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ON JUDGING WINNING POEMS - nette onclaud's Blog

About nette onclaud
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BIO SKETCHES:

Location: north node of pisces in past lives

Characteristics: moon-angel, summer gypsy

Philosophy: in life and love, don’t settle for less than 100%

Greatest sin: can do nothing for a day and stay in the “ now”

Education: a student of life on earth and outbound

Style: blend of classic and eclectic

Strengths and weaknesses: shadows chasing light; light chasing shadows

Luxuries:  inner spirit dancer, theater actress, educator, painter, poet, interior designer

Addictions: diet coke, rare collections, travels around the world

Unforgettable scene: pathways of Prague in Czechoslovakia around dusk

Claim to fame: the world's worst typist


ON JUDGING WINNING POEMS


Blog Posted:4/7/2014 3:33:00 PM

all sponsors have their  unique way of judging winners for a contest.. some specifically define what they need from entrants when a challenge opens.. others simply let us loose with 1 or 2 rules.. a few provide not a clue except the theme.. these are all acceptable since the sponsor has his own style of running a contest…personally, I would set my criteria for judging, like creativity of substance, flow , emotional appeal…

for my ‘take two’ contest,  i included basic parameters for judging entries with rules... though i wanted to give more slots, poets missed the requirements ( adding name,  title of contest, others)… more so, a lot entered wonderful pieces that were not in sync with the dynamics of a poetic form, e.g., an ottava rima or dizain’s pattern was not followed… still, I’d like to say, I received superb works!.. i grade each poem based on my guidelines and assign percentages for winning entries …

the final outcome is finalized after two or three readings… tough but fun!... oh, I also take into consideration if English is the second language of a participant.. most of all, the poem must slay me, move me, even assault my senses!

how do you judge your contests, dear soupers?.. we would love to learn from you!..

as for entrants, what instructions would help you understand better the principles of a contest?…

 share!.. huggs!


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Date: 4/21/2014 5:33:00 AM
Hey Nette... How is it going, love your few but broad rules... gives some latitude to the poets. Agape, Moses
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Date: 4/12/2014 1:13:00 PM
Sori, balik nga ako, lutang naman utak ko? Haha. But yes, thanks for sharing with us what goes into your judging process-- it would definitely differ from judge to judge :) Palaspas na mamaya....
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Date: 4/9/2014 12:50:00 AM
Hi Nette, normally I have a bunch of rules for a particular contest. I don't care about the form (I don't care if you have a certain form down to the last period mark - if your poem doesn't resonate and doesn't follow rules it doesn't place). I like judging blind but I don't penalize people for including their names. However, I believe the work you put up for your contest is the complete work so one should be penalized for not following instructions instead of being allowed to make amends.
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onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/9/2014 9:00:00 AM
thank you for your your incisive reflections.. i'll keep that in mind, vicky and contemplate on it!.. huggs
Date: 4/8/2014 8:33:00 PM
Thank you for my placement Nette. Coming from you I consider it to be an honor...
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onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/9/2014 9:00:00 AM
well-deserved, tim... huggs
Date: 4/8/2014 2:23:00 PM
I will try to come back here nette, just dropping by to say, ang init!!!
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onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 3:07:00 PM
nikks!.. glad to see you here.. ang eenit!.. hope you can relax this araw ng kagitingan holiday!.. huggs
Date: 4/8/2014 9:41:00 AM
Oh wait, I think my question could have come-off wrongly. Nette, of course the 10-word concept can be original for you. No one can simply take ownership of a 10-word concept. I was simply curious. That's why I asked .... and by possibly asking in the wrong way, I can come-off rudely :P -- The man goes by an online pen-name because he is a highschool teacher: spysgrandson.
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Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 4/8/2014 11:36:00 AM
Ok, nette, cool. I just wanted to make sure because there appears to be a lot of sensitivity on the site(especially lately), and I am getting into hot water here and there, when my intentions weren't even to do so. I know when I am purposefully trying to incite(lol). There's a difference.
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 4/8/2014 11:32:00 AM
Cyndi, I think the original intent of a blueprint is in the man's head? Seems like an anything goes sort of thing for the crazy kids who took to the fad(I think a lot of the people used it as a way to post something .... post anything for the sake of posting, because they are addicted to posting Ha ha! I think this wasn't the original idea. I believe nette's intention of wanting to see just how far one can go, how much impact can be made with only 10 words, is more along the lines of the original intent(the very first ones I saw years ago were almost like one-line pseudo-haiku, and these branched-out into all sorts of edgy creativity, including "just hanging there", with strong effect).
onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 10:13:00 AM
nohh, i'm okay with that, chris.. i want to see what we can do with 10 words.. this is a cliffhanger for me.. come, join!
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 10:06:00 AM
Chris, I tried to fine some kind of definition to a 10w... I found poems but no blueprints. Is it just to pen a poem in 10 words? Arrange them, however? Is it meant to evoke a certain response? Is it like micro-fiction, does it need to be complete or can it hang there? Inquiring minds... lol... is there an off switch to curiosity? ;)
Date: 4/8/2014 8:31:00 AM
Good you posted something on this matter, Nette. I'd like to mention how thankful I am to Roy Jerden who gave me a high place in his Japanese-theme contest though I forgot on or two words that made the line seem incomplete. I must have been too excited or was struck by ADHD that time, hah!Later, he commented that I fill this out , which i did. Mr. Roy was not specific about the mood he wanted; in his next acrostic contest he defined his terms -- to go with the feel of the song" In My Life." I like that!
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nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 10:17:00 AM
awhh, that is so encouraging on the part of roy, manny... thanks for your valuable input..calling roy jerden!
Date: 4/8/2014 8:09:00 AM
CYN: very substantive insights.. it's true that a poem has to hit us in a heart-not-head way, along with some refined elements of good poetry.. i used to be a stickler for grammar though i have softened my views on this in lieu of poetry that moves me ...besides,. i have learned that most soupers use English as their second language.. between a flat,well- structured piece and one that may have a slight grammatical flaw but has a good flow and emotional layering, i would score the latter much, much higher...
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 12:19:00 PM
I actually read a post on blogs with someone complaining that I had placed poets who didn't write for the contest YET YET YET they agreed the poem was fantastic and deserved to be read. BAH! LOL! I am the odd man out, I'm okay with that :D
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 12:16:00 PM
It has to be ART for me to place a poem that has nothing to do with the contest because I know I will be drawn and quartered by the other judges (see it's here fault! She encourages the riff raff) so... I give a HM and -even then- I can barely look in the mirror.
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 12:14:00 PM
Ah. Well, if I were to be honest... I have given an HM to poems that deserved full attention, but had NOTHING to do with my contest.. like, for example, a free verse about war on a sonnet contest about candles (no not really, but close)
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 12:14:00 PM
(cont) I saw the PERFECTION of the poem, couldn't shake it off. So I needed to give it something. AWK. Give it first place and have 34 other soupers shoot arrows into my back!
onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 10:07:00 AM
wow, that's pretty cool om the part of CV2, sis.. but on soup, you don't get a point for an HM...mmm.. i wish can do that here, at least give a .5 score for HMs?...
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 9:55:00 AM
And one last one, cause you know me, hon, I never shut up... lol... hon'orable men'tion n. a citation conferred on a contestant, exhibit, etc., having exceptional merit though not winning a top honor.
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 9:53:00 AM
http://www.contemporaryverse2.ca/en/contests/2-day-poem-contest check it out. I was wrong. LOL.. HM's will get paid publication! Now, if you received THIS kind of HM, would you feel it an afterthought? Thousands of entries, only three HMs... I can almost see you smile and hear your laugh!
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 9:50:00 AM
I've just signed up for a contest in a highbrow magazine here in Canada, CV2. Only 3 will get paid. Another 3 will get an HM. If I were to get an HM, I'd probably have a coronary, my heart would explode with joy. All perspective, Soul Sis.
onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 8:10:00 AM
part 2: yeowww, i'm allergic to HMs; i find this to be an afterthought ( no offense, hon).. i never gave anyone an HM.. instead, i created a special citation for those who did not place but were almost there!... yup, this is long... more later, soul sis.. huggs!
Date: 4/8/2014 12:07:00 AM
P.S. -- I read a piece not long ago on the new poems list, and because I was curious, I checked the contest page. Nette, are you familiar with the mini, pseudo-form called: "10W"? I know the man who coined it. He did so in order to help him ground his writing by practicing with succinctness(instead of the usual forms such as haiku, etc).
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nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 10:21:00 AM
CYN: yup-yup; that's my baby.. it just sprung up and i got all shook up.. what can we say in 10 words, poetically?.. seriously, i tried this myself...whenth contest is done, i'll tell you who were my inspiration.. wanna guess? soupie me!
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 10:07:00 AM
Is your next contest 10 words, Nette? Will go check.
onclaud Avatar
nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 8:13:00 AM
dear me, chris.. i thought what i did was original, shame on me.. who is ths guy?.. but my purpose is different for the 10 words.. :)
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 7:24:00 AM
I'll have to peek. 10W=10Words? Holy cow. I say or think 100 words per minute... 10??? I should try it (I think I'm upto 50 words even in this reply :0! Ha!
Date: 4/8/2014 12:03:00 AM
The answer is too long for me to add here because I will sometimes evaluate a bit differently according to wot type of contest(if asking for a specific device/form, compared to an "Anything Goes" style contest) I am sponsoring. Hmmmm, if asking for a specific form, I am many times tempted to choose a poem that deviated a bit but grabbed me, compared to a poem that followed all the rules of the form, but is as dry as two day-old toast(it gets so tough to judge under such circumstances sometimes it can drive me more nuts than I already am).
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nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 8:17:00 AM
i agree that we need to change our criteria based on the contest's thematic approach.. your tanka challenge was well threshed out.. that was a killer migraine, lol!.. huggs
Date: 4/7/2014 7:57:00 PM
For me, I try to balance the richness of a poem, its bone structure, flow, tone and imagery WITH how the poet interpreted the theme and if she/he showed me something new, fresh and original. It is hard to weigh these completely different aspects of a contest-- Poet A writes a stunning rondeau, for example, but Poet B nailed the subject and crafted something memorable, truth in lines, style that stunned. Because spelling/grammar does not usually sway my judging, I'd say that ESL does not come into play with my judging-- there are people born in countries where English IS their first language who write it with less finesse than those who have only been speaking it for a few years, my opinion. I like devices, and those that use them place higher in my contests, but I need to feel an emotional connection to the poem. If a poet has used every device and is flawless in syntax and form, but does not move me in some way, I will place it, but not as high as someone who, as you say Nette, has surprised me with their lines. I'll admit it, I like it when a poem comes full circle or twists unusually. I place all who have tried to meet the challenge in some way. I have given HM's to those who did not seem to write a poem for my contest, but who wrote a good poem all the same. I rarely give rules. I give guidelines. Recently, I had rules and guess what? I failed to place an artist who had entered a contest inspired by her OWN PAINTING. Cause she didn't follow the rules! Ridiculous! It taught me to always follow my instincts and judge SOLELY ON THE BEAUTY OF THE POEM! A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME.. lol.. And I no longer concern myself with how other judges run their contests. I will run them my way, free wheeling and focused on the power of words and strength of each line. xoxoxox Cyndi
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Date: 4/7/2014 7:31:00 PM
The fewer rules the better the results usually the topic alone is enough, I hate it when a judge takes away my ability to title my own work! A title is a VERY important thing to a poem and used to its fullest can give information to the reader that will enrich their enjoyment of the verse.
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nette onclaud
Date: 4/8/2014 9:50:00 AM
i get you, debbie.. somehow,the only downside is that new members may not understand the topic alone is enough... they need ( clues?).. i do at times.. and yes, i like the power of titles; they are the headlines of poems.. huggs
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 4/8/2014 7:29:00 AM
I do like one aspect... when a judge asks this, other poets can read all the entries to the contest... I find it inspiring and interesting... still, all I need to do is wait for the contest to be judged and get the same thing. An idea for judges is to have the "WORKING TITLE" set and then the final title can be changed once the contest is judged
Date: 4/7/2014 7:04:00 PM
Yikes! I might have been one of the rule breakers (it's happened before and I really can't use the newbie label anymore). The contest are all in fun and for me it gives me a target to aim at so I love them and grateful to the sponsor cause it's tough!! If I break the rules I shouldn't place and I won't let that bother me. When I don't place and thought I would, and I followed all the rules it hurts every time. But then I read what did win and it motivates me to go back to the craft, work and learn. As far how I judge.. For me I want to still be moving when the ride ends. I want to get lost in it intellectually and emotionally. I Love Clever! And finding hidden gems is over the moon!!!
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nette onclaud
Date: 4/13/2014 8:59:00 AM
quite a normal reaction when we don't place, dave... sometimes, i forget the rules too!.. yayy, that's how the cookie crumbles!.. :)

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6/23/2017 FAITH IN TOMORROW Pantoumencouraging,future,
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6/17/2017 LOVE THROUGH MIDDLE- AGE Pantoumage,love,
6/15/2017 CHURCH BELLS Verseintrospection,prayer,
6/13/2017 BRIGHT AS AN ANGEL Monokuchange,joy,
6/12/2017 HER LUSH GARDEN Ottava rimagarden,grandmother,
6/11/2017 AWAITING QUIET HOUR Quintain (English)night,peace,
6/10/2017 red orchids blaze Haikuautumn,flower,
6/5/2017 FINAL AMEN Rhymeconfusion,how i feel,ment
6/4/2017 I SHOULD NOT HAVE LOOKED Light Poetryinsect,longing,
6/1/2017 CATHARSIS Dramatic Versechange,growth,
5/31/2017 WANDERLUST IN SEPTEMBER Free verseautumn,freedom,passion,
5/30/2017 WHILE YOU REST Versegrief,loss,
5/29/2017 ORPHAN Cinquainabsence,angst,child,
5/28/2017 PICTURE FROM SUMMER Personificationimage,summer,
5/23/2017 CATCHING SIGHT OF OUR BAY Verseimagination,memory,relati
5/18/2017 NIGHTFALL'S GRANDEUR Rhymeimagery,night,
5/17/2017 SHAPE OF AN HOURGLASS Versebeauty,image,
5/16/2017 TWILIGHT YEARS Blank verseold,time,
5/13/2017 WARM BEGINNINGS Light Poetryfuture,how i feel,togethe
5/11/2017 CRIME OF LOVE Lanternebetrayal,sin,
5/9/2017 OBLIVIOUS TO CHILLS Ottava rimaautumn,beautiful,
5/8/2017 PRAISING KALI--MYTHOLOGY Pantoumgod,life,mythology,
5/7/2017 BUBBLY SHOWER IN MAY Versemay,rain,
5/6/2017 MORNING RAIN Dodoitsumirror,
5/2/2017 CITY OF MY YOUTH Quatraincity,nostalgia,
4/29/2017 MAY'S DAFFODILS Monorhymebeauty,flower,
4/28/2017 LIMERICK CONTEST Limerickage,old,
4/28/2017 NAMELESS AM I Nonetabsence,name,
4/25/2017 A WINTER DAME VANQUISHED Sonnetfate,winter,
4/24/2017 WAIT, AND THEN Light Poetryremember,
4/21/2017 MOTH Versebutterfly,fire,
4/18/2017 MEN OF FISHES Versefish,men,sea,
4/17/2017 MID-MARCH GLADNESS Light Poetryappreciation,march,spring
4/17/2017 AURORA AT DAWN Rhymebeauty,inspirational,morn
4/17/2017 YOUR FAVORITE SONG--MOONLIGHT SERENADE Coupletlove,meaningful,moon,
4/13/2017 LONG AWAITED MOMENT Monorhymefate,time,
4/13/2017 white lilies Senryucelebration,easter,
4/6/2017 MEMOIRS ON KEEPSAKE Kimogiving,memory,nostalgia,
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3/29/2017 DOOR TO IMAGINATION Light Poetryadventure,space,uplifting
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