THE NORMAN MCVICKER LITERARY AWARDS 2018…..JUDGES’ REPORT.

To all present and future contestants—-please read the following comments as constructive criticism. They are meant to support your efforts to submit worthy entries into written competitions.

  1. ADHERE to CRITERIA as stated on information and entry forms, otherwise your work won’t be received by the judges. Word counts, double spacing, one side of paper, page numbers, no indication of Author’s name, titles etc mean what they say and cannot be ignored when preparing your entry.
  2. A competition such as this is not for first drafts. You need to proof read and edit thoroughly with help of teachers or someone who can assist, until your work is ready for publication. Judges need to be impressed by your desire to win. Errors in Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Structure and “typo’s” lose marks and detract from the appeal of the presentation of your work. Polish your gem until it shines brighter than the rest. A prestigious competition such as this one where thousands of dollars are on offer, demands quality of technical structure and content if it is to be competitive.

The winning story was a standout for each judge, being so well crafted with exceptional imagery such as “ a forgotten memory dredged its way up from the fathoms of my subconscious” and “unread papers still rolled tight, fought for space amidst discarded rubbish”. It was readily apparent that the author is a gifted writer, able to tell a moving story with control of language, free of faults throughout. Congratulations to Number 19, “Two Sides to Every Coin”.

We awarded First, Second, Third places, 2x Highly Commended and 2x Commended from the 61 entries.

The Poetry section had fewer entries and seemed to be the more difficult genre to handle. Traditional Rhyme is easy to read but challenging to write as it needs an understanding and control of rhythm through the cadence achieved with soft/hard syllable count and consistent structure of each verse. Free verse also needs to show control and flow of lines in a meaningful, connected work. It is not an opportunity to contrive language or abandon standards and hope the reader gets the message. Crudity and/or plagiarism are not acceptable.

The winning poem is still a work in progress and hopefully the writer will revisit it in time to improve the structure.

Congratulations to Number 17, “My Home”. We awarded First, Second, Third places, 1x Highly Commended and 3x Commended from the 38 entries.

Thank you to all entrants. Keep writing and striving for a judge’s recognition of excellence.

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