It’s been a long wait (the judges do have a hell of a lot of stories to read!), but we finally have the results of Round 1 of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge! Just to remind everyone how it works: there are something like 1440 participants, divided into groups of approximately 30. For the first round each group was given a genre, a setting, and an object, all of which must be included in a story that is no more than 1000 words.
The way the scoring works is this: out of the 30 people in each group, only the best 15 stories get points. Of those fifteen, they are ranked by the best getting the most points, all the way down to the least. So the best of those top fifteen gets 15 points, and the least impressive of those top fifteen gets 1 point. Then we move on to the second part of Round 1 (with the same group) and the judges do the same thing for our second stories (with different genres, settings, and objects). At the end of the two challenges, the top five scorers in each group move on to Round 2, where they get put into new groups and the whole thing starts over again. After four rounds the top 6 scorers win the prizes.
So that’s all well and great but what you want to know is how I personally did in the ranking for the first part of Round 1, right? Well, I got points! That’s a huge thing right off the bat because it means that out of 30 people, the judges thought my story exceeded at least 15 of them. But it’s even better than that! I finished off the round with 10 points! That means that the judges ranked my story better than 24 out of the 30 stories! Only five stories ranked higher than mine!
This is all quite, quite exciting to me, especially given that this is my first real writing contest (aside from the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book contest, which I won’t hear about for another couple of months). Even if I don’t get enough points in the second challenge in order to move on to Round 2, it’s awesome to know that I managed to write a 1000 word story (with the necessary details) in less than three days (remember, I was working out West at the time, so I only had about an hour per night to work on it) and that a panel of judges ranked that story #6 out of a group of 30.
It might not seem like a large group to get worked up over – after all, it’s not like I was ranked #6 out of the entire 1440 participants – but it’s pretty awesome to me, especially considering that I read some of the other stories in my group and some of them were pretty amazing! So, in a way, it feels a bit like validation…like complete strangers telling me, “Yup! You’re a good writer! Congrats!”
Honestly, seeing the results this morning was really just what I needed. I was determined to have fun with the challenge even if none of my stories ranked at all, but checking the list this morning and seeing that I not only got points, but a lot of points was a huge boost to my writer’s confidence, which is something I’ve been needing for quite a while. So, thank you so much, NYC Midnight judges! You’ve absolutely made my day! ^_^<3
Part 2 of Round 1 starts at midnight tonight, at which time our groups will be sent their new genre, setting, and object assignments. We have three days to submit our stories (no later than midnight EST on September 20) and then it’s another wait to see how the judges will rank everyone. I can’t wait to try my hand at the second challenge, and even if I don’t rank on this one, I’ll always know that I was good enough to rank on the first one!
I’ll be sure to update you guys on the next assignment and to share the story once it’s been submitted! Cheers, and have an awesome day! 😀