How To Judge An Unlazy Poets' Contest
I am looking for people who I'm confident are committed enough not to forget about us halfway through the month, and who actually know how to write and judge at least some kinds of poems with formats. Though not required, it helps to be one of the folks. You should probably have entered at least once, or have run a poetry contest at some point. You can be known as an active WC member by just talking to us a lot, being well known on WC, or already having a contest or project running.
] with an offer to take the contest off her hands for a bit. Tell her what formatting device you're going to use. She may actually disapprove. Iambic pentameter
is a good choice for being easy to follow, but sonnet
, bearing many formatting requirements, is too complicated. Content-based formats, like senryu
could be too subjective, though if you're experienced and committed, she may not stop you from signing up for all that work.
When it's your turn, fix the contest page to suit your theme. Don't change the overall format or the rules, of course. Just change the parts in the "This month's theme" section. Oh, and be prompt about it. We want as much of a month as possible to get our entries made.
Please, actually put some work into judging whether or not entries fit the criteria, and do this well enough before the very end of the month, so you won't be rejecting things without giving people enough time to make another try (of course, if people submit an insufficient entry on the last day of the month, it's not like you're expected to give them extra time to do better).
Be nice to people who get rejected! Tell them why their piece doesn't fit, and suggest ways to improve. Use tact. Being tactful does not equal lying. Don't reject something because you don't like it, or even because it's a crappy poem. Only reject something that hardly, or doesn't, fit the criteria.
Also, tailor your strictness to the skill of the entrant. If you know somebody's previous work, and don't think that they could do better than their current entry, you may be a little bit lenient. If you see few problems in a poem written by someone whom you know to be good at the relevant aspects of poetry, you may be stricter with them.
If you have at least 5 accepted entries by the end of the month, create a wiki-poll for them, of the sort that shows who has voted for what. This way, you can disqualify people who vote for their own entry (though be sympathetic to people who accidentally hit the wrong button). To create this type of poll, put a <voting> tag on the page. That's all the nasty coding you have to do to build that kind of poll. The rest of the poll-creation is the same as it would be for your presentation. Include actual links to the entries for potential voters to read.
The next judge gets to do what they want to your poor, hoary This Month's Theme
section after it has expired.
The Unlazy Poets
The Contest Section