You’ve written your short story or your poem to enter into the Library’s 11th Annual Writing Contest. You worked hard on it, even putting your heart and soul into your written work. You’ve checked it twice and then again for any misspelled words (never trust Spellcheck) and grammatical errors. You send it into the contest in time to meet the May 31, 2011 deadline. You’ve done the best you can and you want your hard work to win a prize. But what do the judges want?
The judges for the library contest take their work very seriously too. They know how hard writing a good short story or a poem can be. Every entry is read by the judges. Last year there were over 300 entries. That’s a lot of reading! So what makes a short story or poem become a winning one? The story or poem that hooks the judge’s interest right away. The one that touches the judge in some way by making the reader smile or chuckle, become teary-eyed or sigh. One that makes the reader care what happens next.
After the judges read all the entries, they meet to discuss and review their favorite selections. The judges can be passionate about the pieces of work that touched them and they will even argue a bit (but always in a friendly way) about why their favorite piece of work should win. And even if only one judge really, really loves a short story or poem, that piece of work will probably win honorable mention or fourth place.
Every writer wants his or her piece to be a winner. And the short story or poem that you have written and entered into the contest is a winner. It’s a piece of art that only you could have created with your words and hard work. Not everyone can do that so be proud of yourself and your writing. We are.