For the second year in a row, I did not win the 3-Day Novel Contest. This year was worse, however, in that I wasn't even shortlisted like I was last year.
To a certain extent, this is easier than getting a rejection letter from a magazine publisher. You can look at the absolute number of people who submitted stories (more than 380) and the winner, and maybe get some kind of idea of what the judges were looking for.
Last year, the winner was a comedic series of vignettes about misplaced monsters called Day Shift Werewolf. So the editors of the year were surprisingly open to fantasy and science fiction, it would seem. My place on the shortlist isn't that surprising.
This year, the winner is The Convictions of Leonard McKinley, a coming of age story/comedy about a 13-year-old boy in a small prairie town. Now, I'm not going to run down that book, especially having just reviewed King Dork so favourably. There's a place for comic coming of age novels. But it's possible the judges who really like that kind of thing might not like a book in which, say, humans absorb the power of gods, there are swordfights, bank robberies, magic, frog-sex cults and fights to the death between giant ground sloths.
I'm just saying.