There is less than a week until our inaugural competition closes its doors to submissions. We can’t wait to start considering, reading, look at and discussing the gems you have sent us. The more submissions we get the more complicated our job becomes. We are really hoping that come midnight on Sunday you are all going to make our job very, very hard. We are dreaming of so many incredible submissions that we have to spend hours, days and weeks trying to make nine impossible choices.
We thought you might like to know a little about how we will make those choices, a little about what will happen once submissions are closed. When we decided to run the competition Zelda and I spent a long time discussing how the judging process would work. We have curated Elbow Room over the years with just the two of us but that didn’t seem quite right for the competition. We needed a third person, a third voice in the decision making process. We needed three sets of tastes, opinions and backgrounds. We needed a way to ensure that our selections would be as diverse as possible.
We considered artists, poets and writers. But eventually we decided that with our own backgrounds and the years of working on Elbow Room Zelda and I had these areas covered. What we wanted was someone who brought something different. Lauren Fried was the obvious choice. An art and design historian she brings with her the diversity we want the competition to express, her voice offered something we didn’t already possess, something no other voice could offer. And so our judging panel was born.
On Monday next week our jobs start. We get to sit down with all your incredible work and start making choices. The first step (and perhaps the easiest one) is the act of looking at, reading and considering every piece of work that has been submitted. It is from this that we will create our shortlist.
What comes after that is complex.
This is the moment when we sit together around the computer (probably eating home baked goods) and discuss, debate and consider every entry we have shortlisted. This isn’t going to be a quick or easy thing to do, and it shouldn’t be. The care and attention we give each piece of work will reflect the time and attention given by those who created it. But eventually, we will make a selection. Nine choices. Nine winners. Nine pieces of work we all agree on. Because that is the key to our judging process. We aren’t taking a category each, we aren’t dividing the entries. We will, all of us, consider every single piece of work you send us. And we can’t wait.
So please, send us your creations. Make our job virtually impossible. We dare you.
Rosie, Zelda and Lauren