Friday, March 22, 2013

Judging a Library Teen Writing Contest

I had the honor of being the final judge for a local library's teen writing contest.  (Special thanks to my author friend Laurie Brown, who is also a member of the library staff and invited me in to judge) The entries were written over the end-of-year holiday. Library staff did the preliminary judging, then they entries came to me to do the final judging and ranking. The six finalist, written by students in middle and high school, covered a variety of genres.

Finalist covers/titles
The stories included paranormal (Wolf Spirit), humor (The Intruder in the Jungle), horror (Colors in the Dark and The Fork In  The Road), memoir (It Happened To Me), and adventure (My Little Feathered Friend) It was a privilege to judge these young writers.  I remember what I felt the first time I let someone else see my words, and I applaud both their courage in letting a stranger see their work, and their abilities that showed story arcs and charactorization. 

The contest ended earlier this week with a meeting where participants, family members and friends gathered to talk about writing, both the craft of fiction and writing as a profession. I discussed paths to publication, including the fact that I found my agent as a result of a contest. We talked about the stories, especially things that worked and areas that needed a little  improvement. Many of them read their stories aloud, to the delight of parents.

Final words from the librarian who initiated the contest - "Our writers all went home feeling special and I have heard a lot of wonderful comments.  It was a success all around.  Thanks, again.  Really Thanks."

She is already planning next year's contest

BTW, there was this gorgeous cake. I was a good girl. I did not have any.


Here I am with the six finalist authors

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