What difference does it make any more? The challenges are down to one entry every two months anyway, why not just use them as a showcase for people's work, existing or otherwise, rather than this whole 'must be used to hone skills' exercise that barely anyone participates in anyway.
Because lets face facts, Ad Astra has killed this forum. The biggest threads here are those made by the 'big' Ad Astra writers and full of other Ad Astra members patting them on the back ad nauseum.
Two month long challenges that result in one entry are doing no one any favours. The current format has come to the end of the line.