This week we’re going to break with (recent) tradition a little bit and talk about scoring.
While we won’t reveal everyone’s scores, I would like to highlight just how close the average NiTH contest is.
For those that haven’t been privy to the scoring process before, we use 5 judges chosen from former contestants, friends or folks new to the award. We think mixing it up like that ensures that it’s a pretty fair process. Recently we’ve also introduced Senior Judges, folks who have shown a keen eye for what makes a good story as well as an enthusiasm to comment on stories week in week out. Senior Judges invariably judge on every weekly award unless they chose to enter as an author or disqualify themselves for some other reason.
Currently there are two Senior Judges on board at NiTH, which means there’s an element of professionalism to combine with the randomness of selection.
Now in order to talk a bit more about the contest and scoring, we need to make the winner announcement…
Drum roll please…
Over the past few months this author has developed into one of our favourite writers, and it’s easy to use why. She writes with a passion that is honest and heartfelt and with a sense of authenticity that is all the more desirable in a copy and paste world.
Let’s congratulate the unassailable Cam Dang for her brutally honest depiction of life on the fringes of society, RIP. If you haven’t read it. I strongly suggest you do.
So, back to the scoring…
Cam finished up on 42.8 points, a clear winner and tbh if you score anywhere close to mid 40s on a given week you’re probably going to cinch top spot. But here’s where it gets interesting.
Between 40.5 and 39.4 there are stories. In no particular order:
Black Seaweed | Lydia Trethewey
Drone 1293 | C R Gardner
An Act Of Rebellion | Tobias Madden
The Day I Beat The System | Nick Lachmund.
That’s four stories, or roughly half the shortlist, separated by 1.1 points. It’s also not an outlier. Frequently, we see winners by less than half a point, or stories grouped together in similar fashion.
So if you’re contributing to the short list on a regular basis, or just interested in how the whole thing works, I hope you find the above enlightening.
Also, it was nice this week to welcome John Falconer to the short list. Congrats on your debut effort. Also good to see Deb Stanbridge back on the shortlist as well as Georgia Willis & Chinthaka Nanayakkara all with some great stories. Judges feedback will be out to all authors in the next 24 hours.
Up next. The super short list for Quasimodo’s Quasi Oboe Award.