March 2023 Abducted! Contest: Winners Announcement! (And poll info)

A word from our sponsor:

It's over! It's done! The contest is finished, the polls are closed, and we have the results you've all been waiting for!

The March 2023 Abducted! Story Contest Results!

We had a lot of really fantastic entries this month! It was a tight race for a long time in the polls, but in the end we had not one, but TWO stories take the top spot! A big congratulations to:

The Doorway by Emma Anne Tate


When You Wish Upon a Star by SammyC

After some discussion, we have decided that both of you get the full first-place package: that's two DopplerPress ebooks of your choice, as well as a custom piece of art done by Melanie E. (that's me!) We will be reaching out to you via PM to confirm your win and to check on what you would like to receive.

These two stories aren't the only rewards going out today, however! Nay! We had intended to offer a first-place prize and two runner-up prizes, but due to having a tie for victory, we instead have a single runner-up prize being released. Our runner up, by a single vote, is...

876976880 Circuit Malfunction by Susan Brown

Congratulations Susan! Your prize is a single DopplerPress book of your choice! We will be reaching out to you via PM here on the site to talk about what prize you would like to receive.

Once again, a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who participated in the contest! It was a joy to see all the wonderful stories shared.

As a reader, did you miss any stories and want to catch up? Well, there's always the contest tag located at the top of this blog entry to check out everything, or you can follow this link to the announcement of voting, where you can also find links to all the stories.

Thank you again for everything! Ooh, and don't forget, April is the "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day" challenge! No voting, no prizes, but I still hope to see a lot of wonderful stories from everyone!


And now, for the second part of this announcement:

A Discussion On Polls

A lot of people displayed concern about the way that polling was done for this contest, and about what many saw as lackluster response. I would like to give folks a little bit of information on that.

1. The Response

I've seen and received a notable amount of concern that the poll response as a whole seemed a bit lackluster. The truth is, polls like this rarely get a ton of response no matter where they're hosted or how they're done. We got over 100 votes in the poll: that wasn't as much as I'd have LIKED to see, sure, but it's honestly a better turnout than I expected to see, even accounting for the fact many of those were the same people voting for multiple entries.

2. Patreon Use

There has been some question about using Patreon's polling. We went with Patreon for a few reasons. First, because let's face it, Patreon is an important part of the site's incoming revenue, so we need to do what we can to make sure people see it. Second, because its polling software is easy to use, and third, because polls can be left open to anyone who wants to vote. Some people were concerned about being able to vote multiple times by coming in via different paths, but that's an issue of any polling we could do without requiring an account of some kind to participate. These things run on trust, and always have.

3. Other Voting Methods

We decided on polling because it's the best way to make sure every story matters, and keep things fair. In the past, contests have used panels of judges, or kudo counts, or any number of other methods to determine victors. All these methods CAN work, but have their own problems. There's no such thing as an impartial judging panel here, and it puts a burden on a small group of people to engage with and remember every entry posted. Kudos tend to overwhelmingly favor popular authors over newcomers and niche writers. In both cases, charges of favoritism can occur as well -- "this person MUST have been a judge and voted for their own story!" "There were five stories posted the day mine went up, it didn't get kudos because of that!" We decided on polling because it guarantees that a vote is a vote, and that it's the community that decides who wins.

We're open to more discussion on methodologies in the future, but I'm hoping that poll interaction will pick up more as people get used to us having the contests running again.

Melanie E.

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