Monday, September 25th, 2006
One Sentence has gotten quite popular. In fact, a lot more popular, a lot more quickly than I expected. Combine that with the mistake of launching such a site shortly before the birth of one’s first child and you’re left with about 1,000 submissions waiting to be approved.
That said, I don’t regret the decision to moderate all submissions. If I left this open as a free-for-all, I know I wouldn’t be happy with the site at this moment (believe me, I’ve seen some terrible submissions). A site like this runs the risk of becoming stale very quickly with a lot of thematically similar stories, so I want to keep it high-quality.
I’ve gotten a number of e-mails asking, “Where’s my submission? I submitted it, like, four seconds ago! Where is it?” If your story hasn’t appeared here, it’s for one of the following reasons:
- I just haven’t gotten to it. This is the most likely reason for reasons stated above. Hang in there. You’ll get an e-mail if your submission is accepted.
- Not one sentence. You’d think that because of the name of the site, people might realize that submitting, say, two sentences would be frowned upon. A few don’t, it seems.
- A paragraph masquerading as a sentence. This usually happens when a submitter simply replaces all periods with semicolons, has a long string of phrases connected by “and,” or simply leaves out periods altogether without replacing them with anything. Your sentence may be gramatically correct, but if it’s five lines long, it’s not keeping with the original spirit of the site.
- Nonsense. This includes things I can’t make out as well as stupid stories that clearly have no basis in reality. Plus, if there are crazy misspellings or grammatical errors, I will pass it by. I don’t have time to edit everything, so think before you submit.
- Played out theme. This is starting to happen more now that there have been more than 1,000 submissions. I really don’t want to include 50 variations of “I thought I loved him/her, but then realized I didn’t” unless it’s presented in a unique way. Still, I’m pretty lenient here.
- Not a story about a life event. This one’s the trickiest and one that I haven’t really cracked down on thusfar, but probably will soon. The original intention of the site was to get people to submit a one sentence story about a particular event in their life. While most people do this, a lot of the stuff that’s come in reminds me of what I see in the PostSecret project. As an example of what I wouldn’t want: “I’m in love with someone who doesn’t know.” That’s more of a confession than a story about an actual event. So, to flip that into something more appropriate for this site, something like, “I snapped out of my daydream, where I was planning our wedding before I had even spoken a word to him.” Keep it true, keep it interesting.
Note that if you get a screen that your submission was “rejected” it may have been so because of an anti-spam measure I built in. If you have a legitimate entry that’s rejected, e-mail me through the contact form and include all of the information exactly as you entered it.
I was hoping I wouldn’t have to get so verbose on a site whose theme is brevity, but I’ve gotten the same questions enough times that I figured it was time to write a proper post about the matter.
One last thing — I’m not necessarily reviewing submissions in the order they came in. I’m sporadic that way.
Now, back to the sentences.