Ink & Insights blog series: “Why are my scores so different?” — Aaron’s thoughts

Ink & Insights Judge's Blog


This is my third year as a judge for Ink and Insights, but no matter how many dozens of stories I evaluate, I come to the scoresheet every time with a certain amount of anxiety about how to best deliver advice and justify my scores.

What has been most helpful to me is thinking about judging in the same way that I do grading English literature essays. The goals of the two activities are more-or-less the same in that I’m trying to explain to students/writers how to refine their ideas and deliver them with more accuracy and effect. In this light, I score manuscripts according to percent ranges that to me mean certain things. I consider an essay or story above 80% (200 in the case of this year’s contest) to be a standout work, and 90% (225) or higher to be just about ready for publication, assuming I were…

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