Like a Gemstone


As of this writing I am one of several judges for a short story contest. The project includes noting whether the authors followed protocol, assigning a score to the writing based on various factors, and providing feedback.

I am finding many of the submissions involve authors letting a story go after what appears to be a single draft. Granted, one of the challenges of this particular contest is that entrants have a tight deadline to write a story based on details (genre, theme, a specific character) provided just eight days before the due date. Nevertheless, the high scoring submissions so far are the ones that clearly have been through several careful edits.

The moral I am attempting to impart here is to submit only polished writing. Your best work will be the result of cutting, proofing, revisiting, rearranging, and, when necessary, rewriting. Whether you are submitting to a magazine, journal, or contest, do yourself and their submission editors a favor: polish your writing until it sparkles!

–Michael Fink


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