I know many of you are sitting on pins and needles while waiting for the judges’ decisions regarding the 2023 annual contest winners. Some have even asked when the results will be shared and when the winners’ stories will be posted for all to read.
Here are the answers to those questions.
1. The youngest age group (6-9) entered much shorter stories (less than 1,500 words), and unlike other years, I did not receive an overwhelming number of entries. This allowed the judge to read through the stories and come up with the winners in a short time. So, the winners of the youngest category have been determined (and approved) by me. As the sponsor of this contest, Mrs. M has the final say as to placement. For example, one year the poor judges simply could not decide on two of the stories. So instead of giving them stress, I allowed two honorable mentions that year. (By the way, I don’t do that any longer. Back then I was new at this, and while it is heartbreaking to have to choose only FOUR out of all the great stories, I can’t be sending out prizes to so many. It’s costly.) So, I am firm with the judges and ask them to choose four. If they simply can’t decide, then I have the super hard task of doing the choosing for them (in the case of a true tie in their judgments).
2. I received the usual number (i.e. a lot!) of entries for the ages 10-13 and ages 14-7 categories. These stories will take much longer to read through and judge. While I have only one judge for the ages 6-9 (it’s a pretty easy task), I have two judges each for the ages 10-13 and the ages 14-17. This keeps the judges balanced. After they choose their individual preferences, the two judges for their category get together and between them decide (so it’s not simply one voice, one “like”) on the four final winners. I set my final stamp of approval on their choices and hurrah! Winners announced.
Why does Mrs. M do the final lookover? Well, one year in the ages 14-17 category, someone won first place with her story. When I reviewed the authors, I saw that this young writer had also won second place! (Yes, she was a very good writer.) This cannot happen. I will never allow the same person to place with more than one story. (Remember, you are allowed to submit two entries.) So, the judges had to go back and decide which of her two stories they preferred for first place. And then they had to come up with another story to fill in the new gap.
3. I have set a deadline for the judges to have the stories back to me sometime the first week of May. However, that is flexible, depending on how hard it is to choose the winners (and believe me, it will be hard). As soon as the final decisions are in place, I will announce the winners. I hope by May 15 (one month after the contest ended). Stay tuned!
4. Someone asked when the winning stories will be posted to read. The answer is . . . “not for one year.” Why not, when I post the Seasonal winning stories? The Annual Contest is a much bigger (and much more expensive) contest. Prizes are awarded to 12 winners of varying degrees. That means I’m shipping prizes to 12 and also giving them each a copy of the printed contest book I create on Amazon (KDP). I need to somehow recoup some of the costs of running this contest. Since I do not charge an entry fee (like many contests do), I encourage anyone who wants to read the stories to buy the book from Amazon. I keep the cost low ($6.99) and I also create a Kindle version for a low price ($2.99). I don’t care about making any money on this contest. I would just love to be able to pay for all the prizes and shipping, and the books I create and have shipped to me to ship to the winners (12 books).
5. After the winners are announced, and you learn that you have not placed, you will have an opportunity to request that your story be included in the fan fiction section, under “annual contest entries.” I will post every author’s story who requests it be published on the fan fiction site.
News flash. The judges are very generous with their time. I do not pay them to judge. They do it all for free because they love to read and they love the Andi books. I would like to give them a shout out right now. I will put all of our pictures here. Click the images if you want to visit the judges’ websites.
2023 CONTEST JUDGES
9 thoughts on “Writing Contest Update”
Wow, I’m so excited! Thank you, Judges, for offering so much of your time to read our stories! And Thank You, Mrs. M!!🥰
Super excited! Thank you to everyone involved in the contest and judging!
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So super excited for this contest. Thank you Mrs. M and judges!!!!
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Thank you Colleen Reece, Donna Patton, Ellen Senechal, Emily Sinclair, Annette Romano and Mrs. M! Thank you for taking the time to read our stories and judging them!!
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Thank you everyone for reading the story and Mrs. M. for sponsoring!
On pins and needles is right!! I can’t wait to see the winners!!!
Thanks to all the judges for spending time going through our stories! I’m sure we all appreciate it!
So excited to see the winner!
Can’t wait for the winners to be announced! When should the winners expect the email saying they won?
I can’t give you a definite date until all the stories come back from the judges. They have a couple more weeks.