Following editor instructions

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Gautam
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Following editor instructions

Post by Gautam » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:12 am

Over in the DEES thread JL recently said:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: [...] quite a few teams made no attempt to conform to the required distribution for the Fine Arts. [...] A consequence of this is that very many questions have to be thrown out and replaced, regardless of quality, because people either could not or did not follow instructions.

Charlie's original post suggested that teams that did this would have their packets sent back to them, and would not earn the discount corresponding to the deadline at which they turned the packet in. [...]
In future, when you're submitting packets, please make everyone's life easier by simply following the distribution.
This reminded me of the fact that adherence to packet submission guidelines is abysmal. For ACF Fall we returned about 20 submissions back to teams for fixing things. There were probably a few more that we didn't get to examining, and some packets that erred but it was not worth our time to do more back and forth. Fairly early on, we started doing a quick heuristic approach to checking packets - If your packet got the basics right, we figured you got most things right. Even then, there were enough non-adherent submissions that it was worth our time to make a template email with recurring mistakes on it that was sent back to the teams with errant packets. All kinds of teams were guilty of lapses - it was not limited to "younger teams."

I'd like to know: why is everyone so awful at following these guidelines editors keep telling you about? They aren't asking you to do a favor. Non-adherence genuinely affects the ability of editors to produce tournaments.

You want to know why your questions weren't used? Well, probably because I (or another editor) can't be bothered if you can't be bothered. An editor probably looked at your questions and said "Crap, this team didn't do what we told them to do. Their stuff is probably no good." Or you want to know why a specific bonus wasn't in-line with the rest of the bonuses? Well, probably because we didn't have the time to do fine tune the middle part of a bonus when there were entire categories whose distributions needed to be well balanced.

Do what your editor asks you to do. I don't ask for anything more. Follow distributions, format your documents appropriately, help make everyone's experience better.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by minusfive » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:40 pm

The above post needs specifics.
I wasn't one of the teams that got my packet returned, nor was I asked to write replacement questions (and got the $-5 for perfect formatting). But there but for the grace of god (God?) go I.
Why? Because the distributions can be damned confusing. "World" history is literally almost anything, but in my experience editors have a very narrow view of what this is (it couldn't be, for example, the formation of Earth's moon, even though that's pretty damn historic). Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature." And with weasel wording which translates to something like "you'll know if it's too long, you'll know if it's too short," I would be disappointed if what was meant was that questions were too short or too (?) long. And on we go.
As a person who's head edited stuff, I am the first to admit that sometimes teams have a "fuck you" attitude, but that's a very small minority, which is why if we're going to have this discussion, the accused (pretty much every team from this wording) have a right to know the charge(s).

EDIT: Majority is the big one? You win again, grade 1!
Last edited by minusfive on Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:42 pm

minusfive wrote:Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature."
This isn't even a little true and I don't know where you got this idea.

EDIT: This is my bad--apparently the ACF guidelines say this! I don't know why; I don't think any editor would object, or has ever objected, to questions on Chinua Achebe or other similar authors being submitted as world literature.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by minusfive » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:44 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
minusfive wrote:Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature."
This isn't even a little true and I don't know where you got this idea.
Just pulled this off ACF's website: "World (anything not covered above and not originally written in English): 1/0 or 0/1"

EDIT: No need for this post anymore: but I share your bafflement!
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Guile Island » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:27 am

While that guideline is generally true, I as an editor would have a hard time not classifying Ngugi as "World Lit" considering that he's written a large body of his work in Gikuyu, including translations of pretty much everything he originally wrote in English. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about the last part.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:08 am

Ukonvasara wrote:
minusfive wrote:Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature."
This isn't even a little true and I don't know where you got this idea.

EDIT: This is my bad--apparently the ACF guidelines say this! I don't know why; I don't think any editor would object, or has ever objected, to questions on Chinua Achebe or other similar authors being submitted as world literature.
Teams submitting packets to ACF Regionals 2015 should feel free to submit World Literature questions on works written in English or authors not from America/Britain/Europe who write in English. I too was unaware of this "requirement" until today and am in favor of removing it.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Ike » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:17 am

minusfive wrote:The above post needs specifics.
I wasn't one of the teams that got my packet returned, nor was I asked to write replacement questions (and got the $-5 for perfect formatting). But there but for the grace of god (God?) go I.
Why? Because the distributions can be damned confusing. "World" history is literally almost anything, but in my experience editors have a very narrow view of what this is (it couldn't be, for example, the formation of Earth's moon, even though that's pretty damn historic). Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature." And with weasel wording which translates to something like "you'll know if it's too long, you'll know if it's too short," I would be disappointed if what was meant was that questions were too short or too (?) long. And on we go.
As a person who's head edited stuff, I am the first to admit that sometimes teams have a "fuck you" attitude, but that's a very small minority, which is why if we're going to have this discussion, the accused (pretty much every team from this wording) have a right to know the charge(s).

EDIT: Majority is the big one? You win again, grade 1!
This is just playing semantic games with the ACF document. In every packet submission tournament I have worked on, teams write questions on Chinua Achebe in the world lit distribution, teams always know that writing a question on Mobutu is world history, but that writing a question on the formation of the Milky Way is not world history, and that tossups should be 6-8 lines-ish. Sure, the ACF document can be written with aleph-like precision, but that is not the issue that John Lawrence and Gautam are articulating.

Gautam is talking more about the fact that some teams don't bother to submit "auditory arts" or "philosophy" into packets, or they don't write at least five tossups on literature. Each of these violations necessitates writing more material from scratch. My other personal peeves in packets are: improper formatting, e.g."answer: panda" instead of "ANSWER: panda", packets that use the word "this" for purposes other than pointing to the answer e.g., "This artist painted The Starry Night. For 10 points each, name these things about Pablo Picasso:" or teams who submit half of their academic questions with trash clues as if this were the 2008 year of NAQT.

If you pretty much follow the distribution and formatting, I'm sure editors will be happy.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Tees-Exe Line » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
minusfive wrote:Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature."
This isn't even a little true and I don't know where you got this idea.

EDIT: This is my bad--apparently the ACF guidelines say this! I don't know why; I don't think any editor would object, or has ever objected, to questions on Chinua Achebe or other similar authors being submitted as world literature.
I've long wondered about this. If Achebe is World Lit, what about V.S. Naipaul or the Desais? I distinctly remember re-categorizing a bunch of English-language authors from the British Empire as Britlit for Sack of Antwerp when I noticed the ACF directions. It has long seemed to me, despite those directions, that quizbowl puts anyone with a vaguely developing-world air in World Lit, probably unjustifiably. Naipaul would certainly be pissed off if he found out.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:55 pm

Whether the point of the world literature distribution is to include "literature from non-Western cultures" or "literature not originally written in a European language" or "literature composed by someone physically residing in a place other than North America or Europe" or something else seems like the type of thing that reasonable people can disagree on, and can probably stand to vary from one tournament to another based on what the editors choose to do. For simplicity's sake in line with the stated desire to receive distributionally compliant packets, it's better if ACF sticks to one policy on this (whatever it may be) rather than letting every tournament's literature editor change it, but non-ACF tournaments should feel free to do what they want.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:07 pm

Don't tournaments almost universally classify literature based on country of origin, rather than original language? In any event, the real inconsistency is where Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are placed for purposes of World History vs US History vs European History - I've seen them all over the place.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Gautam » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:01 am

Ike wrote:Gautam is talking more about the fact that some teams don't bother to submit "auditory arts" or "philosophy" into packets, or they don't write at least five tossups on literature. Each of these violations necessitates writing more material from scratch.
Yeah, Ike's got it.

Here's a basic set of things you can do, for instance, starting with higher-impact events at the top:
1. Write questions of the appropriate difficulty. We even tell you what to emulate most of the times.
2. Write questions that stick to the distribution outlined, don't make up your own.
3. Don't write fewer questions than required.
4. Don't plagiarize! Things might slip past one editor, but a second editor surely will catch it.
5. Don't submit packets with a million different types of formatting! 10pt TNR, no line/paragraph spacing, that's how things should be. If you want, make a template in your word processor called "Quizbowl Normal" and set it to 10 TNR, no line/para spacing, with 1" margins.
6. Don't submit PDFs or HTMLs or links to Google Docs.
7. Don't submit packets to the wrong email address and then expect editors to use the submission. We had this happen with 2 different teams for ACF Fall this year where packets got sent to the wrong email address. We've had email-impersonation related quizbowl problems in the past - no editor should be accepting packets which have gone to some unknown recipient before coming to the editor.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Gautam » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:15 pm

minusfive wrote:. Similarly, world literature can't be written originally in English: sorry Chinua Achebe/Wole Soyinka/Ngugi wa Thiongo/Lin Yutang, you aren't "world literature!
This specific point has been clarified, cf. http://acf-quizbowl.com/tournaments/201 ... stribution
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by no ice » Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:37 pm

In the sample packet on the ACF packet guidelines page, can the date on this history bonus be corrected to 1802?
[10] Canning was a prominent critic of Pitt’s successor Henry Addington, whose administration negotiated this 1702 truce with France in the wake of Nelson’s victory at Copenhagen.
ANSWER: the Treaty of Amiens [or Peace of Amiens]
Edit: nevermind, since it's only use is to reference for formatting, it's not that important I guess.
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:57 pm

2014-2015 ACF Packet Submission Guidelines wrote:European, Canadian, and Australian history: 3/3 (1 should be on classical history, 1 on British history, and 3 on continental Europe from three different post-classical time periods.)
This doesn't add up to 3/3. The following should probably be re-added:
2013-2014 ACF Packet Submission Guidelines wrote:The remaining question can be another British history question, another continental Europe question, or a question on Canadian or Australian history.
Also, I'm assuming that New Zealand is included in Australia, Ireland is included in Britain, etc. but does it need to be made explicit in the guidelines? This applies to literature too: If I want to write an Australian or NZ lit question, would that go into British, World, or Other?
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Re: Following editor instructions

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:05 pm

Hidehiro Anto wrote:If I want to write an Australian or NZ lit question, would that go into British, World, or Other?
World (or Other), historically. Probably worth specifying though.
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