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NYC Midnight Black Belt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fioOxf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2020 at 8:25am
Originally posted by Ammie Ammie wrote:

I received my feedback and found it useful. One judge interpreted my work politically (something about the me-too movement) which was unfortunate as it was not my intent. I hope that it was not this interpretation that lowered my score. 


It used to say on the website what the different criteria for assessment were, but I can't find it right now. However, if you take into account three judges, points for format (ie font, wordcount etc), points for including the prompts, points for genre, points for spelling and grammar, points for structure (ie beginning, middle, end), points for character develop, for idea, and for plot - and divide all that across the three judges, it's unlikely that an interpretation like that affects very much. Besides, once points have been allocated, the entries in a heat are put in order and the top 5 go through - so you could, potentially, be first in a group but have a low score, if the rest were lower. You could also have a really high score, but be in a very strong group and so not go through. 

From experience, it's not worth overthinking it too much. I've done a few NYC Midnight competitions now, this is my second Short Story one, but my 8th NYC Midnight comp. I've learnt that it's like a game in that you have to find the way to play. You can be a very good writer but not progress to round 2 because, eg your stories aren't linear, for example, or because certain things are too subtle and judges miss them. However, I've also learned (and Jennifer Quail's comment earlier says something similar) that your forum feedback is likely to be more reliable in terms of audience/effect of your piece. So pay more attention to that, if you want to publish.

Not going through (or not getting an HM) can be tremendously disheartening (in 8 competitions this is my first time going through, I've had an HM before and come 6th and 7th in the ones that tell you the first 15 placed), and I've also had some eye-rollingly off-piste judges' comments (eg when a judge told me that 'deer don't scuttle' when the story was about rats, not deer; or another judge attempting to completely rewrite my short story last year, and wanting a secondary character to be the main character, and one of the main characters not to exist in the first place etc etc etc) BUT let it wash over you and then focus on the forum feedback, do any reworking based on consensus comments (or ignoring them...as you prefer) and try sending out your stories. You may take some punches in the guts along the way, but you'll come out having learned, honed your craft and met some very nice people into the bargain. 

And Jennifer Q is right. She often is. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bookmama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2020 at 6:32am
I found the judging very fair and helpful.
My first entry was last year where I came 1st in Heat 1 and nowhere in Heat 2. My heat 1 story was my favourite thing I have ever written and I loved it. My heat 2 story was rubbish!
This time I only got a HM but again I think it was fair and the feedback was very similar to the feedback I received on the forum when I posted the story too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ammie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2020 at 10:13pm
I received my feedback and found it useful. One judge interpreted my work politically (something about the me-too movement) which was unfortunate as it was not my intent. I hope that it was not this interpretation that lowered my score. 

As someone who has a good deal of judging experience, I know that one judge out of three, or even five, or even seven judges has the power to ensure that a contestant loses by deep sixing their score.  One time when I was the administrator over an essay contest, I noticed that 4 judges each gave this one student very high score yet one judge gave the student a surprisingly low score. I read the essay myself and saw that this essay was a well-written, impressive essay not worthy of a low score. As the administrator, I removed this judge. I felt that there was some sort of bias.

Recently, I had students who were participating in an elevator pitch. One of my students was superb. They were engaging, had a good idea, and had a smooth delivery without any flubs. Surely we believed that they would win. It is possible that seven judges gave this student high scores and one deep sixed them. Interestingly, this student won the audience favorite award. It is rare in this contest for a student to win audience favorite and not win the contest. We are guessing that there may have been some bias. But, unless we have access to the actual scores, we are left in the guessing game limbo.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2020 at 9:42pm
I'm going to reply to this one because my comments are more about the judges than their feedback.  I have to say since I started NYCM the judging has steadily improved, to the point where I can honestly say all three judges read the story and their review is, in my view, spot on.  The 'what I liked' was downright heartwarming, the 'what needs work' echoed what some others have said, and they added more areas I can improve on in the future.  That alone was worth the price of admission, because while the professional judging has improved, peer judging has not.

JMHO.  YMMV.  HTH. TIJABOL.  AYSR?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 11:57pm
Originally posted by Ammie Ammie wrote:

If the judges are reading too many stories to keep track of one from another, perhaps this contest is not as equitable as it should be??? Especially since there is a fee to join?

Where can we find the judges' feedback? Will they send that to us?


Most of the judges do the best they can! Smile Your feedback will come in a separate email tomorrow or the next day! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Ammie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 11:25pm
If the judges are reading too many stories to keep track of one from another, perhaps this contest is not as equitable as it should be??? Especially since there is a fee to join?

Where can we find the judges' feedback? Will they send that to us?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 8:35pm
The takeaway is the real value here is the feedback in the forums and fwiw I've found that tends to correlate more with sales to real markets than the judges' feedback does. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Seacore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 7:27pm
I had a critique once that the judge didn't like that my MC thought his curse may have been caused by the devil.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Laurie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 6:27pm
I once had a judge critique my piece because it was implied in the final scene that my character drove away in her car after getting drunk. The judge said I was setting a bad example for readers. Uhmm ... are they familiar with fiction? I wasn't writing a treatise on safe driving, for goodness sake. So frustrating ... 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2020 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by Pajamas All Day Pajamas All Day wrote:

I didn't know about a judge who was copying/pasting but that would explain the comments I got from one judge. I questioned whether that person had even read my story based on their comments.


If it makes you feel any better "Did they even read my story" is an extremely common reaction.

After sixty stories the answer is probably yes, but the other 59 are still bouncing around and the judge is only one dangling participle away from insanity.  Even odds which direction.
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