Just a quick post to update those of you who entered Irreantum’s fiction contest this year, the semi-finalists have been selected! Although the number of entries was
down a bit from years past, they were particularly strong. As always, the entries are judged blindly. This year I joined Angela Hallstrom, former co-editor and current Contest Coordinator, in reading all the fiction entries. Together, we pared the pool down to 15 stories. That number is a testament to the quality of the entries because we aimed to have 10, but no more than 12, stories move into the semi-finalist round and face the entire judging committee. Yet, Angela and I simply could not reduce the pile to that number. Bravo all you writers who entered! I’m thrilled to see the talent we have swimming around our little pond.
The 15 semi-finalists have already been sent to the judging committee. This year’s fiction committee is comprised of writers, editors, and professors, and has a good gender and genre-experience balance. The committee has a month to read the 15 stories and submit scores to Angela, who will then tally the scores to identify the highest ranking stories. A few days after she notifies the judges of those stories, the majority of the judges meet in a secret location with lots of chips and dip, brownies, and green Jell-O to hash out which receives cash awards or honorable mentions. After decisions are made, the committee learns the names of the winners. Sprite tabs are popped and everyone goes home happy.
Publication is never guaranteed, but traditionally the top three and the honorable mentions wind up being published. Ultimately, publication decisions are made by the co-editor responsible for his/her issue. Currently, both of Irreantum’s co-editors are professors at BYU-Idaho, namely Jack Harrell and Josh Allen. That said, I’m optimistic that publication offers will go to stories that do not make the next cut. There is so much diversity in plot, style, and voice that I suspect the powers-that-be will want that well represented in the pages of Irreantum. At least, that’s how this fiction editor feels about it.
Good luck all!
Coming Soon: Discussion for Writers: Show v Tell on the Molecular Level. Check back!