05 April 2013

the our lost jungle chapbook challenge: results

There is a quote from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that says:
“[Once] in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you. And once in a while, people may even take your breath away.”
The Our Lost Jungle CB Challenge: Results
When it came to judging the February Chapbook Challenge, I felt like I found myself in a world of blue moons.

Before I get to the winner, I want to say thank you to all those who submitted a manuscript for the challenge. I was blown away. Figuratively, I was blown away. But also, literally, I was blown away. There was not a single submission that fell short; not one that disappointed. And to give you a sense of how true that is, let me share how the scoring worked, and how the scores broke down:


Each chapbook submission was judged on five categories, which were as follows:

Sentimentality: the work avoided over-sentimentality and cliché while still remaining emotionally and artistically captivating (10 points)

Cohesiveness: the work, as a whole, represented a cohesive body with clear connections thematically, linguistically, and/or artistically, while still avoiding repetitiveness (10 points)

Language Use: the work represented a creative use of “language,” whether in words or images, which included an element of “story,” surprise, and sophistication (10 points)

Imagery: the work presented a clear “picture” of the author’s narrative threads and themes, with clear artistry represented within that presentation (10 points)

Aesthetics: the work showed clear signs of a critical examination of the author’s art, with clear lines to “traditional” reflections on art, culture, nature, human interactions, etc. (10 points)


If you follow me at all on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen some early morning posts on either site regarding the reading and judging of the chapbook submissions. The fact is that since the challenge ended at the end of February, I have had to take my time reading your chapbook submissions, because I have never been so strongly impacted by reading material … ever. Last night, when I did the final read through and tabulation of scores, I ran the gamut of emotions. And I kid you not when I say it was one of the most emotionally draining experiences I’ve ever felt, in the best way possible. I laughed. I cried. I endured palpitations, light-headedness, stomach churning, sob headaches, and more. At one point, while reading through the winning chapbook submission, I literally (I kid you not) had to lie down. So, if nothing else, please, all of you, take from this challenge this simple fact: You are earth-shattering, ground-shaking, heart-stopping artists. And I applaud you all.


In the end, there can be only one Grand Prize winner, and I think I’ve put off announcing her long enough. With a high score of 47 out of 50 points, the winner of the Our Lost Jungle Chapbook Challenge is Barbara Yates Young, for her submission titled Storyteller. Barbara’s chapbook literally moved me beyond words, and utterly inflamed my writer jealousy. Her use of language, imagery, surprise, sound, and more was staggering, and what really amazed me was how effortless it seemed. There is so much to take in within her submission, and I truly hope the world gets to see much, much more of it in the future than the short selection I was privileged to read! Congratulations, Barbara!


To all who submitted, again, congratulations … and huge thanks. To those who participated, thank you; your feedback, insights, and willingness to join in were an utter delight. To those who began and could not finish, press on! Whether you finished in February or don’t finish ‘til December, you’ve started something many never will, and that in itself is something to be proud of! Watch for certificates of completion and participation in the coming weeks.

Thank you, and thank you, and thank you again, for participating, and as always:

Happy Writing!


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It's not too late to take on the Our Lost Jungle Chapbook "CB" Challenge! Check out these links to join in!


  1. Yay! Congrats to Barbara, and good luck marketing it. (I assume Khara will do a blog post about it when it accepted somewhere and available for purchase).

  2. Congratulations, Barbara! Sounds wonderful. Hope it gets published soon, so I can buy it! ;)

  3. Barb, a huge congrats! When I saw the post last night to announce the winner today, believe it or not, I thought is was going to be you. I am so happy for you.


  4. Congrats, Barbara Yates Young -- yay you! And congrats to everyone else who submitted a chapbook, too! Way to go! :-)

  5. I tried to comment the other night, but it kept disappearing.
    Anyway, a big CONGRATS to you, Barbara!!!! So excited for you!!
    And thank you, Khara, for all your hard work!


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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