you would like to withdraw this nomination click here”. If submissions are done by email, then provide a link to the website or an email link to withdraw.

    This brings me on to another idea – users should be able to see which stories they have nominated and be given the option to withdraw any of them.

    I agree also with whoever (it might have been Gary Jordan) said that every story nominated (or perhaps every story that receives at least 2 nominations) should go through to the vote. Have a second round of voting for the 5 highest scoring if needed.

    The Silver Clits are awarded for best story of the month, and when they were active one of them was voted best story of the year. If they are not active, it would be good to continue to give this award. Perhaps every story that receives at least 2 nominations in any category should be automatically entered into this category (author opt-out notwithstanding).

  28. I noticed that several people suggested putting the link for a nominated story. I think you would find it would be easier just to put a reference such as
    “Depression by cmsix found on http://www.storiesonline.net” this way it does not matter that a site changes its file structure or moves a story you still know were to find it

  29. My own thoughts:
    1) On length categories: fewer is better. Short and Long, by preference.
    2) I like Wizard’s idea of “Coming of Age Story”.
    3) Self-nomination page–an excellent idea. It can be used to either point the users to new (to them) eligible fiction, or alternatively remind them of stories from earlier in the year.
    4) I like the idea of little logos to put next to nominated (and finalist, and winnder) stories. The image should be a link to the award site, to make it easier to promote the contest.

    Lastly, thank you Lazeez for taking this on!

    Sam

  30. Re; Story lengths

    Keep the existing categories – it’s more than enough

    Re: Genres

    It’s too easy to go overboard and easily leads to countless genres needing representation. If you’ve got an award for best “furry” story, why not best incest story? Threesome story? Group sex story?

    Besides, it can be hard enough to know where a given story should be nominated when many stories belong to multiple genres.

    Griezz

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