Last spring, I applied to a very prestigious writing conference, taught by writers whose work is routinely praised, if not revered, by the literary community. Rationally, I knew acceptance was a long shot. On the other hand, I figured the admissions committee probably wasn’t sitting around at night hoping I might grace them with my presence. The only way I’d have a chance was to apply.Continue reading →
Judging others is tricky business. Being viewed as judgmental is nearly always negative. Criticizing someone’s art or craft—even when that’s what you’re paid to do—can lead to some spicy battles. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2 NIV)
Which are some of the reasons I was a bit nervous when I agreed to serve as a judge in a short story contest (which we’ll call “The Contest”).
I’ve been submitting stories to contests and publications for nearly four years. While I have had some small successes, the rejections far outnumber the acceptances. Continue reading →