‘Tread Softly Because You Tread On My Dreams’ William Butler Yeats.
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.
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’.
2 thoughts on “Judging a Writing Contest.”
The entrants were lucky to have you on the judging panel – someone who would read their words with care and respect.
Do as you would be done by-I can remember getting a hard copy of a short story I had submitted back, with a huge coffe cup ring stain ot it. Talk about demoralising!
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