It’s nice to find yourself on a shortlist. But lists, short or long, signify quite different things in different contexts.
If you apply for a job and get shortlisted, you can expect an interview — with a good chance of being selected for the position. Recruitment agents will have previously included you on a longer list of possible contenders, though you probably won’t know about that earlier deliberative stage.
It’s a purer process if you submit something you’ve written for a literary award. ‘Purer’ in the sense of being less affected by bias, because usually what’s being evaluated in such cases isn’t the author but the particular composition — story, poem, or whatever — and a ‘blind’ judging is normal. That is, the person or panel making the decisions doesn’t know who the author of any entry is until afterwards.
Having in the past been longlisted, shortlisted and occasionally emerged as a winner for literary prizes, and having at other times been a member of judging panels, I appreciate this conscientious process of focusing on the quality of the piece of writing. Of course subjectivity is still involved in any judging.
I’ve just learnt that one of my poems is on the shortlist for the 2022 Poetry d’Amour award. There are six other poets (from several parts of Australia) on the shortlist, so it’s of similar size to the longlist that included my novel The Madwoman’s Coat for last year’s ARA Historical fiction Prize.
The Poetry d’Amour prize will be announced, and an anthology containing all the longlisted entries will be launched, at an event on 2nd October during the Perth Poetry Festival.
Copies of the anthology can be pre-ordered here.