This past spring, I was a volunteer judge for the annual short story and poetry competition for the Florida Writers Association (I think volunteers are randomly selected from members; I don’t have any English/Journalism degrees and I’m not a club officer or anything; that’s the only thing that makes sense). I’m grateful for the new experience.
The prompt was “create an illusion” and winners’ works were published in a single volume. Adult and youth entries were considered separately; poetry had a maximum line restriction, prose had a word limit.
Some works were stunning; others left me thinking “What the hell did I just read?”
While reading submissions, I noticed something interesting:
- A majority of adult entries (83%) were prose
- A majority of youth entries (93%) were poetry
Basically, adults defaulted into straightforward dialogue and monologue, whereas the young communicated in verse.