Being a short story judge puts you in a position of advantage when it comes to talking about judging a manuscript. Markovits believes that there is a method behind story writing and that it can be taught, contrary to the vague mysteries that the plot engineer called the writer propounds.
“Well, it’s not that different from judging an English essay. There are objective criticisms you can make, you can point stuff out, but how you decide to rate or value the things done well, how much you penalise the things done less well—it’s a semi-random choice. It’s also hard to distinguish from the exercise of deep prejudice.”
Read What makes fiction good by Benjamin Markovits.