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Judging Error

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maiaco View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maiaco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 5:51am
Hi BG I've been watching this thread with some concern.  The response from NYC gives us an indication of how their scoring and feedback system works - although it leaves some mysteries too.  (If they score and leave feedback at the same time, why does the feedback take so long to get to us?).  It sounds like an overhaul of their system is in place though, and hopefully that will prevent this sort of problem arising again. 

Congratulations on your Honorable Mention, and I'm glad to read that you will be compensated by a free entry into a subsequent contest. 
'no baby acorns have died in the writing of this story'

SSC Rd1/Gp3 Mystery A Lipstick to Die For
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AbbawithanI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 5:54am
Wow -- that is beyond the worst. Glad to hear you're getting a free entry though, and congrats on the honorable mention o.o
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StephwithanF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 8:12am
This makes me wary .... 

WHAT IF ... He was actually supposed to score HIGHER, but rather than admit they messed up, just bumped him to Honorable Mention and gave him a free entry?

I mean they rescored my heat last year and didn't give people a free entry (at least that I am aware of).

Anyway, I still believe that you were robbed.  The problem is, without reading the other stories, I can't actually prove that you were.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BlackGate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 8:20am
This is the problem, it's not a transparent process. I think the current model they have invites problems, and certainly makes them harder to resolve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 9:41am
Originally posted by StephwithanF StephwithanF wrote:

This makes me wary .... 

WHAT IF ... He was actually supposed to score HIGHER, but rather than admit they messed up, just bumped him to Honorable Mention and gave him a free entry?

I mean they rescored my heat last year and didn't give people a free entry (at least that I am aware of).

Anyway, I still believe that you were robbed.  The problem is, without reading the other stories, I can't actually prove that you were.

 
I had the same thought...
 
I do wish that BG had been given a place in the final regardless. I think the general forum consensus was that his screenplay deserved to go through and I can't imagine that there would have been any objection under the circumstances. Would it really matter if there was one extra finalist?
 
It also worries me that it took so long to resolve this, surely this could have been prioritised to make sure he could compete, had the results placed him in the top five.
 
I am sure that we all accept that mistakes can be made and I'm not keen on the judge bashing, we are all human after all, but 7th reeks of convenience; 6th would have been too close for comfort and so, had it been my call, I'd have added him to the finalists in the name of fair play.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DBA Lehane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 11:46am
The very first script I ever submitted here (SSC 2010) got really strong feedback from forum peers but was absolutely panned by the judges.  It was a war time horror story...and there were questionable comments the Nazi final solution which showed a judge or judges had either no concept of history or just failed to read it properly.  So I know and feel your pain, Paul - but I'm with Scarlet on this - I enter for the fun of meeting prompts ultimately - the feedback is always subjective.  Of course, it doesn't excuse the errors you've experienced...but I bet you've had stories place badly before that someone else would have scored well and vice versa.  If you satisfy yourself, that's the real achievement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schrifty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 4:46pm
" Because of this, your story "'I'll Keep You Safe and Happy" went from 14th place in the group up to 7th place."

That's... quite a jump.  And holy cow, if you had a bad score combined with that judge we saw awhile back who was just cutting and pasting their feedback for all stories, how would you even know there was a mistake? 

If they can't correctly judge and score a contest this big maybe they need to put a cap on the number of participants.  Not feeling like we're getting our money's worth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BlackGate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2016 at 6:48pm
Thanks all for your support and feedback. NYCM have advised they are changing their spreadsheet process for judging. I really hope they do, and that they introduce proper checking, as not only our work but the competition's reputation relies on getting these things right.

DBA - just in reference to your point above, I'm not overly concerned with the feedback, but more the scoring itself, which wouldn't have come to light without the feedback being sent out incorrectly. If writer's are putting the effort in (and paying!), I think they need to be judged accurately.
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R3 Mrs Pendleton's Corpse
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DBA Lehane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2016 at 7:36am
Ultimately all of this is subjective, be it feedback or scoring. What's makes the difference between an 11 point story and a 10 point, as an example?  

Unless the whole process is made completely transparent - ie every story made available to read alongside how the judges arrived at their scores - you're always going to be relying on blind faith most of the time.  And even if it is made 100% transparent, people are still going to disagree with what are subjective opinions.  

None of that forgives the mess-up they've made here - but if you worry too much about the feedback or the scoring or both then it's always going to drive you crazy.  After all, I've had submissions score so much higher than I thought they deserved...and I doubt I'm alone there. But how many of us question the judging in those circumstances?

Ultimately, those who come back time and time again, do so because they are enjoying the buzz of writing to prompts rather than what score they get or what the feedback says.  Generally those who are here to massage egos and polish reputations end up disappointed and rarely return.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackGate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2016 at 9:53am
Quite Darren, but obviously there's a difference between subjective judging and systematic errors. As with any competition, judges don't enter into correspondence regarding subjective decisions and rightly so.

For this reason I don't worry about the feedback and scoring too much (life's too short). I wrote a sci-fi script called The Glass Chair - (still probably my best effort to date!) - and it disappeared without a trace in the results (I got feedback that the "ending was too similar to Lucy", a film I've never seen..) and whilst pretty disappointed, I took it on the chin.

What we should flag up are obvious systematic errors, which I don't think we should just let go - both for the good of competitors and for the reputation of the contest. We all pay good cash to enter, and put a lot of work in. Any competition's organisers need to make sure they're operating correctly too.


Edited by BlackGate - 17 Feb 2016 at 9:54am
R1 Soft Strings, Slow Strings
R2 The Ravens of Villers-Bretonneux
R3 Mrs Pendleton's Corpse
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