Excellent advice and tips from Charlotte both on judging a writing competition and on protecting your own writing life. Thank you, Charlotte!
I often judge writing contests, both non-fiction and poetry. Recently, I judged the North Carolina Poetry Society’s annual contest in the haiku category. Although it was blind judging, and the winners’ names still haven’t been revealed, I’m sure the winners worked hard to perfect their haiku. Passionate writers work hard at producing quality writing.
It always irks me when some authors, many of whom teach, make the comment that one is a born a writer. When we were of school age, we learned spelling and composition and basic writing skills. In adulthood, we write letters and memos in the course of our day. But we are not born writers. I’ve never read about a writing gene. And, even if we interpret that statement loosely to mean that we are born with skills such as observation–part of being a writer–then we need to qualify it by stating that our writing skills…
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