Sunday, November 09, 2008

Judging Stories

On what elements this particular judge was looking for in a short story.

It includes the silly formatting mistakes that people make that eliminate them before the story's even read; and how important the authorial voice is in a story.

Brian Hodge describes 'voice' as "the fusion of 1001 little aesthetic and stylistic choices." Yes, voice is that hard to quantify: it's similar in poetry too.

Storytellers Unplugged is one worth keeping an eye on, if you're into short stories, and the competition end of things especially.


Colin Will said...

If it was a story submitted for publication I'd be looking for the 'normal' copyreader's preferred style - 12pt Courier, double-spaced, para first line indented. However, in a competition, it's fair to assume that some entrants won't know what's expected, so you have to take what you get. Unless the thing is totally unreadable, I'd ignore formatting. I wouldn't ignore grammar and spelling though, since they relate to writing skills, not word-processing skills.

BarbaraS said...

I know Colin, a fair point alright, but that's why articles like this are worth coming across if you're just starting out in the writing world... course, by the time you come across them, you already know what's expected of you in competitions...

Liz said...

Barbara, interesting site, thanks.