Friday, January 13, 2006
Hold Thy Judgement
Since Instigator has already swung us from the touchy-feely friend subject, I don't feel at all bad about making an even further departure. I'm not even going to mention friendship here (not that I don't love ya'll - really!).
Two things recently happened to me. One, I volunteered as a judge in the Southern Magic contest, Maven Linda Howard's Award of Excellence. I am a judging virgin, so the information being provided to me pre-contest via the loop has been interesting and informative. I don't want to be one of those judges that nitpicks without any positive feedback, doesn't look at the whole picture, or stomps on someone's writing dreams.
I'm not vindictive like that. At least, not without provocation. :)
Coinciding with this was the arrival in the mail of my judging comments from a contest I recently finaled and placed 3rd in. Four people read it - looks like the first three were the preliminary judges who scored it high enough to final, then the final judging by the editor of the category. This was the first contest I have entered that provided feedback like this.
There wasn't a horrible disparity between them - I've heard of people getting a perfect score, two decent scores and one judge who practically spit on their entry. I did get one perfect score - the only comment outside the occasional grammar change was - "What else can I say? Bravo!" The other two were not as enthusiastic, but not bad - mostly 4s and 5s. One gave me a 1 out of 5 for romantic tension between the hero and heroine. Just so happens the scene I entered had the heroine unconscious, but whatever. I was a little disappointed about my final judge - the editor. She didn't write a single thing on the MS. She gave me mostly 4's with the occasional 3, but nothing else to help. She didn't make a request for anyone in my category either. Maybe we all stunk or maybe she was just too busy to put the effort into it. Who knows, maybe all final round editor judges do that. This is my first official RWA contest, so it's possible I expect more than is the norm.
I wonder sometimes why people volunteer to do things when they really don't have time or just don't want to do it. Maybe it's the "girl who can't say no" syndrome. Maybe it's guilt or they think they can manage their schedule to allocate the proper time and attention to it, then fail. My schedule is pretty full, so I try not to take on too much, but when I do, I make sure that it's done to the best of my ability. I hope I do well as a judge in this upcoming contest.
Anyone got any judging horror stories? Let's leave the contest, chapter and any names out of it so we don't get any hate mail, but feel free to share any weird, quirky or downright irritating judge responses or comments!
SP (Happy Friday the 13th!)
Posted by Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants at 1/13/2006 12:25:00 AM