Recently I was asked to judge a writing contest that a local library was hosting. There were two categories, middle school and high school, and two forms, fiction/non-fiction and poetry. I was assigned middle school.

I’m not a poetry person, I know what I like and don’t like but not necessarily what is “good” vs. “not so good.” So I just picked the top three that appealed to me. I really enjoyed reading the longer form fiction/non-fiction. All of it was good. Some of them were really good. Some content was a little disturbing and it made me think, probably like most readers, how much was “fiction” and how much was drawn from the writer’s life.

There were three other judges in my group and, mostly, we all readily identified the winners. All in a