I've decided to judge The Yellow Room Short Story Competition (closed March 20th) in a slightly different way this time. I'm going to read the stories in a specific order. The first ones I'm going to read are those stories which I think have an arresting title. There are 22 of these out of 98 entries. Here are the titles:
Reading With Robert
Camus and The Art of Dancing With God
Chocolate Heaven, Chocolate Hell
The Only Way To Learn About Knives
The Soul Catcher
Rapture in Apple Custard
Facebook in Heaven
The Ambulance Chaser
The Scalene Triangle
Real Care Baby
The End of the Pier Show
An Aeroplane Screams Into a Dive
The Snow Leopard
Blood and Sand
It will be interesting to see how many of these stories get onto the shortlist, and whether any of them will be prize winners. Is a story's title important? I think it is. It's the first thing an editor/reader or competition judge sees. I want a title to grab my attention. These 22 did.
I'm then going to separate out the stories with a two word title and read those next. I can guess that these will be the majority of entries. Then the stories with a one word title (not including the stories listed above), and finally the rest of the pile, which don't fall into any of the categories above.
From experience, I anticipate the stories with the two word titles being some of the most mundane. I'll report back later.
Oh yes, and I got my fourth rejection from Woman's Weekly yesterday. Boo hoo! I'm in good company, though, because Della Galton had four back from them last week as well. I can hear Jane Wenham-Jones in my ear, saying, 'Smack their bottoms and send them out again!' Jane is the most persistent writer I know, which is partly why she's so successful. What do you mean you haven't bought her book, Wannabe A Writer yet?