You might think that only the contestants in a writing contest learn things, but as a first year category coordinator for the ACFW Genesis Contest, I learned a lot this year.
So today's Friday Five is:
Five things I learned in the 2009 Genesis Contest.
1. Spreadsheets make the contest go round. I have four I manage for one category. Entrants, judges numbers, judges' assignments, final round.
2. Camy Tang is the queen of the spreadsheets. She not only managed her own categories, but also oversaw the other seven categories and associated spreadsheets.
3. There are a lot of steps that go into getting an entry through the judging process and returned to the entrant. Lots of confirmation emails, information passing back and forth, privacy settings to check so everything remains anonymous, double-checking judges' scores (face it, we're authors, not mathematicians, so double-checking is a good idea.) I would guess that for my one category alone I've sent over 500 emails and received nearly that many in return.
4. All Electronic contests are the best! I cannot imagine the headache that paper contests must've been. Judging alone would take forever! Forget all the mailing back and forth.
5. Because more than 90% of the Genesis entrants do not final, the first round is all the feedback they are going to get. For the $35 invested, all the coordinators endeavor to ensure that the contestants are getting bang for their buck, so we read skimmed the judges's comments to make sure they had given adequate feedback. We had so many amazing judges, and I learned a lot just from reading their comments. They went above and beyond the call of duty, offering pages of ideas and advice, encouragement and praise to the entries.
A big thank you to the more than 30 judges who judged in the Women's Fiction category. You were all terrific to work with.