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Emerald feedback

19. December 2006

I just got my entries back from the RWA Emerald competition. Four judges per entry, which felt like a lot.
And sheesh, talk about variety!

For comparison, my ST entry (my much-beloved YA) scored 23, 23, 20, 35 (of 35)
Category entry #1 scored 18, 11, 36, 40 (out of 40, min of 7)
And category #2 scored 27, 25, 33, 37(out of 40)

Comments for the YA ranged from the judge being drawn in and liking the ‘tough guy heroine’ to ‘there is no romance’. One judge loved the opening sentence heaps. One judge said (keep in mind that it says ‘YA’ (young adult) in the ‘type/market’ section): “I feel this book is written for a teenage reader in what I have read so far although it may change further in the book.”
See, I’m not sure whether this judge doesn’t trust my ability to keep it in the teen market or whether they didn’t know it was supposed to be like this.
I loved the comments of the judge who gave me a perfect score (yes, I’m vain, but also the comments were exactly what I hoped the readers would get from it).
All in all, the comments were consistent, and I got a lot out of them, mainly that the book is absolutely on the right track and that people will both get it and like it. Yay!

Let’s look at Category #1, the beach book that’s still with Harlequin in partial at the moment.
On the heroine, I got the following comments: “I found her prejudices regarding people’s reactions to her heritage offputting, and that hang-up overshadowed what other qualities she may have had.” “She was very strong-minded.” “She had the world at her feet and it all came crashing down.” “I liked her at first but she became a bit ‘dizzy’ which didn’t sit well with her professional character” (this was the most useful comment to me out of the lot) to “I enjoyed her. She was authentic and original.”
On chemistry, comments ranged from “I liked that the author writes from both POVs. it makes the electricity so much more realistic.” to “No chemistry to speak of.” Interestingly, two judges scored chemistry at a 5/5, the others gave a 1 and a 2.

And finally the (by now rejected) category #2, my chef book. Some judges liked the different profession, one judge told me cooking shows aren’t sexy. Two judges got the Iron Chef reference, which pleased me immensely.
One judge liked my heroine’s ‘girl next door’ personality, another loathed her negativity. there were a lot of comments on the secondary characters being more sexy than the two mains. I’ll definitely have another look at that aspect!
Overall, the comments were fairly consistent, even if the reactions were not.

Category #1 was an interesting case. So much variety! It seems you either loved or hated it. There was very little consistency. Cata 2 needs some work, and the YA is solid and just needs to be polished to evoke a more consistently passionate response.

I’m very pleased with the comments this year. They were useful to me. And most judges actually wrote something for each segment of the score sheet, which I am very grateful for.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Algebra Angel permalink
    20. December 2006 1:14 pm


    I am the author of the dance story, Crapometer #152. Thank you for the lovely comment! I would love to have you give my book a read someday, but it isn’t finished yet. This was a story I was about to give up on, until I got such positive feedback on the Crapometer. Thank you!

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