Thanks for all the detailed responses. I want to clarify that I personally have no complaint with how the judging is done. I’ve never made a submission for the contests. I was merely trying to help by making some suggestions in response to the many threads I typically see after the stories are posted for voting.
Personally, I would expect it to be a given to have my grammar and spelling as honed as possible before ever submitting a story. But I have noticed that there have been posted complaints about some entries NOT meeting that criteria, so I was trying to get official response from the judges as to whether it is or isn’t a deal-breaker for making the cut. And Jessica addressed it:
“James is right that we do tend to be forgiving of spelling and grammar in favor of story and style, though of course the quality of the writing does factor in to the judging decisions. But I have to say the emphasis is usually on, as stated in the rules, inventiveness and creativity.”
Also, I find the details and fun-factoids about the entries fascinating and would second any suggestion to have them posted in conjunction with the entries. While my suggestion of having judges’ thoughts posted after the voting as to what grabbed them in selecting the finalists wasn’t explicitly addressed, I think that any comments and feedback would be helpful and very entertaining to read.
Thank you again for all the response and input!