One of the biggest issues with the stories submitted for consideration for the Darrell Awards is editing. Typoes, extra commas, missing commas, bad choices of words — these things matter, especially when they distract from enjoying the story.
A strong story can sometimes overcome bad editing, but good editing gives a better base to build the story upon.
If you are going to publish your own work or use a print-on-demand publisher or any other arrangement where there is no professional editing, PLEASE do yourself a favor and pay for a professional editor to proof-read and correct your work before it goes to print or ebook form.
(This was originally posted on the Darrell Awards page on facebook as a Discussion topic. Facebook is ending the Discussions & this is too long for a Wall post. So, it is being shared here.)