Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Writing Contest Wrap-Up

We promised a contest wrap-up post in our winners' announcement last week, so here it is.

Total Entries: Just shy of 300. (Pretty amazing for our first-ever contest!)

Number of categories: 3

Most popular category: Picture book

How our judges reviewed your MSS:
Our judges read manuscripts on a completely "blind" basis. All names and were stripped from manuscripts by a non-judge first and each was given an alphanumeric code. The manuscripts went through two rounds of judging. Round 1 judges selected top-ranking entries in each category, and those were considered finalists. New Round 2 judges took over in ranking the finalists and choosing winners and honorable mentions.

Number of finalists across all categories: 29

Number of prize winning manuscripts across all categories: 9

Number of honorable mentions: 12

Quantitative "Takeaway" from the contest:
By the numbers, it's obvious that writing is fiercely competitive. Especially if you write picture books for children (that category received more than 60% of the total submission count.)

Qualitative "Takeaway" from the contest:
From one of our judges: "My biggest issue [while judging] was how to weigh writing style versus originality. I decided to favor originality, figuring an author could hire an editor to help with style, but originality is something you can't buy."

Well, there you have it. Congratulations to everyone who entered—the courage it takes to put your work out there in the world is something to be applauded.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on a successful contest! The qualitative takeaway really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing that assessment!