New Title: Contest Judge

I was recently invited to judge a short fiction contest, and I have accepted the offer! Many thanks to the kind folks at Abbey Hill Literary for asking me to judge their next literary challenge. If you’re willing to consider a contest that charges an entry fee, please check it out.

And I’d love to hear about any of your experiences judging contests–advice is certainly welcome!

4 thoughts on “New Title: Contest Judge

  1. F. M. Meredith, author says:

    I've judged lots of writing contests, novels and short stores. My advice is to go through each entry first and get rid of the ones who did not follow the rules.

    Eliminate those who have lots of errors.

    With what is left read carefully and set aside those you feel are contenders. Once you've got those, then it's up to you to decide which stories really grabbed you–and from the best pick the first, second, etc. place winners.


  2. Erika D. says:

    Thanks for your comment, Marilyn. I am lucky in that the contest administrators will screen out those that didn't follow the rules, so I won't have to worry about that!

  3. Hope Clark says:


    I read the submissions through once, discarding those that lose me in the first couple of paragraphs. Then I sit back and study the rest, often ranking them in some way. When I have my handful of enjoyable reads, I study the mission/theme/goal of the contest provider and see who met that direction the best. I think every judge comes up with her own method. They can be fun! Especially when someone screens them for you.

    Hope Clark

  4. Erika D. says:

    Thanks very much, Hope.

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