I am helping coordinate our chapter contest and began thinking about contest scores. Specifically, perfect scores. No, I'm not going to give previews about if/how many entries in my category have received them.
But in previous contests, it seems that the winning entries are those that receive the most 100's. And that makes sense, mathematically. But is it fair?
But that made me wonder how many judges actually give perfects. I don't think I ever have. I have given close--scores in the high 90%'s. I gave one high 8 in last year's Golden Heart (it was an 8.8 or an 8.6, and to my disappointment, it didn't final). Are my standards just too high? Or am I not getting the good entries?
I have gotten a few perfect scores. Ironically, I have not finalled in any contest where I got one of those, because it's usually accompanied by a couple in the 60-80 range. And I am proud to say that I got both a 9 and an 8.8 on my Golden Heart entry last year. That netted me top quarter, not finalist. Given that history, I'm not sure I trust those 100%'s.
If you judge writing contests, do you ever give perfect scores? Have you ever received one? Would you rather have a 100 or a finalist spot?