Update 2019-04-03: All swag prizes have been mailed (via US Postal Service). Those in the US should get them in about a week; unfortunately the postal clerk couldn't give me an estimate on delivery times elsewhere. Please let me know if you think a package has gone missing.

All StoryBundle gift certificates were sent. If you were expecting one and didn't get it, please check your spam folder for email from them. If you still don't see it, please contact me so we can sort it out.

When I proposed our contest focusing on underserved tags I had no idea what kind of response to expect. Would lots of people participate? Would people participate a lot? Would we get good new questions? Would new questions get good answers? Or would people say "yeah, whatever" and mostly ignore it?

You didn't ignore it. Our community did great! I'll get to the winners, but first I want to highlight some things we can all be excited about:

  • This contest generated 118 qualifying entries from 16 entrants! And there were some more questions that would have qualified, but their authors didn't enter the contest.

  • Based on casual observation (i.e. I do not have a data query to check this), most of those questions got several good answers.

  • Five entrants asked their first questions during this contest: April, Spectrosaurus, motosubatsu, Prasad_Joshi, and imatowrite (with an honorable mention to linksassin, whose first question was in February before the contest started). Welcome and thank you for jumping into something new!

  • In terms of the Generalist badge, we added one more qualifying tag () and two more tags are close to qualifying -- needs three more questions and needs ten. We're making progress! Many sites do not hit this milestone until well after graduation.

  • We reached 10 questions per day on March 4 and, aside from a few dips down to 9.9, we've stayed there. The highest QPD I've seen is 11.9.

Have we changed site culture and activity level? Is 10-11 questions per day our new normal? I'm very optimistic that it is, because while this contest has highlighted it, y'all are asking good questions that you need answers to and it's hard to believe that notebooks and pens could be the only motivation! The contest has ended but we have a strong, active community and that's not going to change. Our users make this site better each and every day, and that's awesome.


First, the honorable mentions -- each of these people asked one question and every question helps build our site:

  • Mithrandir
  • Spectrosaurus
  • motosubatsu
  • F1Krazy
  • celtschk
  • Shokhet

These people entered at least three questions, qualifying for the random draw:

  • Karan Desai, 3
  • Secespitus, 3
  • linksassin, 4
  • Prasad_Joshi, 4
  • April, 6
  • imatowrite, 10

And our top finishers were clustered so closely that I'm going to go ahead and declare four winners. Please congraulate:

  • Liquid, 18
  • Cyn, 20
  • Galastel, 21
  • bruglesco, 23

Congratulations to bruglesco who asked 23 qualifying questions, and to Galastel, Cyn, and Liquid who were close behind!


Everybody who asked at least three questions (and fills out the form, which I'll get to) gets swag! I know I said it'd be a random draw among those with three questions, but that was mostly a hedge against having more entrants than notebooks. I have enough books, so prizes for all of you!

In addition, I am donating a StoryBundle e-book bundle to each of the top four. StoryBundle produces curated bundles of books, usually but not always fiction, in thematic packs of usually 9-10 books. Each bundle is only available for a few weeks, and they announce new bundles regularly. Every year in the fall they have a bundle of books about writing (in honor of NaNoWriMo). I've been introduced to some great fiction through StoryBundle, and the gift cards never expire so you can keep checking (or get on their email list) until you see one that grabs your fancy. The books are DRM-free and work with all the usual e-reader apps/devices.

To get your prizes: fill out this Google form to tell me where to send them. Now, normally when SE runs contests they send you email using your address on file, instead of putting a link like that out there for the world to see, but I'm just a moderator, not an SE employee, and I do want to be mindful of how I use your private information, and sometimes that email goes astray because the email address you registered back in 2011 doesn't work any more, so... there's the link, and if I see anything suspicious that makes me think somebody is trying to intercept someone else's prize, then I'll use mod-private means to get in touch with you to confirm your submission. But I'm not going to have to do that 'cause we're all honorable people here -- I'm just anticipating and responding to what is technically a flaw in the system, 'k?

Note to StoryBundle winners: to give you your bundles I'll need to give StoryBundle an email address for you. If you don't trust them, feel free to make a different email address just for that purpose -- but I've found them to be quite reasonable and not spammy in the couple years I've been buying stuff from them, for what that's worth.

7 Answers 7


I had a lot of fun participating in this contest. It was the catalyst I needed to become a more active member of this community. As I've known I was a writer since I was very young, I'm glad to finally participate more. I am hopeful and optimistic that the newfound activity will continue. I enjoyed having more opportunities to answer questions as well.

Thank You for giving me the opportunity to participate.

Thank You everyone who answered my questions. There was a lot of valuable information there.

Thank You to the other participants. Especially Galastel, Cyn, and Liquid.

Thank You to Monica for running the contest.


Monica Cellio♦

Thank You for running the contest.

Thank You, everyone, who answered my questions. There was a lot of valuable information there.

I was least expecting the prize, as I'm new to Writing SE. You inspired me to Write More.

You Made My Day.

Thank You @Monica Cellio♦ for everything.

  • 6
    "You inspired me to Write More" -- excellent! Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:14
  • 1
    Received today!!!! Yay.. thanks a lot @MonicaCellio Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 10:44
  • Oh good! Thank you for letting me know. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 15:55

Well, I joined for the fun, Writing's wellbeing and the collective effort for exiting beta. Truth to be told I didn't expect to win something (even if I enjoyed the thrill of competition).

Thank you Monica for running the contest, and being so generous with the prizes, also.

Thank you Bruglesco, Galastel and Cyn for helping Monica checking the results (I hope I didn't forget someone).

Thank to everyone who partecipated!

I'm really starting to enjoy the sense of community that's forming here. To me, that's probably one of the most valuable thing on the site - and all the more reason why we should be graduated.

Writing can feel like a lonely business, but it doesn't have to be.

Looking forward to hear from you all, Liquid

  • 2
    Seconded on the sense of community! Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:16

There are two big reasons to increase the number of questions on tags.

  1. Hitting the milestone of the Generalist badge is definitely one of them. We need 40 tags with 200+ questions each. Even if we only went from 22 to 23 such tags during the contest, we got a lot closer with all of the remaining 17 tags. #40 has 115 questions and it only had 105 before the contest began. Others are similar.

  2. Increasing the number of tag badges. To get a bronze tag badge, you need to have a net upvote score of at least 100 over 20 or more questions. The kicker is that the tag must be used for at least 100 questions.

We added tag badges for and and are within 10 questions for and .

  • 2
    Maybe not a full on "contest", but getting things to 100 is easier than to 200, so perhaps every (other?) week, one of the getting-close tags gets a "push"? Like a meta post that's always in the corner saying "Tag of the week: 'Readers' !" Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 13:52
  • 3
    Oh, thank you -- I'd meant to mention something about tag badges, and lost track of it. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:15

Wow -- thank you!

A lot of this was luck -- I just joined SE the week before the contest started, looking for help with some Word Template questions. Hot Network Qs brought me here, and since there was the contest, and my first few answers were well-received, I focused my energy into writing.SE. (My word templates are still being jerks with list styles.)

I admit, the notebooks looked really cool, which maybe encouraged me to post some questions, too. :) I am proof that gamification works!

Thank you, @MonicaCellio for running this! And everyone who answered my questions, or posted questions for me to answer!

  • 5
    I'm glad you found us when you did! You've contributed some good answers, too -- thanks for sharing your knowledge. I'm sorry your Word templates are being such jerks. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:17
  • @MonicaCellio Notebook received! It's great, thank you! Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 13:43
  • Glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know. Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 15:00

Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks to you, Monica, for organising this contest. I just came back from some time away from the site when the contest was running. I didn't ask any additional questions just for the contest, only those that were part of the reason I came back, but it was still fun to participate and to see how the contest entry post was getting longer and longer.

It feels like the community grew quite a bit in the last half a year or so and the contest was nice for "publicity". Let's all give it our best to keep the momentum up!



Congratulations to all actors involved in this contest - (from the contest organizer, reviewers to winners)

Congratulations to the community for increasing QPD rates.

Thanks a lot for the Swag :)

I personally learnt a lot while attempting to ask questions from various aspects of writing and surely it will help me a lot in enriching my hobby.

I am happy that you shared exciting facts about the contest. But I would really like to know (if possible) How many entries out of all from the contest went into HNQ? (leading to more new audiences/visitors to our site).

  • 3
    Sadly the new event that shows when a question hit the HNQ is not yet implemented in the StackExchange Data Explorer as far as can tell, judging by this comment from an SE employee. Even if it was this data was only made available during the contest. So you could possibly find out about a lot of them by manually checking every question that was submitted.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 8:34
  • Oh okay. Thanks for the info :) Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 9:23
  • 1
    I noticed today when I checked the edit history of a question I asked that it did hit HNQ. (That seems, with our tiny site, the only way for questions to get so many views to earn badges like "popular question"). I don't know if there are easier ways to view that information yet. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 13:25

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