Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More on Contests

I love it when I have no idea what to blog about, and then Lindi provides the inspiration I need :-) I'm a category coordinator for ACFW's Genesis contest this year, and it has been interesting to watch the judged entries come rolling in. Some entries have fairly consistent scores, while others are all over the board.

Last year, I received two very good scores. The judges praised my writing and my story. The third judge tanked me. Ouch! Tough as those scores may be, they're the ones we need to look at the hardest. Once we stop wallowing in self-pity, that is :-) The comments in those pride-wounding crits are what will propel us to the next level of writing. Look at them closely. What is the judge trying to teach you?

One of the biggest reason people enter contests is for the feedback. So put that feedback to work. Use it to improve your writing. I know a gal who based her entire writing career on how she did in a particular contest. She said if she didn't get a good showing, she was giving up on fiction. She didn't final, and she quit writing. Very sad. She was an excellent writer with a phenomenal story.

Did any of you enter Genesis? If so, what are you hoping to get out of it? Remember, take that feedback, and put it to work.

3 comments:

  1. Mindy, I hate to hear that your friend quit after a contest! I nearly did after the first contest I entered, but I'm too stubborn, I guess.

    I didn't enter anything but judged the Genesis. I read one excellent entry that's publishable. And I had one other that was really good. Three others showed lots of promise. I hope my feedback was helpful! I tried to be really encouraging. The hardest to judge was one where I could see a great writing voice but it was bogged down in a story that didn't go anywhere. I hope the entrant will keep at it. Kind of like an artist carving a sculpture out of a block of marble. It's not like he's shaping the marble. It's like he sees the sculpture inside and is just trying to help it find its way out.

    Missy

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  2. I did enter the Genesis. I, like you, had a couple of way off scores last year, but the feedback was helpful.

    I entered a contest a couple years back where one of the points given was on POV---was it consistent, transitioned well from one to another. Well I only had one POV---and I got a 1 out of a 5--the judge obviously didn't like my POV--how could I not be consistent?
    Anyway, because the judge didn't answer the question correctly I didn't take too much stock in what else she said. I mean, if she didn't understand POV I'm doomed and if she did and marked me off because I only had one and she didn't like that type of book she probably wouldn't score my entry fairly in other categories. Just thought I'd share that experience. It was very interesting.

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  3. I entered Genesis. My first writing contest ever so I'm really not sure what I expect. Right now my main aim is not to cry at any of the comments ;)

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