Short story judging stuff....

This is for your own works!!!
LaurieAK
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Short story judging stuff....

Post by LaurieAK » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:14 pm

Hey Folks~

Sorry this has taken so long.
We finally have the winners chosen.

Thanks for all the great stories and your patience.

There were 5 judges:

Henning Franz, Germany
Demetris Tsimperis, Greece
Valerie Shertzman, USA
Dick Straub, USA
Laurie Eckhout, USA

There were 13 stories in total submitted.

John K., the esteemed Interthingy, labeled each story with a letter of the alphabet (Story A, Story B, etc), it was not the order he received them (just random). John did a great job keeping things in order behind the scenes and up front. Thanks, John!!

The judges did NOT discuss the merits of the stories amongst themselves. This way we were all choosing our personal favorites with no outside influence.

Each judge chose their First, Second and Third place pick. We scored them by their place:

First place = 3 points
Second place = 2 points
Third place = 1 point

In the first round of scoring, between the five of us, 9 different stories were picked as individual favorites. Everyone thought ALL the stories were excellent (because they were!). It made our choices very difficult.

We tallied up the scores of those 9 stories and came up with the top 4 stories (there was a tie for 3rd place at this point).

The five of us voted again, scoring the 4 stories. One point separated First place from Second and Second (there was another tie). We decided to have a First Place and 2 Second place winners.

I/we can't stress enough how really difficult this was. As you will see these stories are all wonderful, inventive and well written.

Thanks much for participating!

Now, all you authors can step out and take a bow when you see fit. (Applause**Applause)


The top prize goes to:

Story B, written by Ali

The tie for 2nd place is:

Story M written by Andrew Darby
&
Story C (I am still waiting to see if they want their name revealed)

All the other stories will be posted anonymously. You can reveal yourself anytime you are ready.

Thanks again for all the wonderful stories!!

Laurie
LaurieAK
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Post by LaurieAK » Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:02 pm

I want to bump this up to the top and to say to the authors, if they see any typos or missing special characters (those need to be done manually) just let me know and I can do an edit on your story.

Also, to anyone, if you want your name Added to your story, I can edit that in too...again, just let me know.

hihohiho,
Laurie
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:16 pm

Thank you for all this information, Laurie :D . Very interesting and helpful to see just how difficult your committee's, final decisions were! So close all the way around. Even in the competition aspect, everyone can feel good!

~ Lizzy
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Post by LaurieAK » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:25 pm

You're very welcome.

Can't say too many times how tough it was....

L
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:54 pm

Can't say too many times how tough it was....
:shock: Looks like you won't have to :lol: ~ I'm now into Story E :shock: ! [Emoticons re-enforce Laurie's quote.]
DANG! As they say, "Better you than me!" :shock: :)

The best kind of "Ey yi yi!" ~ but still Ey yi yi ~ !!!!!
AMAZING to see the different realities created from such a seemingly simple phrase 8) .

I'll be doing some enjoyable, late-night reading, tonite :D . What a pleasure 8) .



< * what a relief I wasn't a judge ~ whew * >


~ Lizzy
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Post by LaurieAK » Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:22 pm

Heya~

I just read Lizzy's request to not know who the authors' of the stories were and realized I probably should explain why Ali and Andrew Darby were named.

It was because I pm'ed them and asked if they wanted their name with their story. I didn't let on that they were being asked because they were in the Top 3.

In the past Poetry contests, we have always done the reveal completely anonymously. It was a judgement call (haha) to go ahead and see if these folks (without knowing they'd won) would like their name included. All the judges agreed to doing this.

I sort of thought the 'excitement' of the initial reveal would be the best time and place to congratulate the winners...as opposed to days laters when things have fizzled a bit.

I suppose if this does not seem a good idea (worth repeating, at least), then next time a contest comes around speak up. Or complain now 8) that's fine too. It was a first.

regards,
Laurie
p.s. Lizz, I am not saying I thought you were complaining. It just made me realize I probably should explain. I know what you mean about wanting that anonimity when initially reading the stories. Well, all but the top 3 8)
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:44 pm

Hi Laurie ~

Actually, the top 3 isn't quite so 'problematical' ~ I've been careful to scan to see where the story ends, and go no further, in case any commenters [more than just you, yet, Fljotsdale?] said, "Great job, [whoever]!!! I didn't notice Ali's name by her story ~ maybe, it's been added since I first read it, since it was Story B?

Anyway, somehow, I'd gotten the impression that the order would be stories first; identities second. I agree on the 'excitement' factor, though, as far as the winners go. After awhile, interest begins to wane and people 'give up' on the writers revealing their identities. Yes ~ sorta 'dying' to know which stories won, and who wrote them! Concurrently, moreso than not.

So, I'll just judiciously keep avoiding the 'bottom' area of the story's posting. I guess I haven't gotten to Andrew's, yet :) .

So, for future reference ~ I guess my just-now-formulated :wink: suggestion would be to post the stories one day, and the winners the next. At least, then, everyone would have a 'reasonable' chance to have read them all before knowing.....and the writers could endure one more day of their own, more intense, adrenaline-soaked suspense :wink: .

Maybe it's not such a big issue with anyone else, I just like the surprize of it all ~ plus not being predisposed to its being 'good' because so-and-so always expresses themselves well, has a great sense of humour, or whatever; and trying to guess who wrote what. That's just me :D . I have a thing about people telling me the end of a movie or book, too ~ that's what I'm paying my money for, thank you :shock: ! I've walked away or started 'talking over them' ["Stop! Don't tell me! I don't want to know! You're going to ruin it for me! Stop!], so I couldn't understand what they were saying, until I could escape.

The way it was done this time was certainly survivable, regardless :lol: . Thanks for the explanation. Clever search-and-seizure of winner's permissions :wink: .

~ Lizzy
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Post by LaurieAK » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:21 pm

Hey Lizz~

Thanks for the thoughts on this. I think it probably should be decided here on the forum How this gets done in the future. As opposed to being plopped in the hands of future judgers.

I'd like to hear from Ali and Andrew D. their thoughts on how this was carried out.
Would they prefer we had NOT revealed their win right away, etc.?

Maybe while is issue is still fresh is the best time to settle it.

regards,
Laurie
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:40 pm

Publish one day. Expose authors the next. Unless an author wishes to remain hidden and makes a speciific request so to do, AND gives a good enough reason to remain behind the curtain.


Once the words are with the judges, it is the judges who have control, until publishing has taken place. The words are then in the public domain and the authors must declare to the judges why the writer wants to hide their parentage of the creation.

I have always considered the written words as the children of the writer. Once the words have been set loose into the world, the writer has to cut the parental cord. The published work no longer 'belongs' to the writer. They are public property, existing inside the minds of the readership.

We have to decide here and now, how we want this to be played out in future competitions. The reviews of all of us will shortly be posted for this competition, and while we have this momentum, we can sort the details out, during our interest, and before the thread 'fizzles.'

HTH
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:59 pm

Thanks for the 'second' on that, Byron. We'll see how it goes.

I've also [literally :roll: ] covered my ears, whilst doing the preceding stuff I described of walking away, 'talking over them,' but covering my eyes here won't help much :lol: .

I just really, really, really like the suspense. So much went into it with the writers. They've had to wait. Let us wait and wonder, too ~ just not as long. Effort Invested = Waiting Time.

Regarding revealing of identities, that's a tough call for me. Some people may feel really sensitive about not having won, and just not want to 'claim their baby' :cry: . I prefer that they did ~ "Inquiring minds want to know" ~ but, more importantly, not everyone can "Win," but trying in the first place is winning in itself [for the less competitive types, anyway :wink: ]. I feel everyone should be truly proud of their effort. I just hope no one is 'cruel' when commenting or asking questions. I have a question on one, and I'm trying to figure the best way to ask it, without seeming that I'm being critical of their thought process. I'm just curious about their thought process!

People submit poetry, et al, here all the time ~ and comments are made, questions asked, etc. Sometimes with regard for their feelings, sometimes not. But, a "Competition," per se, somehow takes it all to a different level, and some people may feel more vulnerable about the judge's assessment of their hard work.

I don't know. In the end, I think I feel it should still be their individual choice. I just hope everyone chooses the way I want them to :lol: .

I agree with both of you, Byron and Laurie, that now is the best time to be discussing it ~ and I guess having its being a Forum decision is a better idea. It's never been done that way before, but it seems the most obvious, best choice. Next time, judges may be the writers, interthingy's, etc. and others here may muster the courage to enter! So, hope we hear from more on it.

Hey! How about if we do one of those Poll thingys? Laurie?

~ Lizzy
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:09 pm

It is extremely relevant that the authors be asked to discuss their thought processes with regard to these short stories.

In a novel, novella, etc., the writer can introduce the causes and effects of actions taking place within the passage of their writing.

A short story does not have that facility, and therefore the authors themselves may wish to take the opportunity, to provide us with their approach and slant on how they came to produce the written work.

HTH
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Post by lizzytysh » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:53 pm

A short story does not have that facility, and therefore the authors themselves may wish to take the opportunity, to provide us with their approach and slant on how they came to produce the written work.
Excellent idea! I've already talked with Ali in a PM, getting these questions answered 8) . If you wanna know, though, you'll have to ask for yourself ~ or wait for her to speak. My lips are sealed :) .

The results of competitions like this really underscore how we each create/have our own reality! Our thoughts and their power to shape our future. Amazing stuff ~ seeing how totally different [some similarities in a couple I've seen, so far] people cognitioned and wrote a 'response' to this conjecture. Imagination is such a powerful phenomena! Makes me wonder what I would have come up with, too.

I sure hope they'll take this HINT, HINT, HINT :wink: !

~ Lizzy
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Post by Andrew (Darby) » Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:03 pm

Laurie and Elizabeth, just thinking about the issue of when and how to reveal authorship and placings, I've got a suggestion that I think meets the needs of everyone. :idea:

When the judging is complete the stories should all be posted in one thread (suggested name: 'LC Short Story Comp Entries') with a clear indication in this first thread's introductory posting that they are anonymous and unranked in the thread, but with the additional info that a second thread (suggested name: 'LC Short Story Comp Authors and Results') can be referred to at any time and that it identifies what story belongs to which author and what placings (if any) each gained, as follows:

Story A - Anon
Story B - Ali (1st Place)
Story C - Anon (2nd tied)
and so on down to
Story M - Andrew (Darby) (2nd tied)

This would also be good from the perspective of catering for both "before identification of author and results" comments and "after identification of author and results" comments. 8)

What do you think?

Cheers :)
Andrew (Darby)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:25 pm

I think it's a great idea, leaving the option of accessing the thread, for their 'knowing,' to the reader.

My only concern would be this ~ even though I'm not reading anything that's really offensive to the writers [yet] here, as I went through all of them, doing a read-only, and am now going back through, doing a comment-only [and I'm only on Story B :? ], each before reading any comments of others ~ so it looks pretty benign regarding any potential of this >>> but, I would just hope that any, 'vendetta'-style reader wouldn't make derisive comments on a story [already knowing the writer, but 'pretending' not to].

Other than that potential, I'm in favour. We'll see what Byron and other writers might have to say.

Well, take that back. One other thing. As I'm recalling [am I right in this, Laurie?], we put them all one thread for the first Poetry Comp ~ and it was frustrating/confusing having to continuosly scroll to locate a particular one that you wanted to return to. With the stories being even longer than the poems, that could make for even greater frustration. Now, I'm beginning to think I may be thinking this is a good vs. great idea :lol: . Well, you wanted truthful answers, right :wink: ?

How about [if the 'vindictive' thing isn't an issue] if we put the stories on separate threads as we have for this one; and [concurrently] the "Identity/WINNERS" thread, separately, as you've suggested? I guess asking the writers to submit, at the same time they do their pieces, their permission/denial of permission regarding their identities might be a good idea, too.


~ Lizzy
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Andrew (Darby)
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Post by Andrew (Darby) » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:04 pm

lizzytysh wrote: ...How about [if the 'vindictive' thing isn't an issue] if we put the stories on separate threads as we have for this one; and [concurrently] the "Identity/WINNERS" thread, separately, as you've suggested? I guess asking the writers to submit, at the same time they do their pieces, their permission/denial of permission regarding their identities might be a good idea, too.
Elizabeth, your proposal variation (plus advance ascertainment of authors' positions on permission) sounds good to me! 8)

Cheers :)
Andrew (Darby)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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