duminică, 29 aprilie 2007

Contest: Best Blog Entry on Inter-Ethnical Matters in Transylvania

We'll take a short break from discussing crucial matters to introduce a (blog) contest (which, in expectation, is no less crucial than anything else, of course)! And this is also the first post in English on our blog. It is possible that further (alternatively, more precise) details about the contest will follow, therefore please stay tuned. But the essence is below. We are looking forward to many enthusiastic participants!

Sebi Buhai (in collaboration with Dan, Lolka and Tihi, my colleagues from PhoenixTransylvania, who do not yet know about this, but I am sure will have nothing against it :-) ) is launching a (small scale) blog contest. And all the material prizes Sebi won at the Clujblogfest (a blogfest in Cluj-Napoca, which has just ended; PhoenixTransylvania also won a third place, in the "best collective blog" category) will be used as funds for this new blog contest (more details follow below). So what is this about? This blog contest will be under the logo of PhoenixTransilvania and will reward the best blog entry (essay) on any ethnical aspects in Transylvania, from any perspective (more details follow below). The candidate blog entries have to be submitted between the 7th of May and the 7th of June (they could have been written before or within this time range) and all that needs to be done, logistically, to this end, is to submit the address of that blog entry as comment to this post (preferred alternative) or to the previous posts I had on this new blog contest on my blog (here or here). There won't be a "popular" vote, but solely the decision of a jury composed of myself, Dan, Lolka and Tihi. The first three places will be decided and the decision will be argumented in a post from the jury members, by June 15th, or as soon as possible thereafter. All three best entries will be also published, with the name of their authors, on PhoenixTransilvania. Some further, more detailed, information follows. Please send your questions/suggestions as comments to this post.

  • the candidate blog entry cannot be longer than 2000 words and can be as short as you want it to be (strong preference for short and concise entries)
  • the theme of the blog entry can be anything linked to ethnicity in Transylvania and this includes (but does not exhaust the entire list of possibilities!) the normative perspective (how you'd like things to be); the historical perspective; the very personal perspective; the socio/economic/political perspective; very concrete topics; connection to ethnical relations in other parts of the world etc. Think of your own topics, maybe you can come up with something extremely original!
  • the entries can be written in English or Romanian, with English preferred (but the language of the post will not play a crucial part in the evaluation): the reason for preferring English is because we'd like to "market" the eventually winning texts also outside the country. Foreigners can thus also participate (though, obviously, they might need some link to Transylvania- not necessarily entailing that they should have been or be living here-; I know a few potential participants, already). Needless to say, all potential candidates have to understand the rules in English- don't worry: if you've got this far, you're fine :-).
  • the judgment on the quality of the submission will be mainly based on the following factors: topic relevance, originality, creativity, organization and coherence, expression and communication style, language use, usage and interpretation of references, conclusion. The jury (Sebi, Dan, Tihi, Lolka) may take the liberty to also consult other specialists if they think it necessary. The final decision, regarding the best three, will be argumented in a small essay to be posted on the blog(s).
  • in case you'd really like to participate but you do not yet have a blog and you do not know/do not want to start one, contact me, we'll figure something out. In any case all essays will be posted online somewhere, by the deadline
  • I'd like to use this as an incentive to raise some interest around the inter-ethnical issues in Transylvania and, also, to raise the civic attitude in general. Not to mention that this is a test of whether incentives matter in such contexts :-).
  • about the prizes of this new contest (so far; if anybody wants to supplement them in a way or another, nobody will mind:-)): the 3rd prize will be my third prize won at the Clujblogfest for the "most informative blog" category; the 2nd prize will be one of my second prizes won at either the "best analysis blog" or "best personal blog"; the 1st prize will be the other of the 2nd prizes mentioned before, supplemented with my share of the third prize that we won with PhoenixTransylvania at the "best collective blog" (and maybe my colleagues in PhoenixTransilvania will like to sponsor with their shares as well here, but that is not mandatory, of course :-)). Given that the Clujblogfest had quite some interesting sponsors, I am sure you will appreciate the prizes!
  • what is not certain, but the idea is here already: I'll also try to arrange some space in Cluj-Napoca somewhere so that the three winners can actually present their essays in front of a (small, but very interested) audience and discuss and debate them afterwards and- needless to say :-)- dinner, drinks and possibly accomodation for the contest winners- are all on me, though you'd have to make it to Cluj-Napoca on your own, somehow . The date for this is to be decided later, together with the three would-be winners.
  • everybody is encouraged to participate ( in particular feel free to advertise this among pupils and students as well) and all possible views are welcome, as long as you do your best in discussing and argumenting them
  • submission starts May 7 and ends June 7th, 24h GMT+2 (Romanian time). Entries might have been written already or, more likely, should be written before the deadline above. The submission per se will consist in sending the address of your candidate post as comment to one of my (Sebi's) related posts on my blog- that I mentioned above -or as comment to this post on PhoenixTransylvania (the latter alternative preferred). We shall make sure to have (and post here) a compilation of all the submissions by the deadline (and perhaps with periodic notifications before the deadline, as well).
  • all submitted entries require a list of all eventually used references and the proper citation of all these in the text (this is not going to be counted in the 2000 words limit). Any detected plagiarism will be made public and the entry consequently disqualified.
  • should there be no submission whatsoever or should the jury decide that none of the eventual entries are worth a prize, the prizes will remain in the hands of the-now-sponsor of this contest, Sebi: so don't let that happen! :-). After all, think of it as contributing an opinion to our discussions (or future discussions!) on PhoenixTransylvania
  • Success, everybody!