Jul 1, 2010

VPA Result - a Perspective on Judges Comments

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, July 01, 2010
Woops, I seem to have messed up the scheduling of this post (it was supposed to have appeared last Thursday) - better late than never I guess.

I got my Valerie Parv Award results back the other day. It was quite interesting really, because it demonstrated the variation in people's perspective. The two most consistent criticisms were to include a scene that occurs before the story starts and to have more of a secondary character. The thing is, in my rewrites for M&B these were the very two things they asked me to remove *grin*. Obviously, the advice I followed is M&B - after all, they are the ones I want to buy my books.

But it was these two points that were the basis for two of my judges scoring me down. I wonder what my scores would have been if they knew M&B's take on these issues?

I guess the thing to remember when entering competitions is just that, it's one person's perspective and not the be all and end all. I think when reading the feedback the best thing to do is to take what you like and toss the rest.

My third judge loved my entry, and provided my favourite comment: A well written entry and I can't wait to find out the ending. After all, that's what you want, a story the reader can't put down because they want to know the ending :o)


Shayne on July 2, 2010 at 4:08 PM said...

Hi Anita,
It will be interesting to find out Lilian's take on this.

I agree you have to take it in your stride, but it must have been frustrating to get that sort of feedback. Maybe next time submit two versions.


PS: Do you realise you made me change the beginning of my Mona Vale swim blog post because I knew you were right about 'lucked out'. It even looks wrong.

Anita Joy on July 2, 2010 at 4:45 PM said...

Imagine if a judge received both versions, lol!

Had a giggle you changed your post. Sorry

Anonymous said...

I have a theory about writing, contests, judges and judging.

It goes something like this: There is little value in comments unless I know who is commenting or more importantly what they stand for. It’s my experience that a lot of people don’t have anything to say unless they have an axe to grind and they grind the axe best when they can arrange anonymity. --- I’ve just defined stranger danger.

A confession: I realised it a little while back. I’ve judges your work once or twice (some time ago) and I too am keen to read the rest of what I read so make sure you get yourself published please. Use your own judgement it works well. I’m waiting here with money in hand to buy the book. ---- Erin

Anita Joy on July 4, 2010 at 9:55 PM said...

Ahhh Erin, when we eventually meet I'll owe you a big hug - I've never had a judge who hasn't given me something, whether it be a heart warming compliment or a constructive comment to sink my teeth into, so thank you :o)

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