Pondathon II: Frequently Asked Questions

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond's Story-Driven Readathon

Pondathon II is a year-long gardening-themed readathon hosted by The Quiet Pond! Help us restore the forest by reading to earn plants and decorate your own garden. For more information about Pondathon, read our Readathon Information Post or check out our Pondathon II Portal.

Welcome to the Pondathon II’s Frequently Asked Questions!

Here, you will find frequently asked questions answered! Be sure to read our Tutorial post on how the Pondathon II readathon works as well.


Most commonly asked questions

How do I contact CW about Pondathon II related questions?
Email pondathon@gmail.com. Please do not email thequietpond@gmail.com for anything Pondathon II-related.

Can I change my name?
Yes. You can change your Pond character’s name (on the character card) and do not have to do anything other than edit it on the character card. You may also change your Pondathon name and you do not have to sign up again, but please try and make it consistent across the readathon’s duration (i.e., please do not change it too often). The most important thing is that you use the same email address across the readathon’s duration. If your email has changed, please sign up again with the correct/most up to date email address.

Has my form response gone through?
In all of our Pondathon forms, we have enabled a function that will send you a copy of your responses once you have submitted the form. If you have received a copy of your own responses, it is very likely that your form response indeed has gone through. If you have not received a copy of your own responses once you have submitted the form, you can sensibly assume that your form response has not gone through.

If you have attempted to submit your responses multiple times with no luck, feel free to ask us to follow up for you by contacting CW.

I am missing rewards. What do I do?
Email pondathon@gmail.com and tell us which rewards you have received. Please do not tell us what rewards you are missing; CW has a spreadsheet that tracks every reward sent, and knowing what you have received is much easier than what you haven’t received.

When are Pondathon sign-ups open?
Sign-ups will be open from January 5th 2022 to 10th December 2022.

Do I submit my progress for my current day or the day according to NZT?
Both are fine.

I have completed a side quest. Do I submit my reading progress for the day using the side quest Google Form or the Progress Tracker Form?
If you have read books and completed objectives for the side quest, you are allowed to submit your reading process twice: (1) once using the side-quest form and (2) again using the Pondathon Progress Tracker form. Side-quest items and regular readathon items are earned separately.

How many times can I complete a side quest?
Side quests are repeatable and can be completed up to a specific number of times. On the quest page, there will be a indication of how many times you can complete the quest – or, how many items are available and can be earned through the side quest.

Do ebooks/graphic novels/manga/novellas/short story/poetry/non-fiction count in the Pondathon?
Yes.

Are we counting pages in Pondathon II?
No. Counting pages was part of Pondathon, but we recognised that it caused a lot of confusion. We have now simplified it so that we only count finished books.


General Questions

When are Pondathon sign-ups open?
Sign-ups will be open from January 5th 2022 to 10th December 2022.

Do I have to do a sign-up/TBR post?
No, but it would be great if you did as this helps other people find the readathon! If you do not have the capacity to do a blog post, you can simply announce your intention to sign-up on social media (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, booktube, etc.).

Do I have to be a book blogger/social media to participate?
No. All you need is an interest to participate in this readathon, sign up, and record your progress each time you read.

How do you define a ‘diverse’ book?
This readathon defines a ‘diverse’ book as a book that is written by an author with a marginalised identity – this can include being a person of colour and/or indigenous, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and/or gender diverse, or intersections of these identities – about characters with marginalised identities. Non-fiction and poetry by marginalised authors not necessarily about marginalised characters also count as ‘diverse books’. Books by cis, heterosexual, abled/neurotypical, white women will not be considered ‘diverse books’. In addition, books by non-marginalised authors about a character with a marginalised identity are not considered ‘diverse books’. Books that qualify as ‘diverse books’ are at the discretion of The Quiet Pond team and our decision is final.

I need help with XYZ! How can I contact you for help?
First, please make a genuine effort to find the answer to your question first before reaching out. If you are having technical issues with Pixlr, please use a search engine to find solutions or help. Alternatively, you can ask for help in the readathon’s Discord.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, you are more than welcome to contact CW. However, please note that the entirety of this readathon is run by CW (who works full time outside of book blogging), so please understand if it may takes her awhile to help you.

Are there teams in Pondathon II?
Pondathon I had teams, but Pondathon II does not. We decided not to include teams in Pondathon II, as the added mechanic may have made the readathon too complicated for you and for us to manage.

I have a suggestion/feedback. Where can I submit this?
You can submit all feedback/suggestions to Wish Upon the Pond.

The Pondathon readathon is in English and is not accessible to non-English people. Can I run the Pondathon readathon through my own blog in my own language?
No. Consider taking the time and effort to create and run your own readathon.

Do we have to spend any money for Pondathon II?
No. Participating in Pondathon II is 100% free and it will never cost any money.


Character Creation

Do I have to create a Pondathon character and have a character card to participate?
No, but we would love it if you created your own character for the readathon!

What applications can I use to create my character/character card?
You can use Pixlr, which is 100% free.

Can I draw my own Pondathon character for the readathon?
Yes. Just make sure that the Pond character is (1) an animal, and (2) your character is child-friendly (i.e., no NSFW/’not safe for work’ art).

I’m having a lot of trouble creating my Pondathon character. What do I do? 
Join our Discord and ask for help under the ‘apothecary help’ channel.

Can I use the Pondathon character that I have created as a profile picture?
Yes! If possible, credit with a simple link to my Twitter (@artfromafriend) on your bio would be appreciated. If that’s not possible, just please do not claim the art as your own.

Am I allowed to write a character backstory for my Pondathon character?
Of course! Please share it with us too by tagging CW at @artfromafriend or linking back to this blog post – I love reading character backstories and I’d be incredibly honoured if you shared it. I’d love to reshare it on my own social media as well. Just please include a link to the readathon as a credit.


Progress Tracking

How do I keep track of all my reading progress?
We encourage all readathon participants to submit their progress using the Pondathon Progress Tracker, which can be found here (once the Pondathon officially begins on January 10th).

What timezone is this Pondathon using?
New Zealand Time – this is CW’s timezone.

I forgot to submit my reading progress for a previous day and now the plants/items rewards have now changed. What does that mean?
Sorry, but we will not make exceptions if your reading progress submission is late and a new round of rewards has started. Please do your best to keep track of when rewards are available and when they change. If you missed a reward because there is a new ’round’ of plant/item rewards available, you will have to wait for a re-run towards the end of the year.

Do I submit my progress for my current day or the day according to NZT?
I strongly encourage submitting in accordance to NZT. Click here to see the current date/time of New Zealand.

Has my form response gone through?
In all of our Pondathon forms, we have enabled a function that will send you a copy of your responses once you have submitted the form. If you have received a copy of your own responses, it is very likely that your form response indeed has gone through. If you have not received a copy of your own responses once you have submitted the form, you can sensibly assume that your form response has not gone through.

If you have attempted to submit your responses multiple times with no luck, feel free to ask us to follow up for you by contacting CW.


Plant/Item Rewards

How do I earn plants/items in Pondathon II?
To earn plant/item rewards (‘rewards’), you must submit the books you have read and completed to our Pondathon II Tracker Form. As often as we can, we will send you your reward to the email that you have provided to us from your form response.

I received a flower/item that I did not ask for OR I don’t like the flower/item that I received. What can I do?
Unless you have received a duplicate, we will not be sending you another flower/item. We understand that you may be disappointed with what you receive, but this is part of the readathon!

Do I have to use the reward that I received in my terrarium?
No.

I received the same design for a rewards from last time. What can I do?
The design of the rewards is sent at random, so we apologise if this happens. If you receive the same design twice, email pondathon@gmail.com with screenshots of the email where you received your rewards and we’ll send you another.

I am missing rewards. What do I do?
Email pondathon@gmail.com and tell us which rewards you have received. Please do not tell us what rewards you are missing; CW has a spreadsheet that tracks every reward sent, and knowing what you have received is much easier than what you haven’t received.

What is a ’round’ in the context of Pondathon II and how does this impact rewards?
A round is defined by a three week period in which specific rewards are available. To see which rewards are available, please check @thequietpond on Twitter or check the Pondathon II Portal. Specific rewards will be available for a set period of time – after that, you can earn the plants if there is a re-run of that reward in a later round.

Can I ‘trade’ rewards with another participant of Pondathon II?
Yes, but: (1) it must be a fair trade, and (2) you cannot trade side quest rewards (i.e., badges earned through completing the ‘bonus’ objective of the side quest and ‘secret achievement’ rewards).

By ‘fair trade,’ this means that if you want to give a reward that you have earned to another participant of Pondathon II, they must give you one of their rewards in turn. Participants may not ‘give’ another participant a reward without receiving something in return. Please try and limit how many trades that you can do – we want people to also read to earn their rewards.

Newer participants of the readathon joined and they missed out on the early rewards. I feel bad and I want to help them – can I send them rewards that I earned early in the Pondathon?
As above, you may trade rewards with other participants and it must be a fair trade. There will be re-runs of side quests for those who have missed out.

I like the Pondathon art and want to use it in a banner/graphic/design/bujo/diary, etc. Am I allowed to use them for my own personal use?
No. You may not reproduce and/or redistribute any of the art created for Pondathon – including Pond characters, plant/item rewards, or quest rewards, etc. that is not directly Pondathon II-related.

In other words, you may use Pondathon art if you are posting/sharing something specifically about Pondathon II, such as a TBR/reading progress post, readathon update post, etc. You may not, however, use Pondathon art for your own personal use that is not related to the Pondathon II readathon.

If there is a good reason that you want to use Pondathon art, you may email CW at pondathon@gmail.com to ask for permission. Please respect her decision if she says no.


Side Quests

What are ‘side quests’?
Side quests are addition challenges for the readathon and are ways to collect more points. Be sure to check The Quiet Pond frequently for new side quests that you can complete.

Are completing side quests compulsory in this readathon?
Side quests are just that: side quests. You do not have to complete any side quests to be an active participant in this readathon. Side quests are for those who want enjoy a higher level of engagement in the readathon and want to earn special rewards.

How do I ‘complete’ a side quest?
At the end of each ‘side quest’ post, complete the Google Form at the bottom of the post to save your progress.

How many times can I complete a side quest?
Side quests are repeatable and can be completed up to a specific number of times. On the quest page, there will be a indication of how many times you can complete the quest – or, how many items are available and can be earned through the side quest.

I have completed a side quest. Do I submit my reading progress for the day using the side quest Google Form or the Progress Tracker Form?
If you have read books and completed objectives for the side quest, you are allowed to submit your reading process twice: (1) once using the side-quest form and (2) again using the Pondathon Progress Tracker form. Side-quest items and regular readathon items are earned separately.

The quest has expired, but the form to submit my side quest progress is still open. Do any of the points I submit after the deadline count?
All points submitted after the deadline while the form is open will count. After the form is closed, the side quest will no longer be accepting any points – no exceptions.

All side quests will close at 8:00PM NZT. In each side quest page, you can click on the [?] next to the deadline to see what time that will be for you.

Some of the side quests involve having a friend to complete an objective, but I don’t have/know anyone I can read with. What can I do?
There are several things that you can do:

  • Join our Pondathon discord! There will be plenty of people who will be looking for a buddy reader as well.
  • Use the #PondathonII hashtag on social media to look for fellow participants who may be looking for others to help complete a side quest objective as well.

I completed the side quest but have not received my quest reward item. What do I do?
We will endeavour to distribute side quest rewards every day, but please understand that this may sometimes not happen because of CW’s busy schedule outside of blogging. If you haven’t received your side quest reward item, it may be the case that the rewards simply haven’t been emailed to you yet.
However, if they have been issued out and you haven’t received yours, please contact CW to double-check.

I completed a side quest that went through proplerly and did not receive my quest reward item. What happened?
If you are sure that your form was submitted properly, a reason why you did not receive your quest reward item is that you did not follow the prompt/requirement of the side quest. Please read through the side quest requirements thoroughly – we do not follow up on people who do not complete the side quest properly. Participants who do not meet the side quest requirements will not receive their quest reward item; our decision is final.


Do These Count?

Do ebooks/graphic novels/manga/novellas/short story/poetry/non-fiction count in the Pondathon?
Yes.

Can I read books that I have already read before? Do re-reads count for points in this readathon?
Yes.

If I start a book before the Pondathon starts (January 10th), will it count for the readathon?
No.

Do books I am beta-reading count in the Pondathon?
Yes.

If I read a short story anthology with 12 stories, can I submit the form 12 times for each story?
No. Short story anthologies count as one book.

Does a book I started but won’t be finishing count? (i.e., do DNFs count?)
No.


Pondathon Authors/Guest Features

I am an author and I’d like to be a guest for Pondathon. Who do I contact?
Thank you very much for your interest! We are very honoured that you’d want to work with us for Pondathon. Unfortunately, we have already confirmed all authors (one for each month of Pondathon) for 2022. At this point of time, we do not know if Pondathon will re-run in 2023.

Nonetheless, you are welcome to email thequietpond@gmail.com to express interest; we’ll make a note of your name and will contact you if we decide to re-run for 2023. Before contacting us, please note: (1) if we decide to re-run Pondathon in 2023, we will only be interested if you have a book releasing during 2023, and (2) we prefer to work with marginalised authors and debut, sophomore, and/or mid-list authors.

How were the current guests for Pondathon II chosen?
Our current guests for Pondathon II were chosen based on either (1) replies to CW’s tweet in August 2021 or (2) we had a specific author/book in mind and approached them directly. Over 50 authors responded to CW’s tweet and it was difficult to choose just 12 authors to work with. At the end of the day, our choices came down to the books that we were most interested in.

Have a question? Feel free to leave any unanswered questions in the comments below and we will add it to the F.A.Q.!

3 thoughts on “Pondathon II: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Hi! If I can’t share the title of a book because of reviewing agreements and that sort of thing, is it possible to enter it as redacted or is that too complicated to verify? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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