Bloody students, honestly! No sooner did I write that we had approximately 200 entries each in the Cartoonist Idol and iWriter competitions, than another 260+ students came in with entries to hit the deadline. That’s over 500 more columns to read (gulp).
Another 50 cartoonist entries also came in just in time for the deadline. In truth, we are a little overwhelmed by the interest in both competitions, and the level of talent. We are still learning about our fledgling family of i readers, and what we have learned this past couple of weeks is just how creative and determined you are.
Foolishly, I pledged at the outset to personally read every student entry. Dan Barber, art director of The Independent (i’s sister paper), and his team will help me wade through and judge all the cartoon entries. But, as you can imagine, I am struggling to read properly nearly 500 iWriter entries (x 2 400-word columns). I promise we have received your entries, but we can’t acknowledge each one personally until we have finished going through them. We will be running columns all this week while Simon Kelner is on holiday, but we will also run more of the best next week. Cartoonists will have to wait ’til next week. We just want to do real justice to the inordinate amount of effort you have put in.
And, that effort was rewarded for Natalie Cox, the first featured columnist yesterday. We had five times as many positive reviewers as critics. There was generosity of spirit too, as much of the praise was from fellow contestants. Alex Fusco’s take on Silvio Berlusconi (p16) is in a very different style from Natalie’s. I know you will let me know what you think of him.