Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On Judging Contests

MH aspiring writer Rachael Johns has a great post about the subjectivity of contest scores. Read it if you are subbing to contests.

I would like to talk about judging contests. Over the past several months, I have judged contests and I am currently a coordinator for my local RWA chapter. When you judge, some contests coordinators will send you a table of overall results, yours and other judges in your specialty. This allows you to see just how well you judged other manuscripts compared to your peers .

I like these results because I care about how I judge others manuscripts. Was I too hard on someone? Generally my scores are in line with other judges. But, this last contest, I scored much higher than a couple of other judges.

Which leads me to my point:

What manuscript warrants a score of 29 out of 100 points? Yes, you read that right. 29 out of 100. My answer: NO ONE. There is really no purpose to scoring someone really low in a contest except to kill someone’s spirit. And, IMHO, that is not the purpose of contests. They are here to help aspiring writers.

Most people who score below an 85 will not make the finals so a score of 29 is overkill.

My suggestion: Make your lowest score a three. You point will still come across with 3s.

Abbi :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hey I just found your blog - a little late for this post, in which I see you've named little old me!! WOW - but hugely good point on the 29/100 thing. People need to be encouraged - no slaughtered!