Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inside Judge's Minds- Reports from the Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize is huge in the UK.  It has competitions for poetry, short fiction, and flash fiction.  They give out a number of prizes, and list biographies of all writers that they deem as highly commended.  The Bridport Prize has the other benefit of disclosing the judges names and offering their reports after the competition.  Below are links to the reports for various categories with some selected quotes.

Poetry Report:
Judge: Gwyneth Lewis
There was huge variety of strategies, style, tone and voice in the poems I read. As ever, the No pile was usually easy to add to, as was the Yes

I asked myself: Is this a story that sheds light on the human condition, or is it interesting to the poet mainly because it happened to him or her?

I tested the Maybe pile for accuracy of observation. Call me a pedant, but I lose interest in poems that use lazy logic and slack details
Short Story and Flash Fiction Report:
Judge: Patrick Gale

I was delighted that there were so many entrants for these prizes this year – over six thousand for the short story category and nearly two and a half thousand flash fictions. Most writers write what they like to read and the breadth and depth of the entries gave the lie to the myth – surely kept alive by publishers, for whom the form rarely makes a profit – that the short story is as defunct as antimacassars

Of the entries, I set aside whatever bored or failed to surprise me and whatever I felt I had already written several times before.

Fiction at its best takes the reader into other minds in a way that will transform their own ...

I could never have predicted that their [Flash Fiction Entries] overall standard of writing, wit and originality would be higher than the short stories, but this was undoubtedly the case.

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