I received a letter with the news release from the Writers' Union of Canada contest along with a full page of comments from the Judges. It was so encouraging to read the positive feedback, especially for something I wrote about DOGS. Please check my website to see some of the gems I sifted out. Here is my favorite comment:
"This piece follows the ancient pattern of longing fulfilled by surprise satisfaction. (The hero looks for a treasure abroad, and finds it under his own hearth stone.) All story patterns are old; the charm is to make them new by setting and detail and I think this story succeeds, with one exception. I would like to have had some sense of where the story takes place on a map. Other than that, details are abundant as are the special terms of jargon associated with the pending event, which adds verisimilitude. The names of the dogs, like an inventory of heroes in an epic tale, add colour and substance. Their various attitudes are winningly described. The moment of realization - most short stories lead the reader to an epiphany of some sort - is terse and convincing, linked by the term "magic land" to the longing introduced in the second paragraph, associated with the orange bib, making us realize how appropriate the title of the story is."