So I have some thoughts to share.
Writing is not math or science
There's no perfect answer, and every reader feels differently about what's on the page. That's why I read reviews for my books that say they suck, yet receive e-mails from readers saying they loved them and had a life-changing experience. It's why my husband and I can read the same Jodi Picoult book and have completely different reactions. (We're eye-to-eye on Pride and Prejudice though, and that's what really counts.)
Not winning doesn't mean you lost
Which kinda sounds like a slogan on some motivational poster, but I think it's valid. Everybody is receiving feedback from the judges as soon as I pull it all together today. That's worth something. Maybe you didn't place, but you'll learn something.
Good for you for even entering
Because it's scary to have someone read your work. Even for those of us who do this for a career. I'm proud of everyone who entered, and when you receive your feedback, you'll find the judges were honest but encouraging.
Off to get e-mails ready. Have a wonderful Tuesday, guys. Be back here tomorrow to talk about creating a main character.