My Smut Marathon Experience

Those of you who have followed me for a while already know that I was a participant of the Smut Marathon over the past year. For those that don’t, the Smut Marathon is a year-long event where writers of erotica and smut compete in story challenges that push us to improve our writing abilities. I only made it to Round 6, but I did have a lot of fun writing, reading, and voting on all of the great entries that were available. But before I tell you about my experience, I’d like to give an apology.

During this competition, I wrote several posts talking about my experience as it happened, updates on my entries, and my thoughts on each round. In a couple of those posts, I said some things out of anger or frustration of the results, followed by pointing out a lack of feedback to explain what was wrong with my entries. Looking back, I feel what I said is not indicative of what this competition really was. So I would like to set the record straight on what the competition was like for me.

From the start of the Smut Marathon, I made it a point to go down the list of participants and follow each one of them on twitter. I wanted to get to know more smut writers like myself, and I’m actually really glad I did. The people who went into this with me are some of the best people I know and have become my new extended Twitter family. You guys are the best, and I’m honored to know you all!

The challenges have certainly been interesting for the six rounds I was a part of. Some presented the kind of challenges I was expecting, while others crept up and surprised me entirely. In addition, many called for me to use a different writing style I was often not used to. So you can expect a challenge that will push you creatively as well as refine your skills.

Feedback was a bit of an issue, initially. Improving as writers was something we all wanted to accomplish, but some of us didn’t get feedback sufficient enough to really identify where our strengths and weaknesses were at. This isn’t a flaw in the competition, but more of a result of working out the kinks in a relatively larger project. Marie Rebelle has worked very hard to put this all together, and I commend her on the dedication and hard work needed to organize, design, and set the rules needed for a fair and exciting competition. She has since addressed the feedback issue and has worked with both the judges and participants to promote more frequent and substantial feedback. And I can say it has honestly gotten a lot better.

The judges have also done an amazing job as well. I’ve gotten to know them more and more over the past year as well, and I don’t think Marie Rebelle could have chosen any others more suited for the task. Each one is very respected in the erotic writer’s community, and have many years of experience in their pocket. There may have been some disagreements on their methods of judging entries, but I can assure you that they are always fair and impartial. I’m not excluded from those that complained either. I thought it was weird that their scores were all over the place, but really, that should be expected when there are so many entries to be voted on. You can’t expect judges to conveniently all agree on the same things, especially if you can’t know what the others are voting for. And for that, I do apologize to the judges, and to Marie Rebelle for the things I have said in the past regarding their methods.

It’s important to remember that people make mistakes sometimes. A great example was the first round of the competition involving the simile/metaphor incident. Although Marie and the judges acknowledged that they mistook what the difference between the two were, some were upset, myself included, that nothing was done to amend it. In truth, there’s nothing that could have been done. A re-scoring of all entries would have used up more time than was needed and would have thrown off a carefully-designed schedule that allows everyone a fair chance. Squabbling over it would accomplish nothing and likely would cause the whole thing to deteriorate. The important thing is that the issue was acknowledged and that they would work to make sure confusions like this would be avoided in the future.

Overall, would I recommend other writers of smut enter in this competition? Absolutely! It’s a great opportunity to expand your professional circle, it’s a great way to push the boundaries of your imagination, and everyone helps each other to improve. Even if you only make it a couple of rounds in, you can still learn a lot about your own writing, on a scale you wouldn’t find outside of this. It’s made me a much better writer, given me many new ideas to work with, and even if I did get a bit salty about the low scores I received, it was never unfair.

I want to thank Marie Rebelle and the judges for allowing me to be a part of this competition, and congratulations to the winners, and those who made it all the way to the end. I don’t think I will plan to join the 2019 Smut Marathon, as I’d like to spend another year working and improving further, but I may consider signing up for it in 2020 if Marie decides to keep it going after that. I’ll be sure to follow next year’s competition anyway, and continue to vote on my favorites. I can’t wait to see what new challenges await!

  2 comments for “My Smut Marathon Experience

  1. December 4, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Well stated! I, too, had a positive experience with this competition, though it was tough on me at times. I’m not sure what anyone (judges/public) really wanted, and it never really felt like I was “doing what was expected,” but I feel I wrote some quality stuff and am a better writer for having done it.

    Liked by 1 person

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