Tuesday, 14 July 2015

More Blogging

I promise I'll try and do more blogging. Honest.

Now the A level exams at Bilborough College are over I have a bit more time for writing, although the vocational exams at Stephenson College are still ongoing so I still have another job to go to. I'm booked to help on results day and enrolment days at Bilborough in August too. That's usually fun.

One of my stories was in The People's Friend at the beginning of July and the next one will be in the August 1st edition. That still leaves another three to be published.

Because I'm concentrating on stories for magazines I haven't entered any competitions for a while but I thought I'd give it a go this month. Erewash Writers and Fosseway Writers have a few ongoing at the moment. I sometimes find that if an entry doesn't get a place it can be revamped and made suitable for the womag market anyway.

Talking of competitions, for the second year running I've been asked to adjudicate Trowell Writers' Club annual short story competition. I find the task quite daunting as I'm pretty certain that many of the entrants that I'm judging are far more talented than me. I'd love to hear any words of wisdom from those who do it regularly.

14 comments:

  1. Judging is almost always partly subjective - it's not always possible to decide which is actually written the best. Is perfect spelling more important than issues with punctuation? Is too much tell worse than a cliche? Does it matter if a grammar rule was broken if the result works?

    Ummm, I may not have helped ...

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    1. Thanks for that, Patsy. It helps to know that others are also uncertain about the best way to do it.

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  2. There's always a subjective element involved in judging, but personally I feel a story that is good but let down by poor presentation, or bad spelling and grammar will go down the judging table, as they are elements that the writer could have sorted before entering.
    That may be cruel, but it's reality.

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  3. Hi! It's good to hear from you again.

    I think the only way I would agree to judge a writing competition is if there were established guidelines. If a list of elements to be judged were provided, along with the relative importance of each one, the job would be much more doable.

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    1. I always enjoy reading about different parts of the USA on your blog, Susan.
      I have used the method you describe but I'm never sure if that picks out the entry that really stands out.

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  4. Hi, Keith, I've never judged a comp, but I'd read through, and if the story gets to you, put it to one side, if it doesn't put in in trash pile. Then from all the ones that get to you, whittle them down if the punct. or grammar or spelling falls down. Then you'll be left with a small pile. It's the one that stays with you that will win. Good luck, and may the best person win:))

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    1. Thanks, Susan. It's just the responsibility of making some people happy and disappointing others that concerns me.

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  5. Congrats on your continued success with People's Friend. And good luck with the competitions - both entering and judging! I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. Glad to see you back in blogland.

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  6. I remember judging a writing competition at NWC. (I do believe you came 1st!) Every one was so different and found it difficult to select the top 3. Obviously storyline, grammar, characterisation, dialogue and layout are important, but mainly it's whether you enjoy reading the story or not. Are you skipping lines because they're long and tedious or are you savouring each word and desperate to know how it ends. I'm sure you'll do an excellent job!

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    1. That's the way I prefer to do it, Angela. Rather than ticking boxes on presentation, content etc.

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  7. congrats with being published and published and published : ) That's why they're asking you to judge - cos you're a good story writer. How long have you been writing for People's Friend?

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    1. Hi, Helen. Thanks for calling by. We really must meet up some time. I've had stories in PF since March 2012.

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