The Golden Heart Part 5: Here Come the Judges

1875 Trial By Jury-Chaos in the Courtroom by Henry David Friston

Dear First-Round Golden Heart Judges,

Soon you’ll receive the link to the entries. Unlike the 19th century judge above, your decision will be anonymous and in the form of scores submitted electronically. However, the angst depicted in the scene is all too real in the hearts and minds of the Golden Heart contestants. They deserve a fair judgment. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced judge, here are six tips to consider.


  • Read and score entries when you’re fed, rested, and unhurried.
  • Set aside your personal frustrations, problems, likes, and dislikes. Focus on the quality of the writing, not your personal preferences for genre, tone, etc.
  • Remember the entries are partials and not all elements will be fully developed. The synopsis is not part of the score.
  • If you have negative opinions about the contest, judging process, or entries, please refrain from expressing them in public forums and social media. Share your opinions privately and judging concerns at
  • Review the scores and your reasons for them. Are they based on writing skills or your personal pet peeves and preferences?
  • Check the scoring rules, rubric, and tallies carefully. The romance portion is worth 20 points, not 10 points like the rest of the Golden Heart rubric.

What other suggestions do you have for first round judges?


Scoring Guidelines for Judging The Golden Heart Contest


The Golden Heart Part 1: Judging Contests by guest blogger, Jody Wallace


The Golden Heart Part 6 and 7 are coming in Feb. and Mar. 2014

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The Faces of Sherlock Holmes Part II: The Victorian Stage Actors

Long before Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jonny Lee Miller assumed the Sherlock persona, Victorian Charles Brookfield became the first professional stage actor to portray Holmes. Wearing dark tights and a short cape, Brookfield appeared in Under the Clock, an 1893 musical parody of the sleuth’s adventures written by Seymour Hicks.

724px-Lottie_Venne_and_Charles_Brookfield1892 caricature of Charles Brookfield and co-star
Lottie Venne from Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan


The Scottish playwright Charles Rogers claimed an established copyright due to an 1892 performance of his play. In 1894 Roger’s Sherlock Holmes, The Private Detective opened in Glasgow with John Webb in the starring role. Several years later American actor William Gillette collaborated with Sir Arthur Conaan-Doyle and producer Charles Frohman to bring Doyle’s stories to the stage. Charles Rogers’ heirs sued but failed to stop the production.

In 1899 William Gillette performed as Sherlock Holmes for the first of over one thousand times. He became famous for his portrayal and two iconic elements, shortening a line to “Elementary, my dear Watson” and using a curved pipe as a stage prop.

1899 Willliam Gillette

Related post:

The Face of Sherlock Holmes Part I: The Victorian Illustrators

Who are your favorite Sherlock Holmes actors? Why?

The Face of Sherlock Holmes Part I: The Victorian Illustrators

Which 19th century sketch depicts the famous fictional detective?


If you guessed all the images, you are correct. Although many Victorian era artists sketched Sherlock for publications, only six illustrators are featured above.

H. 1887 by David Henry Friston from the first story edition of a “Study in Scarlet”

O. 1888 by Charles A. Doyle, Arthur Conaan-Doyle’s father, from the first book edition

L.  1890 by Charles Kerr from “The Sign of Four”

M. 1891 by George Hutchinson from the second edition “Study in Scarlet”

E. 1893 by Sidney Paget from “The Greek Interpreter”

S. 1894 by unknown artist from the First American edition of Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by A.L. Burt Publishing Company

Sidney Paget emerged as the Victorian illustrator who most influenced the public image of Sherlock Holmes. He created over 350 sketches of the fictional detective and first added two details never described by Arthur Conaan-Doyle. The deerstalker cap and Inverness cape.

Bosc-011891 Sidney Paget illustration from “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

A complete set of Paget’s illustrated issues for The Strand is extremely rare and valuable. His original drawing of the image below sold for $220,800.00 in 2004.

1893 Sidney Paget illustration from “The Final Problem”


Future post:

Jan. 21st  The Face of Sherlock Holmes Part II: The Victorian Actors

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Which Victorian illustration of Sherlock Holmes do you prefer? Why?

Is Your Crystal Ball Set in 2013 or 2014?

Personal Epiphanies and Publishing Predictions

The Crystal Ball
by John Williams Waterhouse (1902)


  1. This blog should have been posted on Epiphany, Jan. 6th. I’m already behind, and it’s only nine days into a new year. (At least you didn’t have to watch me sprint down the street chasing after the garbage truck while wearing my pajamas and leaving a trail of volume curlers littering the street.)
  2. The woman in the painting reminds me of Lady Mary on Downton Abbey except she’s not wearing black this season.
  3. Hey! There’s a skull next to the book. I wonder if someone will think it’s a subliminal or blatant message that traditional publishing is dead. (It’s not.)


  1. For the next week or more, I’ll be functioning as if it’s last year.
    (See #1 above.)
  2. The knowledgeable and timely people listed below have some interesting predictions about publishing this year.
  3. Links to their posts will be provided.

(I told you so. See Predictions #3 above.)

Bob Mayer at Write It Forward

Jane Litte at Dear Author

Jeremy Greenfield at Digital Book World

Kristen Lamb at Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Mike Shatzkin at Idea Logical Company

Molly Greene at Molly Greene: Writer


What are your personal epiphanies and publishing predictions?

Alternate activity for those of you still stuck in 2013 like me: As fast as you can, repeat “It’s 2014.”  a minimum of fourteen times. Let me know if it helps. I might try it.