estepheia: (Out for a walk. Bitch.)
Sheesh, I can't leave you guys alone for one minute and you start kerfuffling. ;-)
I've been busy and sick, and blah, and today it's Toyah's b-day party, but I quickly want to post my thoughts regarding the RDA thing which I just stumbled on to in [ profile] peasant_'s LJ. I posted my thoughts here, in [ profile] desoto_hia873's LJ, but decided to re-post them here as well. Personally, I think it's a shame that [ profile] ladywenham decided to leave fandom over this. I haven't seen the email exchange between her and [ profile] peasant_, but that's not what my post is about anyway. My post is about the format of awards in general. Here goes:

For two years in a row I have been a judge for the Daniil Pashkoff Prize, an award for creative writing in English for non-native speakers. I have judged poetry and prose. Winners received prizes in the range of 50-100 EUR. We ALWAYS wrote a little blurb to be read during the award ceremnoy to justify why a particular text won. The blurb might point out that the imagery drew us in, or that we were delighted by the snappy dialogue, or whatever. We always made sure that the winners and the not-winners had an idea what kind of material we considered award-worthy.
We don't publish the names of the jurors beforehand (they are usually people from university, the press, or former prize winners), but the jury certainly steps forward and is identified during the ceremony and anyone interested can contact us and enquire why his or her text did not win. We as jurors can't expect people to profit from the award (which after all is supposed to further and encourage creative writing), if there's no constructive feedback after the event. (And I can't tell you how much I hate that part of judging)

Unfortunately, in fandom there is no such transparency. Maybe you had a point system, but people will never know whether the second place was close or far behind. And the jury never steps forward to explain their decision. I believe that peasant_ had every right to ask, and that her question is by no means a deliberate insult or an expression of distrust aimed at Lady Wenham, but a wish for more transparency.

We all have to thank Lady Wenham because she got a wonderful award going. Leaving fandom because one (or more?) person wants to know how the jury arrived at their results seems a little over the top. *shrug* If you are involved in awards like that, well frankly you just shrug, roll your eyes heavenwards in exasperation, and then pass on the requested information.

I have often been nominated but I haven't won anything in years and I myself have felt the disappointment of being passed over for a story that I considered inferior. It happens. But an explanation pointing out what the jury liked in the winning text would have been a great help.

IMHO the RDA judging period should continue as planned. Also, future award organizers might consider writing a brief review of the winning story.


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