2 Responses to “When contest judges disagree”

  1. Kate Pearce August 10, 2010 at 2:55 PM #

    I always got dinged like that in contests-2 judges who loved me and one who hated me and that’s pretty much followed me into reviews for my published books LOL Personally I’d rather have a strong reaction than none at all 🙂

  2. Vivienne Westlake August 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM #


    Thanks so much for answering my question here. I’ve been off twitter for a few days so I didn’t see this post until this morning.

    My assumption is that the responses are so polarized because I have a distinctive voice or tone, but it can be confusing when trying to weed through the judge comments to figure out what to improve and what to leave as is.

    You mentioned the people who edit grammar/style and sometimes don’t give accurate critiques. That’s a hard one. In a recent contest, two of the judges loved the story and one judge hated it. My heroine is very sassy and thinks in short, snappy sentences and I throw in sentence fragments so it drove the contest judge crazy. On one hand, I think it was totally a style issue and she just didn’t like mine. On the other, after I thought about it for a couple of days, I said, “Well, maybe I need to go back through the manuscript and make sure that I don’t overuse the sentence fragments or short sentences.” I can probably achieve the same effect in a slightly different way.

    But, I’ve had other contests where the judges didn’t like a story and others loved it, but there’s no clear reason as to why the judge gave it low marks (and some don’t even put comments so you’re at a loss as a writer).

    Kate, I guess this is preparing me for future reviews. I agree, it’s better to have people react strongly to a book than to think, “Blah, on to the next one.”

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