Thursday, June 28, 2007
Writerly Wednesday - Contests & Judging
When I first started writing, I entered a couple of contests and was greatly disappointed -- not so much by where I ended up finishing but by the feedback. When one of the main reasons I was being told to enter was to obtain valuable feedback, the feedback I received was really not very useful. With that experience under my belt, I no longer entered contests.

This year I decided to use my editing skills and I volunteered to judge the paranormal categories in three different RWA contests. When I started to do this, my goal was to offer the kind of feedback that I wished I had received from my entries.

In order to preserve judge anonymity, I changed my word install to use my judge number instead of my name. Then, for the entries that I had the word or rtf files (vs pdf or txt), I started to make the same kinds of notes and corrections I would make for a story I was actually editing. I can be known as the "Queen of the Thought Bubbles" so sometimes the feedback was quite copious.

I tried to do the best job I could and really didn't stint on time. Then I sent the worksheets off and didn't hear anything for months.

But now I've received two notes back from the people I judged through the contest coordinators. Both people thanked me for the time and the amount and quality of feedback I provided.

I'm really glad that I made someone else's contest experiences more valuable than my own had been.


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