Hilary Gow is the CKG Judge for YLG South East
8 fantastic stories to read, enjoy and … assess. I wonder if, like me, you find it hard to ‘judge’. It’s easy to have favourites, to warm to books that resonate for you personally and to feel cool about those that don’t. Judging the Carnegie goes beyond this. I’m sure you have all encountered the judging criteria which guide you to focus on style, plot and characterisation. There is also the over-riding requirement that the winning story should be a work of ‘outstanding literary quality’. I have been trying to work out just what this means.
Outstanding (in the sense used here) is fairly easy as – according to the online Oxford dictionary – it means ‘exceptionally good’
Literary is a little more slippery … the Oxford online dictionary defines it as ‘Concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form’
Quality can have the meaning of ‘The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something’
So – judges need to measure each of the works, taking account of how they do in terms of the style of the writing, the use of the plot and the way the characters have been revealed to us, the reader.
I’ve re-read all the books again (multiple times) now but I have little idea which one will take the winner’s prize. All of them have already shown themselves as worthy of winning by being shortlisted.
I wonder what you think?