Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The summer has brought a lot of projects other than writing for me. I've been catching up on some painting in the house, gardening, and just general trying to get some things organized. Nevertheless, I am trying to get in some writing each day.

A few months ago, I mentioned that my daughter and I were entering the ACFW Genesis contest. We were anxious to get our scores back, and a little bit nervous when they arrived!

First, let me say congratulations to all the winners and finalist. Although we did not final in the Contemporary Fiction category, it was an interesting experience for both of us.

Like many others that I've read about, our scores were certainly a 'mixed bag' of results. We had one rather high score, a medium score, and a low score.

Only one of our judges gave any sort of identity--free lance editor. The other two were silent on their qualifications.

The high score we received is nice. We love it. But, I also wonder if that judge gave mostly high scores. The comments were rather sparse and mostly complimentary.

The low score? Well, I don't think that judge really 'got' the story. He/she suggested that our characters needed more quirkiness. Maybe this judge thought we were trying to write chic lit, or comedy. Then again, maybe that is what readers want today. Quirky characters are okay, but personally, I don't want them in all the books that I read or write.

The middle score is the one that we've taken the most notice of. He/she gave us compliments on our writing style and advice on how to 'tighten' up our story. This judge took the time to mark lines and areas of the partial manuscript. We felt like he/she really read what we wrote and understood what we were writing. We feel like this judge's comments alone made our entry worthwhile and we are already talking about entering again next year.

How have most of you felt about the scores you've received from writing contests? Do you think they are fair, do the judges 'get' what you story is about in the sparse amount of pages you send in?


Janet, said...

I liked you post. I agree with you about the second judge, it would be nice if all judges did that. It would be great if editors had the time to do that with our submissions, then we would know what we're doing wrong. I've never heard of writing contests scoring you like that, I've never entered one of those before.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Rose Mary,
I know how you feel concerning writing contests. You never know how the judges will feel concerning your work.
I'm also busy gardening and getting ready for a family reunion on Saturday. Have a great weekend.

Terri Tiffany said...

This is the first year I sent in to it and I had three different scores as well so I took the general information that overlapped. I have had good and bad experiences from contests and this was the best one.