First of all, thank you for finally telling us what is going on.
Secondly, I am very disappointed. I worked very hard on my image and
because of the confusion on the deadline, wound up losing quite a few hours
that I would have used to continue improving it. I've been anxiously
awaiting an opportunity to see all the work submitted and making my own
estimations as to how well my effort stacked up against the really great
artists out there. Being told that the sum of the efforts that were
submitted was not good enough for you to award a prize is a slap in the
face to all of us. This doesn't encourage me to provide you with a better
work, this makes me reluctant to continue to participate.
Personally, I feel that you should award the prizes and organize a new
contest if you feel that you didn't get what you wanted from this one. For
your next iteration, I suggest that you make some significant modifications
to the rules. First and foremost, your requirement that we submit images
without a copyright notice makes me acutely uncomfortable. Though I don't
ascribe any such motive to you, such a requirement makes it easy to just
take our images and use them without even acknowledging the artist. At the
very least, we should be given an explanation as to why you don't want a
copyright notice on the image.
Secondly, either you need to get more people involved in moderating the
boards or you need to provide a forum for unmoderated discussion. It often
takes a day or more for my posts on this board to appear. Free discussion
would really help this competition. I also suggest you set up a mailing
list like the one that exists for the IRTC. Again it will help foster a
sense of community among the participating artists and perhaps encourage
people to get their work finished on time.
Finally, you need to provide more feedback to the artists during the final
days of the competition. The reminder email was a nice touch, but it would
be best to have a count-down clock so that the time remaining is clear to
I'm sure other artists will have other comments that are perhaps better
thought out then mine.