I had an interesting experience recently. I was invited to judge a contest organised by WriteUp Cafe. The topic given to the participants was ” A Letter to Yourselves”. There were 23 participants and I had a tough time judging the three winners.
Some of what went through my mind in judging the contest must be reflected in an earlier post here titled, “What’s Good Writing For You?”
Here are my comments, for what they are worth on why I thought Tiana, Rajrupa and Sukanya were the winners:-
# ” To The Girl that Giggled” by Tiana, had a very catchy start that grabbed my attention. It was written in a light chatty style yet covered some strong thought-provoking points, ending with being very encouraging.
# ”I’ll Miss You” by Rajrupa also had a great start. The content was meaningful and was written in a very fluent style. It ended strongly as well.
# ” A New Begining” (sic) by Sukanya, gave me a tough time. To what extent should I penalize her for the mis-spelt title? I overlooked this blunder, to be honest, because I liked the way she developed the story, building up the suspense till she divulged the circumstances of the central figure. The use of the mirror to start with and ending on a positive note were other elements in the story that caught my eye and fancy.
Some of the others were pretty good too but some, in my view, meandered off the topic and while they were grammatically correct and reasonably well written did little to dwell on the assigned topic.
When I discovered that there was a voting process on as well, I glanced at the votes but made sure they did not influence my choices. Data showed that two of my winners didn’t get many votes. This underscores the point that just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, judgement on what constitutes good writing, if not the best writing, is , and always will be subjective.