I'm Philip K. Nice to meet you. As of April '22, I've taken on the role of Master of Challenges for the site. If you have any questions about the current or upcoming story challenges, feel free to reach out via the Story Challenge help desk thread on the site's forum! Here is the link: https://forum.gaykinkystories.com/t/the-story-challenge-help-desk-thread/5545/
I'll try to answer questions as I'm available. Apologies in advance for any delay in response, and thank you for understanding. 😅
Also, see below for a quick FAQ!
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> **Q:** When will the next challenge be?
> **A:** Currently I'm trying out a format where there are three challenges per year — one in late-winter, one in early-summer, and one in autumn. The winter and summer challenges are the themed challenges. And those are the ones where you get to vote on the theme! The autumn challenge is the recurring Halloween challenge, which has slightly different rules than the usual challenges.
> **Q:** What will the theme be for the next themed challenge?
> **A:** I like to give users the chance to vote on a slate of potential themes! So ahead of each challenge, I craft a list of five potential themes, and then the users vote for their favorite. When it's time to vote, there'll be an announcement on the site’s front page with a link to the poll. You'll have a week to cast your vote. The challenges themselves open for submissions a month after the vote has concluded. This gives people time to think of a story idea that both inspires them and fits the theme.
> Popular themes from previous voting slates which didn't win their round might pop up again later, but not right away.
> **Q:** How are the Halloween challenges different from the regular (themed) challenges?
> **A:** Two things are different: authors are not anonymized like in the regular challenges, *and* authors can also enter more than one story into the challenge.
> **Q:** Can you enter multi-chapter stories into the story challenges?
> **A:** Absolutely! Thanks to a neat update that Martin coded, you can now enter multi-chapter stories into the story challenges! They _used_ to only be permitted in the Halloween challenges, but this is no longer the case.
> **Q:** Are you participating in the challenges?
> **A:** As of the 2022 Halloween challenge, I am! When the Master of Challenges role was brand new, I made the decision that I wouldn't participate in the first challenge in any way — meaning, no voting on or Favoriting any challenge stories, and definitely no submitting a story myself. (I know my vote counts no more than anyone else's, and that I'm subject to the site's algorithm as much as anyone. But I wanted people to feel comfortable, since this was all rather new!) Seeing as the first round went smoothly, I've lifted that temporary restriction on myself, and I now participate in the challenges sometimes.
> **Q:** Who ran the challenges before you took on the role? How did you get the role?
> **A:** The story challenges used to be run by Martin! I landed in the role almost by accident. To summarize a long story: I have an older author account where I've posted infrequently. But in the spring of 2022, I made my Philip K account as a one-off gag for the purpose of submitting a sassy story to the Turnabout challenge. That story was about (among other things) the story challenges themselves, and thoughts I'd had about them. Martin liked the story, and in the comments section to that story, he offered me the role of Master of Challenges.
> I thought about it for a while before saying yes. It definitely wasn't something I anticipated happening! 😅 And if I was going to accept, I wanted to be sure I could take the responsibility seriously. I was reluctant at first mostly because I can be shy about having a public role. And I also wasn’t sure if my efforts at running the challenges would be successful... So I agreed to try out the Master of Challenges role, on the condition that I didn't have to get my old author account involved. I'd do it as Philip K.
> So why did I keep writing and submitting stories as Philip K too? Well, that was Martin's idea! Initially I proposed that I avoid submitting stories to the challenges completely. But Martin turned that idea down. He encouraged me to enter the challenges if I wanted to... so long as I entered them _only_ as Philip K, and never with my old author account. And so, that's what I've been doing. Some people have made guesses about my pre-Philip account based on my writing — and some of you may even have guessed correctly! But in the immortal words of hit TV show Gossip Girl: "*Who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell... XOXO, Gossip Girl.*” 😘
^*^ ^FAQ^ ^was^ ^last^ ^updated^ ^on^ ^August^ ^2023^