Friday, April 15, 2011

Contest Judging

Well here's another new experience - judging a contest. As a member of ESPAN RWA all members have the opportunity to judge the page one contest entries all the way through to the last five. I've been a critique partner several times over, and entered a few contests myself, but never judged anything like this. It is an experience, to say the least. I realized right away that anything with improper grammar or misspelled words wouldn't be getting my vote. I mean if you've taken the time and spent the money to enter a contest, you should have at least made sure you've used spell-check and read your own sentences a few times to make sure the grammar is correct. Otherwise what's the point? Then I realized that while some may have been written well, they just don't ring any bells for me. So I put those in the 'maybe' pile. My favorites are the ones that make me laugh out loud and want to read more.

Tonight starts round two of the contest and I can hardly wait to see which entries have made it through. I've been impatiently waiting all week, and I wish there was a way to see which entries are getting the most votes, but to be fair we judges won't know that until the votes are counted and we see which entries move forward. There are no names on any of them so I don't know how many are entries from fellow members. I also submitted an entry and I'm anxious to see how it did.

There is a $25 first prize, $15 second prize and $5 third prize. The highest I've placed in a writing contest so far is 4th. That was in the Darkest Moments contest held by the Alaska chapter of RWA. I used an excerpt from my book Past Destinies before it had been accepted for publication. The comments I received from the judges were most helpful with my writing and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue publication. I'm so glad I entered and will be entering more contests through the summer. Let's see how this one does first!