Last year I was asked to serve as contest chair for a conference occurring this fall.
In the past I've enjoyed attending this conference, have paid to sponsor contests, have been a guest speaker, and have served as a volunteer judge. So, I agreed to volunteer for the conference chair job, as well as help with registration.
One of the benefits of attending this conference is that anyone registered (except of course the board members and conference chair) has the opportunity to enter the dozens of contests -- at no additional cost.
The contest entries (two copies each) began to arrive in July. I was excited when they appeared in my mailbox and started sorting and organizing them right away.
Dozens of people entered multiple contests. (There were 31 categories in all.)
One person who entered several contests sent each entry in a separate envelope, which made a lot of extra work for me, and added expense for her. I wrote and suggested she bundle her entries together to save money but did not receive a response. Some folks included notes thanking me for being conference chair, which made me feel good.
The original deadline for entering fell a few days before the Labor Day weekend, so I suggested to board members that the deadline be extended until the day after Labor Day.
The only drawback I could see was the judges would have a few days less time to complete their judging. All but one judge was fine with the shortened time for judging, and that was because he was leaving for vacation the day the entries arrived at his house.
The biggest (and most hurtful) complaint about the deadline extension came from someone who felt cheated because other writers would have extra time to submit their entries and thus more opportunities to win contests she might've won. (Although she also had the additional days to submit more entries if she chose.)
I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, so I won't go into all the ugly details, but I would like to take a quick poll of my writer friends out there:
How do you feel when a contest deadline is extended?
Do you feel relieved to have a few extra days to submit?
Do you get angry if a deadline is extended?
Do you feel cheated that it's unfair to those who entered at the original deadline?
Have you ever been a contest chair and had to deal with an issue like this?