First things first, apologies for late announcement of results. Big, big ties in people. The jury presided at a meeting to go through all the top entries once again, but no use.
Next, heartfelt thanks to everybody for sending multiple entries to O.W.A.Q. 2.0, the creative writing contest for the unabashed and unapologetic ones. We loved you all. Reading them all written from a myriad of perspectives was an experience worth having.
It wasn’t just an experience but a journey — external one that carried us through your thought process and an internal one in our minds that evolved us for the better. And on this journey, we encountered some cliches and also, some rare gems.
This contest is all about rewarding all those gems and polishing them while helping the cliched ones identify their areas of improvement. So, here are the winners:
*!!… drum rolls …!!*
Shared jointly by 2 participants —
- Priya Narayanan (Poetry: Secret), and
- Ruwail Ali (Poetry: The Crime of Truth).
Shared jointly by 4 participants —
- Ungshungmi Rungsung (Flash Fiction: The Story of Leo),
- Vidisha Kaushik (Flash Fiction: Alive and Drunk),
- Tarannum Caur Sodhi (Poetry: The World and I), and
- Adarsh Raj (Flash Fiction: A Love No Different).
Secured by Ruwail Ali (Poetry: A Fruitless Escape)
Shared jointly by 3 participants —
- Ajay Sharma (Poetry: A Lonely Journey of Hope),
- Ungshungmi Rungsung (Poetry: The Purple Lilac), and
- Vidisha Kaushik (Poetry: Ethereal).
Happiest congratulations to all the winners! You were outstanding!
The evaluation system of each jury member was different from one another, and hence, what you see here is a reflection of how your work is perceived by different audiences.
We will soon be emailing all the participants, including the winners, reviews of their submitted work, separate email for separate submission.
As for winners’ certificates, cash prizes, eBooks and gift vouchers, we will email you this week for getting your exact details. Plus, we will be celebrating your feat by publishing your awesome work here on the online magazine.
Notes from the Jury
Taking up the task of reviewing the entries has been no less than riding a mad bull, not just in the amount of time spent but also in the emotion it sucked out of us.
Some entries were surreal breaking our hearts into pieces. Some were equally gruesome, in the way that they were structured and went haywire with the themes. But, all through these good and not so good entries, we saw a common thing, the passion to write and to express!
We are glad to read all of you. We could feel you, your pain, joy, tragedy, and even your desperation. We are sad that we had to let go of some really good ones because they didn’t adhere to the rules of that category.
However, we will be giving them proper space and attention in our print magazine for they truly deserve to be told and read.
We’d like to leave you with some tips:
- If you feel it, write it. Don’t waste your time in conjuring up a piece that does not come straight from your heart.
- Give more emphasis on the concept or style of writing. Try to say as much as possible in as little words as possible.
- Repetition of words and expressions is nothing but laziness. Steer clear of cliches and redundancies.
- Do not ever forget to package it well. Pay attention to formatting such as spacing between words and paragraphs. Before sending it out, do a thorough check of your grammar, punctuation, and spellings.
- You might be using a pen and paper, but the use of a little technology doesn’t harm. Try running your piece under online and offline tools, such as MS Word spell and grammar check, Grammarly, Hemingwayapp, Pro Writing Aid, etc.
Three thumb rules to write better
- Show, don’t tell – Describe what you are trying to tell. Leave the part of putting up the parts of imagery on the reader. Don’t tell him how to feel. Write in a way that makes him feel that emotion and not read it.
- Write, then justify – Every word, every sentence in your content piece must have earned its place. Remove a word/sentence and then see if the rest of the content still makes the same sense. If it does, you do not need that word/sentence.
- Thesaurus is your life partner – Repetition (of words or expressions) looks nice only when you’re trying to emphasize something that cannot be done in any other way. Rest of the times, it’s annoying like a bell ringing continuously in your head.
Read more about improving your writing skills here in this article: For A Writing That is Unique and Spellbinding
Before we part,