Eek! The time has come.
Three months ago I agreed to adjudicate in the Nottingham Writers' Club summer prose competition. I have now received the manuscripts and I have a few weeks to come up with a winner, a second and a third. Not only that, I have to publicly justify my decision for choosing the top three places and write critiques for every single entry.
This will not be news to those of you who have done this sort of thing before but this is a first time for me and I'm a bit apprehensive. I'm only just starting to get accustomed to people asking my opinion on writing-related topics. “You what? You want me to read the first three chapters of your novel and tell you if I think it's any good? How would I know? I can't even get Woman's Weekly to accept any of my stuff.”
It occurred to me that, while sportingly applauding the winners and commiserating with the also-rans, anyone else reading my fellow club members' efforts will be at liberty to question my decisions. I now know what it must be like for a football referee. A player may make several mistakes during a game – miss a few passes, commit a few fouls. But if the ref makes an error of judgement it's the talk of the terraces. Likewise the X-Factor panel. If their choices don't line up with the general public's opinion then they are lambasted in the press.
Anyway. Can't sit here blogging all day. Somewhere there's a block waiting for my neck to be placed on it.