Contest judging is officially finished for this year. It turned out to be a much different experience than expected. Don’t they always?
Let’s compare excuses and see if yours are the same as mine, and maybe dispel a few myths along the way.
I never volunteered to judge a contest because...
Myth Number 1
Free time is in short supply. I mean really, how could I possibly judge a contest when I have so many other ‘important’ things to do? Sometimes, this one is true. You just can’t work it in, and do a good job on the entries. I did a little switch up, which worked for me. When we’re not writing, we’re reading, right? I used my free reading time to read contest entries. And it was great. I discovered some really outstanding authors whom I really hope get published. Their stories shined so brightly, I want to know The End!
Myth Number 2
I don’t know enough. Maybe there are some who’d agree with this. lol. But seriously, I’ve learned a great deal over the past several years. From my publishers, editors, and mostly from my CP’s who are editors, authors, and professionals in their own right. Brilliant women, I consider myself lucky to know. I realize I still have so much to learn about this business, but at the same time, I’ve learned enough, that I can start giving back to the writing community which has been so generous to me.
Myth Number 3
Contests don’t matter. Getting published does. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on this one. But, I admit to a change of heart after reading the entries. There are many different routes to publication. Who am I to say not to follow the one that works best for you? If you can draw the attention of an editor or agent with your entry, good for you! If you don’t, but you still learned something from entering, it’s still money well spent. If even that doesn’t work, try another route.
All in all, it proved to be a really good experience. I’m glad I did it. There wasn’t anything that got on my nerves about any of the entries. While not all spectacular, the work that each entrant put into their work was very evident. Judging will have a place on the calendar for next year. Can’t wait to see what’s new.