Adelaide Literary Magazine “Essay of the Year” Finalist

Dear  Raymond,

Today is September 30 and time to announce the results of the Adelaide Literary Award Contest 2018.

It is my pleasure to inform you that you made the long list of 44 best essays and earned title THE  FINALIST OF THE ADELAIDE LITERARY AWARD CONTEST FOR THE BEST ESSAY 2018.

When it comes to judging literary contests submissions, there are several well-developed and tested methods that help us apply numerical values to often abstract criteria for evaluation of literary excellence. By giving numerical values from 1 to 10 or more to author´s creativity, premise or idea behind the written work, presentation (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage), structure, style and tone, theme, characters & dialogue, or in the case of poetry to additional elements like poetic devices,  rhyme and/or rhythm, comprehension and coherence, word selection, and universality of the message, we arrange judged literary works in accordance to accumulated points and those with the highest number of points are winners.

These “numerical” methods are used in most of the literary competitions and are very effective when it comes to separating “the best” from the rest. The problem arises when we end up with too many works with the maximum number of points. What are the rational criteria that we can use to justify the selection of the greatest among the equal? Of course, there is always the possibility of the “Wow! – effect” caused by some original or powerful element of the particular work that would help us choose the winner.


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