Which one would you pick?
1 – Creative Non-fiction with a theme
2 – Multimedia (short film)
3 – Novella/Novel excerpt (2500 words)
4 – Prose poem
5 – Art (illustration only)
6 – Photo essay
7 – Multi-genre with a theme
A good portion of Portal’s last class was devoted to discussing these 7 suggested contest ideas. All of them were good with interesting possibilities, and we even flirted with the idea of holding two contests. But as this class won’t actually be on Portal next year, we thought that a little unfair.
There was a lot to be said for each idea, but for all we had to think of what we are handing over to the next Portal class. We also had to think of who would judge the contest, how would it be edited, and who, from the student body, would it exclude? Of course we wanted to be as fair as possible and be able to include as many individuals from the student body as we could, but any contest is limiting in that regard.
Two ideas which we discussed at length were the novella/novel excerpt and the multimedia (short film). For the novella/novel we had to consider word count, as we certainly couldn’t print the entire piece. But we liked the idea because there are quite a few talented novelists in the school, and we would have loved to showcase their work. Then we moved to considering a multimedia (short film) contest. However, although many liked the idea because it was new and different, one of the problems was how would such a piece be represented in the magazine? We could certainly print a link to our website, and of course we would have played it at the launch, but it’s not visually engaging for the magazine itself. It was suggested that we could print stills from the film or that someone on the Portal team could do a write-up about the piece that could be printed with the included link to our website.
Finally, Joy had to call for a vote, and the numbers surprised many of us.
1 – Creative Non-fiction with a theme = 6
2 – Multimedia (short film) = 1
3 – Novella/Novel excerpt (2500 words) = 1
4 – Prose poem = 0
5 – Art (illustration only) = 0
6 – Photo essay = 5
7 – Multi-genre with a theme = 3
As you can see, the majority of the class was split between creative non-fiction and a photo essay contest. To be democratic and make as many in the class happy as possible, Joy proposed that we combine the two ideas, making the contest a creative non-fiction piece with a photo element. Most if not all in the class really liked that idea. It was more inclusive to the creative writing and media studies students, which was something we really wanted, and it would certainly make for interesting pieces come next year’s issue. And so approximately an hour and a half after the start of class we had a contest. While the details and wording are still being hammered out, the new contest will soon be posted on the website and Portal 2012 will have blow-ins of the guidelines.
Portal encourages everyone to submit and wishes all future contestants good luck!