I've posted before about the criteria I used to rank the entries:
- good writing (of course!)
- whether the story fitted the theme
- whether it worked as a short story
- whether it took me somewhere I hadn't been before.
In the end we each came up with a shortlist of 6 and ranked them. That was the point at which the subjective nature of the process kicked in.
Bearing in mind that only the top 3 would win, of those:
- only one entry appeared on all 5 of our lists
- 2 people had this as their 1st choice
- the other 3 ranked it 3rd, 4th and 5th.
- one entry was on 4 lists
- but only one person ranked it 1st
- 2 others ranked it 3rd, but the other person had it 5th
- one entry was on 3 lists
- 2 of which ranked it 2nd
- the other person ranked it 4th
- In the shortlist of 6, 4 of us had 4 of our choices
- But that means we all had choices that never made it to the final 6
- There were some cases in which one of us shortlisted a story that others felt significantly weaker than other non-ranked entries
What this illustrates is that if your story does not appear in the final 6, it's still quite possible that at least one of us had it right near the top of our list!
Anyway, it ain't over yet. We're now each ranking the shortlisted 6 to come up with a final 3.
Thanks to Skint for organising the competition and asking me to be on the panel. I've really enjoyed the experience and have learned a lot along the way.
Thanks to fellow judges - Skint (again), Minx, Clare and Maxine. The collaborative process worked well I thought ...
And very big thanks to everyone who entered. You made me chuckle, whimper, shiver and occasionally brought me close to tears. Good writing at its best!
If anyone would like feedback on their entry, feel free to email me by clicking 'contact me' here. I will of course only be able to give you my personal opinion, which (as must be clear by now) may well be very different from that of the other judges.