I'm in a contest with 397 other people. We all submitted a picture book manuscript, and now they're being voted on. I'm number 108 right now, which isn't too terrible, all things considered. But that's not what's killing me.
The thing is, all the people who have absurdly high vote counts have really lame stories.
And I honestly don't say that because I'm jealous, or conceited, or have any sort of grand ideas about my own story. I say it out of complete objectivity. They're just... bad.
We're talking misspelled words, run-on sentences, rhymes that don't rhyme, "rhythmic books" that don't have any sort of rhythm at all, preachiness, complete lack of plot...
In short, so many thing that will always cause pain to rational, intelligent human beings. There have been several that I couldn't even finish. I even found a Your vs You're mistake! Authors just shouldn't do that. EVER.
And these people are beating me out by hundreds of votes.
Yeah, it really is more of a popularity contest than anything else. But I still retain one hope: the highest voted stories aren't the only ones that will make it to the finals round. The staff who run the contest get to choose favorites too, and I have a small amount of hope that they are actually competent in the publishing industry.
In other words, I am hoping that they won't allow the grand prize to be taken by someone who can't write worth beans. It may not be me. I hold no grand ideas about being so vastly superior to any of these people. But if it isn't me, I just really hope that the story that wins is at least good.
PS. Vote for me: