This is a pretty basic outline and it is not by any means mandatory for your personal contests. It's here only as a guide for new people who want to host a contest but don't know how.
Picking your wiki
I assume you have already picked a theme for your contest, so it's time to find a nice name for the wiki that is going to host it. For the example I will use a contest themed "Alien Invasion"
Try to make it short and descriptive.
The easiest way to go would be "Alien Invasion Contest" which is not very original but still passes the message along nicely and people will remember it. Names like "name's contest" or "my first contest" don't really help you get entrants.
If you can't think of anything very original, it's better to leave it at "Alien Invasion Contest" than spend a lifetime trying to find a catchy name.
Make sure you add the word "contest" or "competition" or "challenge", something that gives away it's not a simple wiki about aliens etc.
Check that the wiki name is not already taken. If it is, chances are someone had already made a contest similar to yours.
Deciding about the rules and deadline
Here's the part where you need to decide about what rules your contest needs:
How many entries are allowed by each entrant?
When is the deadline going to be?
That can be either a number of entries or a date. Some people use both and end the contest when one of the deadlines is reached.
Example: Contest deadline: 20 entries or January 15th 2009</sub>
Remember: Don't forget to add a reminder with the help of the button in the bottom of the wiki! If you don't have a deadline, you should make sure to remind you now and then, so that the contest doesn't get forgotten.
If you're going to use a poll, is asking people for votes allowed?
How is your judging going to be done? Poll or by (a) judge(s)?
It is strongly advised that your contestants' entries are required to be uploaded/posted somewhere in Elftown. This prevents the loss of any images in the future!
For visual contests:
Does it have to be a specific medium?
Are there any mediums you won't allow?
Do you mind if there's nudity/violence/gore in the entries?
For written contests:
How long does a story/poem have to be? (min and max)
Do you mind stories/poems of sexual nature? (erotica)
Are both stories and poems allowed?
Setting a prize
Ah... Prizes! Contests are much more fun because of them prizes!
This can be whatever you want. You don't need to cash out money or real life presents to your winners.
A digital badge/banner made by you
a drawn or written commission
something you crafted, mailed to the winner
a donation to ET under the winner's name
The badge prize is the most common one on ET. Contest hosts usually create one for the winner and one for the participants, but that really is up to you.
Creating an "Entries" wiki
It's much neater if the contest entries aren't in the same page with the rules. Naming this wiki is easy. It's usually something along the lines of [contest name entries@wiki].
After you've named this wiki as well. You may want to pick a format in which the entries will be posted.
[wiki link to story@wiki]/poem
Don't forget to add a link back to the main contest page!
Prettying up your wiki-pages
It is always nice to see a colourful wiki instead of a plain text one. You can spice up your wiki by adding dividers, bullets and cute graphics from Elftown Graphics, nonimages or even your own graphics! Don't forget to credit!
Making your contest known
There are several ways to advertise your contest so as to get entrants:
Write about it in your mood
Write about it in your diary
Advertise it in <forum:Advertising in Elftown>
Invite people who might be interested in it to the wiki
Ask on MC for a deadline on Mainstreet.
Add the contest to the art contests, writing contests or photo contests.
That's all you need to know if you're not going to set up a poll for your contest. If you want to make a poll though, read further
Setting up Polls
You can set the poll in the entries page or create a voting wiki-page. For further instructions on how to make a poll see poll how-to
Tip: The <voting> poll is great if you don't want to allow people to vote for themselves since it shows who voted for what.
After you had your poll all set, you need to decide on a poll deadline. That can be either votes or a date.
Example: Poll deadline 100 votes or January 20 2008.
Don't forget to create a reminder to yourself about ending the poll!
That pretty much is it! I hope this wiki helped you! Enjoy your contest hosting! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Bullets and dividers from nonimages</sub>
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