I received this year's Noble County 4-H Creative Writing Projects the other day, so I'll be busy with the judging for several days.
I kind of hate that word, judging. Who am I to judge? I should forward all of these to George R.R. Martin or J.K. Rowling, they could judge ... but they're probably busy buying countries, or something.
When people start referring to me as M.R. Hunter, maybe I'll be too busy too. Until then, it's only right to help along aspiring authors. I was one, once ... and in many ways I'm still aspiring, along with inspiring and perspiring. So I'll do my best to do right by them.
Still, it's hard to be objective, especially when you can still remember how flimsy your own self-esteem was back then, and by you I mean me. Also, there are three categories, and it's important not to judge one by the standards of another. It would be like judging a college essay, then using the same standard to judge a third grader's "what I did last summer" paper.
Every 4-H entry I've read showed potential for great works to come. I hope I'll see all their names on a bookshelf, someday.