Pumpkin Carve-Off, Ginger, and Bake My Cake. I loves me some competitions! I’m thinking you do too, as you almost broke the internet whilst voting in the last battle royale. Now, some of you first-time competitors might be feeling funny in your tummies. Don’t fret, I’m here to help.
Here are some tips, in no particular order, for putting together your entries. I’ve noticed a few trends about the winning entries on this here blog.
Pick a theme. Go hardcore traditional or totally quirky. Pick something you like and run with it. Entries with themes tend to do well. Even if that theme is: I don’t know how to do this.
Think outside the box. Entries that are original tend to do very well in my competitions. My readers and judges are easily entertained. That’s why they’re here voting, and not off running the country. Ginger 2011 was dominated by houses that veered from the traditional. For example:
That’s my sister’s entry for Ginger 2011. Theme: the Three Little Piggies. See how the wolf blew down the houses made of straw and sticks? Pretty clever for someone who gets confused by ziplock bags.
Don’t worry if it sucks. We like that. Did your pumpkin collapse on itself? Awesome. Send a photo. No – send two! Don’t worry if it didn’t turn out just as you had planned, because you should:
Include an awesome tidbit. People like hearing your stories, even if they’re stupid. My readers tend to respond when you tell them something weird about your creation, or explain just what the hell you were thinking when you slapped it together. It also helps me write stuff about your entry. Maybe you were inspired by Val Kilmer and blah, blah, blah. Keep it short. And don’t worry about how it’s written – I’ll do my best to help out with that. You can find some examples by scrolling through past entries. Here’s a good one:
When Paul of The Ossington Kitchen, sent in his Ginger entry, he included the following real estate ad:
Tired of those heartless, cookie cutter housing developments?
This delightful pied a terre is the answer to your prayers.
Perfect for the mature gal who needs a bit more space for the family.
A home with soul.
That’s money, people.
Good photos. I recommend natural light. Avoid using your flash. You don’t need a fancy camera. Send in two photos from a couple of different angles. Try to clear the clutter from the background. We get that you like Loni Anderson, but we don’t need to see your Loni Anderson poster looming over your gingerbread house. Or piles of your laundry beside your pumpkin. Trust me, a good photo can make a big difference. Look at what Katherine (over at Eggton) sent in for her Ginger entry:
It has a backdrop, mofos. Enough said.
Use the interweb for something other than porn. We’re talking social media, people. Email, Facebook, the Twitters. When it gets to voting time, do what you have to do to promote the living crap out of your creation. Winning the online polls doesn’t require you to have the best entry – just the most votes. It’s like a frickin’ high school
election popularity contest. Starting in October 2014, online polling will determine the winner of the People’s Choice Prize.
Woo the judges. Starting in October 2014, a panel of judges will determine the winners of movita competitions. A great story, theme, photo, or entry-gone-wrong can be just the thing to seal your victory. Again, it’s not necessarily the best or most technical entry that wins. Anything can happen.
There can only be one winner. Have some fun for cripes’ sake. Entries for my competitions come from amateurs, professionals, kids and the occasional village idiot. Entering these competitions requires a sense of humour and the ability to lighten up. Send an entry in, share a few laughs, and join me in making the interwebs a little more fun.
There you go. If you’ve competed in the past, you might have some more tips, and you should feel free to leave ’em in the comment section. I’m terribly smart, but you might have some ideas that my brain missed whilst calculating huge fractions and stuff.