Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And now a word from our contest judges…

We asked five of our contest judges “What do you look for in a story?” and this is what they said:

Kira Vermond
(Guelph author of Owlkids titles The Secret Life of Money, Growing up Inside and Out and the upcoming Why We Live Where We Live.) Find Kira here: http://www.vermond.ca/

"I'm always on the lookout for a story that makes me feel something -- happiness, sadness or even worry -- when I read it. I want to get to know the characters so when they take me on a journey, I'll go along to find out what's going to happen to them."

Lisa Dalrymple
(Fergus author of Skink on the Brink, Bubbly Troubly Polar Bear and If It’s No Trouble, A Polar Bear). Find Lisa here: http://lisadalrymple.com/

"So much of a good story comes down to the development of character. This may be a character I love; it may be a character I hate; it may be a character I want to read more about just because I need to know what makes him/her tick. Then I like to see how this character copes with a certain event or circumstance that occurs. I want to NEED to know what happens next to this character I’ve grown to care about. If you can do those two things in a setting that feels tangible and alive to me, then you’ll have me hooked!"

Heather Wright
(Kitchener author of Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens.) Find Heather here: http://wrightingwords.wordpress.com/my-books/writing-fiction-a-hands-on-guide-for-teens/

"What do I look for in a story? A strong opening that introduces the main character and gets the action of the story going right away. I like characters that would make good friends, which means they're not whiny, or mean, and they don't spend hours wandering around just thinking and feeling sorry for themselves. I like characters who change and grow: if they aren't strong, they learn to be; if they aren't brave, they learn to be; if they're not patient, or kind or understanding; they learn to be."

Lisa McLean
(Guelph communications professional and short-short story author.) Find Lisa here: http://www.stronglywordedletters.ca/about

"For me, a successful short story has a clear plot in which characters do something. And at the end of the doing, I want to know how they’ve been transformed. They might see something differently or hold their head higher (or lower)."

Sharon Blomfield
(Waterloo writer and photographer.) Find Sharon here: http://sharonblomfield.com/About.html

"I know it will be a good story when the first sentence promises me something interesting. When an author gets that part right, the rest of the story always delivers."

Buy all the books mentioned in this post here...

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