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It is usually the little details that make the difference between runner-up and winning entries. Learning to see things and be mindful of opportunities to improve are skills that must be developed all on their own.
In order to help students in this, here are some tips gathered from past judges to help you tone your skills, make your entry stand out among the hundreds, or perhaps just give it that final tweak that could make the difference in the final round!
The number one tip for each category is to take some time and examine works by great artists/writers in the field you are working. Read good essays and poems. Study good art and photography. This will be the biggest help to you as you develop your skills.
Note: these are mainly just tips, not necessarily requirements, for an entry.
What do judges look for in a winning essay?
What makes one essay really stand out in the judging?
What might be an immediate turnoff for a judge?