[Smut Marathon] The Results – Round 1


Community, Smut Marathon / Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

The results are in for the first round of the Smut Marathon. I feel like personally, it’s a mixed bag of results, but as I witnessed last year things can and do change so please don’t be disheartened if your piece has performed less well than you had hoped for.

My Entry

My story was No.13 – Strange Footsteps …

My heart pounds as I try to outrun him.

His palm feels sweaty as he grabs my hand, turning me to face him. My scarf in his hand. An apology in his eyes.

Fear throbs in my veins; I see him for the first time and he is forgiven.


How Did I Do?

I got 8 public votes but I didn’t earn any votes from the judges, which happened last year too, so it actually isn’t a surprise or the disappointment you might expect. I’m currently sitting in 17th position alongside four other people. I

At the end of Round 1 last year I felt truly battered. The feedback felt brutal and I honestly felt like I’d made a huge mistake in entering the competition, ignorance is bliss as they say, I the Smut Marathon meant I could no longer be ignorant of where my writing needed to improve and thank goodness for that.

The Feedback

Some good, some average. I don’t think any of my feedback has given me the same feeling of ‘christ I’m shit’ that last years did. Which shows improvement between now and then I think. The feedback I received is below.

  • The short sentences in this piece give a sense of breathless urgency to the tension of the scene and there isn’t a single wasted or redundant word. It’s really tough to get a story arc and sympathetic characters into so few words, but the writer has done this with great skill.
  • I could feel the fear, I get the feeling you had to take some text out to meet the 50 words so the twist is less clear.
  • Oh my, something that starts out chilling, but is actually an act of kindness. A good use of words to set the scene and make me wonder if she will show him that she has forgiven him. A cup of coffee maybe?
  • What I thought worked: A great attempt at combining horror with erotica. What I thought worked less well: You didn’t have enough words available to make this scenario sexy, in my opinion. It just felt scary.

I really appreciate the time that people took to leave feedback, I think having no feedback would be worse than having critical feedback, which I realise not all of the above is.

Overall I don’t think I can refute any of the feedback given and there are definitely two points mades that I will be taking through to the next round; 1. Is the story I planned in my head conveyed properly with my words? And 2. Have my words created the sense of sexy that I am aiming for?

My Votes and My Feedback

One of the things that I found hardest to digest last year was how different my views were to not only that of the judges, but of the public too. That felt like a reflection on what I knew about ‘good writing’ and in turn, led to introspection about what that said about my own work.

As I said in a conversation on Twitter recently, and as we all know, writing is incredibly subjective. Especially when you are placing votes and choosing favourites. This year though I feel like I might have a better eye for what works and what doesn’t. That said though my favourites weren’t any of the Top 3 neither in the public vote nor jury vote. But they really didn’t fare too badly at all and this fills me with joy. Be warned folks, if you’re one of my favourites in each round your results are as important to me as my own, because who doesn’t need some additional pressure for the Smut Marathon!

My Favourites

I voted for myself because I think everyone should. Which meant I had two remaining votes and they went to Ok Cupid by Zebra Rose and Anticipation by Daire Faust. I genuinely loved both their stories and thoughts they offered a lot to enjoy given the small word count. We had just 30-50 words to craft our tales.

While they didn’t get my votes I also enjoyed The Letter by Sienna Walker,  The Waterfall by E. L. Byrne, Losing Everything by Sorcha Rowan and Haunting Beauty by Marsha Adams.

They were my stand out favourites from my first read through. The rest either didn’t feel memorable enough to get my vote or there was something in them that meant I wouldn’t vote for them. Which probably sounds harsh, but repetitive tropes and grammar mistakes that even I notice do take me away from enjoying a piece to the point of voting for it.

Round 2 and My Mission

We have now received the assignment for Round 2 and I’ll be honest, it hasn’t filled me with confidence. I have very little time to dedicate to writing between now and the deadline and it is an assignment that really does need some additional attention. My aim going into this year’s Smut Marathon was to make it one more round than last year, which would mean reaching Round 3. Now things are in full swing I’m focusing less on that and more on making personal improvements.

While I am fully aware that my lack of competitiveness is probably one of the reasons I’ll never be the Smut Marathon champion once the whole contest begins to unravel the ways in which I can learn seem more useful to me than winning. I’m not sure this is the best attitude to have, but that approach is what I think helped my blog move forward in leaps and bounds last year, which is actually more important to me than anything else writing related.

Good Luck

I wish everyone the best of luck in Round 2, I know some people received results and feedback that has shaken their confidence a little but please don’t let that hinder your writing for Round 2. Some people went really far last year having placed low after the first round, it only takes one awesome entry to turn things around. That absolutely could be you that happens too.


8 Replies to “[Smut Marathon] The Results – Round 1”

  1. Ok Cupid was my favorite too ♥ it was interesting to me that the public vote was so different to the jury. Also I wondered how many people managed to read through every story right to the end of the list. I didn’t think about how much my dyslexia would be an issue before I decided to join in, but it takes me hours & hours to read all the entries because I read at snail’s pace.
    8 public votes is great, well done! If you think about it your story stood out to 8 people from that massive list, it’s really impressive! I got no public votes, but when I read everyone’s that doesn’t surprise me really (also my feedback let me know that people made the assumption my protagonist was male, when I was writing I meant it to be a queer woman). Good luck for the next challenge!

  2. Floss, what I really like about this, is your positive attitude, the fact that you acknowledge that you have little time to write, but that as long as you are in the race, you learn something from it. I really love that!

    Rebel xox

    1. Thank you Marie! It’s not always easy to keep the positive attitude in place, BUT I stick with it because I think it is best for me and it does get me results, even if that result isn’t an outright and overall win x

  3. Good luck, Floss! I also noticed the disparity between readers and judges last year. I would not have made it as far as I did without the readers. And I get you on the time factor. I over thought my pieces last year to the point that one entry could take me days to complete. Plus, I’m a procrastinator, which didn’t help my anxiety. I took this year off, but I am still learning a lot from the marathon as a bystander.

    1. Thank you Brigit! Yes I found I learnt so much last year from paying close attention to the rounds I wasn’t in (which was most of them ). Even now I am watching the wider contest as well as my own journey, there is so much good advice to be absorbed and utilised x

  4. Your piece was on my short list because it absolutely jumped out at me. it is excellent writing, full of tension and energy but as Charlie said it was lacking in eroticism and that was why it didn’t get my votes.

    1. Thank you for that additional feedback Molly, that is really good to know And I think this is something I’m going to be mindful of in round 2 xx

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