John M. Wilson's article on the International Imitation Hemingway Competition ("To Almost Have and Have Not," March 16), came across as pure sour grapes, despite his quoting several of the final-round celebrity judges to support his point that the literature professors who serve as prescreening judges are a bunch of humorless curmudgeons When I interviewed several of the professors involved in culling competition entries a few years ago for an article, they made it plain to me that they place as much weight on humor as they do on literary mimicry.

While Wilson may have been disappointed at submitting two entries and not making the final round, the fact is that there are no volume discounts for this sort of thing.

And if the final-round judges feel the best entries are not getting through to them, perhaps they'd like to consider sorting through all 2,600 entries themselves. They should be forewarned, though: It is a trying task, with moments that would fray the nerves of the bravest torero.


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