I've been entering contests like crazy these past couple of months. Well, more often than usual, and by usual, I mean not at all. So two or three is a big number number for me.
I kind of like doing everything electronically: fill out the electronic entry form, pay through electronic PayPal, upload my story partial straight to their website, and that's all there is to it...until I encountered a problem.
I was entering this one contest recently (like yesterday), and the rules were a bit scattered. I'm one of those people that likes steps to her rules. Step one: fill out this form. Step two: follow the link to pay for entry...and so forth.
After reading all the rules and FAQs, I decided to give it a go and entered the contest. Well, first of all, the entry form link didn't work, so I rooted around the website until I found another link for it. Once I made it there, I filled out the entry form without a problem. Directly upon submitting my information, it sent me straight to PayPal to pay...yay! All good there, too.
Then, I got a little lost.
I went back to the rules to see what to do next. When I found a line that said to send all attachments to such and such an email, I figured, okay, that's where I send my story. So I emailed the contest coordinator, letting him/her know I'd filled out the electronic entry form, already paid via paypal, and that my story was attached in an RTF file, which is what the rules said to save our stories under.
Sent that off and then opened an email I got from the contest. And in that confirmation letter, it said something about going to this other link to upload your story entry directly to their site.
Thinking I'd messed up and shouldn't have sent anything at all to the coordinator, I sent her a "sorry" note, explaining how I'd just received my instructions to upload my entry and to please ignore my earlier email.
But after I went to the upload screen, the freaking thing wouldn't let me upload my RTF file. Ugh. So, back to the coordinator I wrote another letter. "Yes, sorry, it's me again, but I have a slight problem."
You know, I really hate being that picky person that writes email after email to someone. They probably think I'm a nut by now. I haven't heard a response from any of my three wacky emails yet, though technically, it wasn't all that long ago, so there's still plenty of time for someone to respond.
What's worse, after about five or six times of trying to upload that stupid story on two different computers, I thought, "I'm trying this in a DOC file instead of an RTF file, and see what happens." AND IT ACCEPTED THE DOC FILE!!!
Can you believe the nerve of that computer? A DOC file.
So, now....do I write the poor, harnessed coordinator AGAIN and tell him/her that the computer accepted my story in DOC, though the rules clearly said RTF? Plus, there really is a line that says to send all attachments to coordinator, but what attachment am I supposed to send? All prompts have already led me to upload all my entry and entry information straight to their site.
Maybe I was supposed to send a second copy of the story to the coordinator, after all.
I'm so confused.
Sigh. I have to bug him/her again to find out my answers, don't I? I hate that.