Shez and I have been working very hard to sort through all the entries, get them read by panelists, and get them sorted into envelopes for mailing. We deeply appreciate all your words of encouragement and support as we tackle this project! It has been an amazing experience for us and we have learned a lot.
The most competitive category, unbelievably, was the novel excerpt. No one could have predicted this! We received dozens and dozens of novels. Stacks and mountains. We certainly had no idea there were so many excellent novelists out there in the homeschool world, typing away at their masterpieces. We are so impressed. The most difficult categories to narrow down to finalists were the novels, the short stories, and the poems, all deep in quality and chock full of entries. At times we had three different people looking at your work, trying to get it down to three finalists in each grade division, each genre. That wasn't always possible, as you'll see in the results! I can honestly tell you that just being a finalist in these categories is a real accomplishment. The competition was fierce.
Other categories were not so well represented. In some cases, all of the entries advanced. Yes, in other cases there were categories where no finalists will be sent on at all. Knowing what we know now, we will definitely be changing the line-up of categories next time.
Next time? Yes, there will be a next time, assuming our husbands allow us to engage in this madness again! We are thinking a paperless contest for novels only. We plan to divide up the categories much more by age and by genre within the novel format, and recruit more agents and editors to judge. As we're planning it now, this will take place in early spring of 2010, with a deadline of January 1, 2010.
Interested in getting started on that new novel? Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? Visit Nanowrimo to find out more, and watch this space for ways to connect with other Book Arts Bash writers, old and young!
Oh, wait! I forgot to tell you how to find out if your piece was chosen as a finalist. Visit the page on the Book Arts Bash web site for the category you entered for a full list of finalists. Any questions, please email us.
Note: If you find your entry on the finalist list, and you would like a scan or excerpt of your work posted immediately, please copy and paste your excerpt into an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send an email with an image attached. All of our packets are ready to go out to the judges now, and if we wait to scan and type in excerpts of all the finalists by hand, it will be quite a while before they go out. If you want to wait until the judging is finished to see an excerpt of your work on the site, do nothing. If you want instant gratification, act now!