We got the rankings from a second judge, and of course mine were already done…
a third judge indicated she will get hers done today; another judge indicated they’ll get theirs to me by Friday…
…and one judge said she didn’t receive the stories at all yet, so I sent Lucy another batch.
Bad email. It happens.
I have no doubt our British friend in Cambridge will work tirelessly to read and rank her stories in time. The release of her new PorterGirl book, Sinister Dexter, be damned.
You may think this is self serving, but I really get excited when one of the judges sends an email with how they ranked the stories.
I really do.
Did they like the same one best that I did?
If not, which one did they like best – and why?
There’s a lot of comparing notes. Kinda. Nobody changes their rankings, but we’re human. We might reread a story to see what the other person liked about it.
Also, it does what I want – allows for an aggregate.
The story I like best is usually really close to the story I like second best.
There are often ties for second or third place – or both.
There are Honorable Mentions that need to be recognized, not because it’s a sympathy vote but because they were good, solid stories that may have gotten beaten by a home run this time out. On a different day, they would place higher.
And that’s an important note.
On a different day, a different story might win.
I know this because I often sit here and debate about which one of the three or four I really like, is “best.”
Seeing other judges hand in their rankings, you’d see one likes the same as me, or two like my second place winner as their first place winner. That means both of those stories are very good.
As I like to say, if Stephen King, J. K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin all enter a writing contest, and only one can win first place – does that mean the other two suck?
Of course not.
Heck, all of the finalists are good! That’s why they’re finalists!
Also, and it’s too early to do it officially now, but a LOT of people who place or receive an Honorable Mention or who don’t even place, will be asked to join an upcoming anthology. Why? Because we can only have one winner, but we get a lot of good stories. Stuff that needs to be seen and read. And since I can help that happen… I’m plan to.
A few of these stories are dark enough to go into our next “scary anthology.” One could easily fit into the “relationships anthology.” (I didn’t forget about that, but relationships is hard to categorize, you know? We’re looking at a broad marketing plan for that, under a possible title of Hidden Gems.)
And it’ll be fun getting the band back together!
Many contributors to The Box Under The Bed want to come back for another round, and we want a bunch of new folks in there, too. I envision far fewer headaches this time around.
Lots to look forward to.
Winning isn’t everything, but entering might be.
Letting me see your stories can only result in good things happening. You might win a contest, you might get published, and you might get advice on how to improve your stories so eventually they can be included. More than one person has seen that happen.
You don’t have to win a contest to get asked to be in one of the anthologies.
But right now, let’s focus on the excitement that’s about to happen as we all wait to see who wins our March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest.
Because I don’t know who the judges will select, either!