Contest Entry Dismissed Based Solely on Topic

Being a writer has its frustrations.

I’m the contest coordinator for a regional writing organization. Today, I was talking with one of the judges.

“One of the stories was about the pandemic, and I’m read enough of that with my blog challenge.”


When a writer enters a contest, we know the judging is subjective. You can’t clock the speed of a story or see how high it jumps before knocking down the pole.

I always want to hope that judges will award prizes based on the actual merits of a story: Is the writing good? Does the dialogue ring true? Are the characters interesting? Is the piece mostly error-free? Those are the questions I hope are in the judge’s mind.

But for whoever dared to wrote a pandemic piece, the judge summarily dismissed it based solely on the topic. Considerations of writing quality never even entered the room.

I feel sad and frustrated\ for that entrant who wasn’t given a fair chance.


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100p_ronda-del-boccio_head-shot-dec-2015Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She has been mostly blind since birth, but she never lets that stop her from doing what she wants to do. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda’s books on Amazon at

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