I’ve been asked to accept the enormous honor of judging the Realm Maker’s Flash Fiction Contest. The winner will receive free registration to this year’s Realm Makers conference. (For more details, click here. You still have a couple days to get your story in, if you’d like!)
Working with Splickety and Havok, I’ve also had the opportunity to judge other contests and critique stories and so on.
I’ve decided judging story contests is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It’s also one of my least favorite things to do.
I love it because I love getting to read all the different kinds of stories that come in. Even all based on the same photo or prompt, the variety of stories is amazing. And of course, since I love to read anyway, being required to do so is an added bonus. I love getting to see the talent, both honed and raw, and seeing the potential in the writers. I love hearing the voices of the writers, some of whom are old friends and some of whom are future old friends. I love honing my own skills, reading critically and applying my insights to my own writing. I love being trusted with such a task, and having people believe I’m worthy and capable to pull it off.
That’s also one of the reasons I hate it. Who, in their right mind, would pick me of all people to judge a contest? I’m not the greatest writer out there. Not by a long shot! I’m not the wisest or brilliantest editor. And I use words like “brilliantest”, so clearly someone must have made a mistake. What if I pick the wrong story? What if the story I like isn’t as well written or as good of a plot as I think it is? What if I just pick a favorite and don’t judge fairly? Not to mention, it’s a lot of work. What if I can’t get it all done in time? What if I miss deadlines (I’m known for that) and mess things up?
I have all sorts of fears and doubts running through my head, and yet, I still love it. It’s so much fun, and it’s a huge honor. I am thrilled to have been asked, and I’ll be thrilled to see which of these amazing stories ends up on top.
And I look forward to seeing entries from all of you!