A Guide to ArtoonsInn’s Short Story Event Rubrics


Welcome to the vibrant world of storytelling at ArtoonsInn! As you embark on your journey to weave tales that captivate and inspire, it’s essential to understand the criteria by which your stories will be evaluated. These rubrics are not mere guidelines; they are the compass guiding you toward crafting narratives that resonate with our audience and leave a lasting impression. In this post, we delve into the intricacies of the judging parameters for each category of our monthly short story events, empowering you to hone your skills and unleash your creativity with confidence.

#Five00 Series – Flash Fiction (500 words)

Flash fiction is an art form that demands brevity without compromising depth. In this category, your story will be evaluated on the following parameters:

Plot: Despite the constrained word count, your narrative should possess a coherent plot that engages the reader from the outset. While brevity is key, avoid sacrificing substance for the sake of conciseness. Importance: High

Narrative: Every word counts in flash fiction. Craft a narrative that is concise yet evocative, drawing readers into your world and leaving them yearning for more. Importance: Very High

Characterization: While there is a small leeway in this aspect, ensure that your character(s) are distinct and serve the narrative purpose effectively within the limited space provided. Importance: Medium

Technicality: Given the brevity of flash fiction, meticulous attention to grammar, language, and syntax is crucial to ensure a polished and immersive reading experience. Importance: Medium

Prompt Adherence: Your story should seamlessly integrate the provided prompt, demonstrating your ability to creatively interpret and incorporate external stimuli into your narrative. Importance: Very High


#UniK Series – Short Story (1000 words)

As you venture into the realm of short stories, the canvas expands, allowing for more intricate storytelling. Here are the parameters against which your story will be evaluated:

Plot: Develop a compelling plot that unfolds organically, keeping readers engaged and invested in the outcome. Showcasing a clear beginning, middle, and end is imperative within the constrained word limit. Importance: Very High

Narrative: Strive for a narrative that balances exposition and action, utilizing descriptive language to immerse readers in the story’s setting and atmosphere. Importance: High

Characterization: Create well-rounded characters with depth and complexity, each serving a distinct role in advancing the plot and eliciting emotional resonance from the audience. Importance: High

Technicality: Your proficiency in grammar, language usage, and syntax will be closely scrutinized. Aim for precision and clarity in your writing, enhancing the readability and impact of your story. Importance: High

Prompt Adherence: Integrate the provided prompt seamlessly into your narrative, ensuring that it serves as a catalyst rather than a mere inclusion, enriching the thematic depth of your story. Importance: Very High


#Artales Series – Short Story (2000+ words)

With a more expansive word count, the #Artales series offers ample room for narrative exploration and character development. Here’s how your story will be assessed:

Plot: Craft a multifaceted plot that unfolds gradually, incorporating twists, subplots, and thematic depth to captivate readers’ attention and sustain their interest throughout the narrative journey. Importance: Very High

Narrative: Embrace the opportunity to delve into descriptive prose, painting vivid imagery and evoking sensory experiences that transport readers to the story’s world. Importance: Very High

Characterization: Your characters should be fully realized individuals, complete with nuanced motivations, conflicts, and arcs that contribute to the overarching narrative tapestry. Importance: Very High

Technicality: Mastery of grammar, language, and syntax is essential in longer narratives to maintain coherence and readability. Pay meticulous attention to detail, polishing your prose to a high standard. Importance: Very High

Prompt Adherence: Seamlessly weave the provided prompt into the fabric of your story, leveraging it as a thematic anchor that enhances the narrative cohesion and resonance. Within this creative space, you are not limited to a literal interpretation of the prompt; rather, you are encouraged to explore both direct and indirect, thematic interpretations.

Allow the prompt to serve as a versatile catalyst, sparking imaginative connections that transcend the surface level, enriching your narrative with layers of meaning and depth. This is an opportunity to infuse your storytelling with subtlety and nuance, inviting readers to engage not only with the plot but also with the underlying themes and resonances woven intricately into the fabric of your tale. Importance: High


The evaluation process for our monthly short story events at ArtoonsInn is a collaborative endeavor designed to ensure fairness and objectivity. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Judging Panel:

Each submitted story undergoes scrutiny by at least two judges, and these judges may include members of the organizing team known as “watchers.” The inclusion of watchers depends on their availability and willingness to participate in the judging process.

  1. Scoring System:

Judges evaluate each story on a comprehensive scale, with a total possible score of 50 points. This scale is further divided into aforementioned parameters, each contributing a maximum of 10 points. The parameters are Plot, Narrative, Characterization, Technicality (Grammar, language, syntax, etc.), and Prompt Adherence. This breakdown allows for a nuanced assessment, recognizing the diverse elements that contribute to a well-crafted story.

  1. Calculation of Average Scores:

After individual evaluations, the scores from all judges are compiled. An average score is then calculated for each story, offering a balanced representation of its overall merit. This step ensures that no single judge’s opinion disproportionately influences the outcome, fostering objectivity in the selection process.

  1. Determination of Winners:

The stories with the highest average scores emerge as the winners, while those with notable merit receive recognition as runners-up. This approach allows for the celebration of a spectrum of storytelling prowess, acknowledging both outstanding narratives and commendable efforts.

  1. Judges’ Anonymity:

In order to maintain transparency and accountability, the names of the judges are kept confidential. While the option exists for judges to make their names public, most prefer to remain anonymous. This practice is adopted to prevent potential biases, as public disclosure of judges’ identities could impact personal relationships within the writing community. Respecting the judges’ privacy ensures the integrity of the evaluation process and fosters a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

In essence, the ArtoonsInn judging process is designed to provide a fair and constructive platform for writers, encouraging creativity while upholding standards of excellence. It reflects our commitment to nurturing a community where writers can share their stories without the burden of external expectations, allowing the merit of their narratives to speak for itself.

We eagerly await the tales you will weave, each one a testament to the boundless potential of the human imagination. Happy writing!

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