Brent van Staalduinen Profile picture
May 15, 2018 12 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Here's a guaranteed way for #Writing Contest Jurors to ruin an #emergingwriter's day: tweet to your followers (some of whom have to be thinking of entering the contest you're judging) that you're not a fan of certain kinds of stories, so maybe it's best if they "skip this one..."
...bc being an #emergingwriter isn't hard enough. It isn't hard enough that there already is a magical/frustrating subjectiveness and unpredictability to contests, and that entering one is an act of #faith, yet maybe your surprising story will be the one to enchant the jurors...
...nor is it a challenge to come up with the contest fee, which is usually significant, because you think your story's great and might have a shot, even though it's got #scifi or #specfic elements, because you've been inspired in the past by unexpected and genre-bending work...
...and that many jurors and #editors delight in being surprised by the unexpected, and in fact some of the coolest stories you've ever read defy convention. But regardless that contest rules so rarely exclude #literary work and often encourage work that defies categorization...
...because getting noticed and/or paid is hard nowadays and aside from the built-in awesomeness that winning brings, a contest win might just give emerging #amwriting peeps a shot at something bigger. No, forget all that, because you don't want to read certain stories...
...and would prefer that only stories that fit your comfort zones be submitted. Forget that your job (which you're probs getting paid to do) is to discover something great, and that #greatness is often carried by those who refuse to conform...
...and instead focus on narrow definitions of art, obscure and omit that which doesn't perpetuate your own art-view. Forget that the submitters are already by the goals and stated requirements of the #litjournal in question are already marginalized, and explain that you want... narrow things down even further. Forget that every writer who submits a story to a contest or journal or even to be read by a single other person is courageous and real and vulnerable, and instead advertise that you're fine with killing their #hopes and #dreams...
...because you aren't comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. Forget about how much time you usually spend decrying the oppression of other voices, and instead tell writers who might be dabbling in lesser-known areas and forms that their stories...
...don't have a fucking chance. Furthermore, demonstrate that your #bias is just something they're going to have to accept, although it seems, in fact, that every other visible thing about you obvs hates the idea that bias is something that should be accepted at all. Unless... inconveniences you, of course. That's how you ruin an #emerging writer's day. But you already knew that. Carry on, then. Sincerely, an emerging writer who's eternally grateful to those who've been open to the unexpected. /rant #amwriting #fiction #litcontest #writers
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