Judging a Writing Contest.

‘Tread Softly Because You Tread On My Dreams’ William Butler Yeats. 

white and pink flowers beside a canister
Using words to express ourselves is a dream for many

What is written isn’t simply words on the page, these words are a part of the writer’s identity, their brainchild and often the child of their heart too.

When I was invited to be one of the section panel for a writing competition, I knew that it would be a difficult task.

Each person who had entered had written with a part of themselves and now we had to choose from amongst them and decide which were the best. All had merit in some way, maybe for the idea, or for a new take on an old idea.

Equally, perhaps the contest organisers had given us a more problematic task because they hadn’t specified a theme, so the topics were exceptionally varied.

Should tragedy and drama take precedence over comedy and the lighthearted ? Does writing about a topical situation or problem gain more points?

These were questions that everyone who was assessing the work had to decide for themselves. And of course, subjectivity came into play too.

 

banking business checklist commerce
Did they follow the rules?

And what about the rules? There was a word limit specified, should someone be be penalized if they went over it? What if by a few words or a lot?

I  did my best and tried to be objective and to choose what I genuinely  considered to be the best pieces of work. Well aware that by choosing them I was rejecting others.

Fortunately, the responsibility for the choice does not fall solely to me, there is a panel of judges. Will we agree or will they each make different selections?  It will be interesting to find out.

All that I can say to everyone who entered is thank you for sharing your work with us. I respect that and  I read it as I hope that my work will be read. Congratulations on daring to put your work ‘out there’.

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time
Congratulations

 

Author: soniabellhouse

Sonia Bellhouse is the author of Fire & Ice, a Scandi-timeslip romance about ice dancing, Norway and Vikings, published by Daisy Lane Publishing. She is also a contributor to Passages a short story anthology published by Serenity Press in 2018 and a contributor to Writing the Dream, an anthology for published writers produced by Serenity Press in 2016. In 2012she won two major awards in the inaugural Rockingham Short Fiction contest. Sonia's articles and stories are published in various magazines both in Australia and the UK. These include Good reading, Today's Bride, That's Life! and That's Life! Fast Fiction in Australia and Yours, The People's Friend and Best of British in the Uk. Sonia worked as a book reviewer for two years. An avid reader and writer of multiple genres she facilitated a local book club for eleven years. She reluctantly decided to give it up, to concentrate on her writing. Sonia is a long time member of a writers group, regularly engaging authors to present workshops to the group. Sonia enjoys catching up with friends, ignoring the ironing in favour of playing with her cat and learning new things. She's taken several online courses with Future Learn and The University of Iowa for both writing and non-writing topics.

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