Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Stiletto Contest

Jennifer is a finalist in a writing contest...

This weekend I found out that my book, In the Moment, is a finalist in the Stiletto Contest, sponsored by the Contemporary Romance Writers (an online chapter of the RWA). I was thrilled, to say the least. It’s my favorite book and it’s only the second time I’ve ever finaled in a contest before. As a bonus, the graphic they give the finalists is pretty!

But what I found most interesting is the score sheet they returned to me for the book that didn’t final. For whatever reason, the contests I’ve entered in the past have never returned those before and I was curious to see what the judges said.

There were three of them. One was unpublished, the other two were published in romance. They were all members of RWA. They were to rate the book on a scale of 1 to 5 in a variety of different categories. They could use decimals if they wanted, and they were encouraged to leave comments.

Contests are subjective, and these comments and ratings were too. While there was some agreement in certain areas, for the most part, the three judges differed significantly in areas such as conflict, POV and voice. I respect the time they took to read my book (as well as many others), and their opinions, even though I disagree with many of them. But there were a few things they pointed out that are good for me to be aware of in the future.

All in all, it’s exciting. I’m thrilled to have even been a finalist with one book—it was a much needed boost.


  1. Congrats, Jen! It's always nice to get a bit of an 'atta girl' for your work. The finalist designation is well-deserved for sure. Good luck!

    I've found that contests and contest feedback vary greatly and are very subjective. I've learned when the comments are wide-spread and not cohesive between judges to take them with a grain of salt. However, if several judges mention the same thing, I tend to take a closer look.

  2. Congratulations, and good luck in the final round!

  3. Many congrats!
    As Deb has said, feedback (and reviews) tend to be very subjective. It;s very true that you can't please all the people all the time! So it's a case of taking on board any comments you agree with - and maybe thinking about those you disagree with!

    1. Thanks, Paula. That's been my approach so far. :)