my heart skipped a beat when I read the topic... it's still beating irregularly, though!
I think this is a great idea. I think it might very well bring in more professional work into the portal, for better or for worse. it will make competition harder for simple autodidact idiots like myself, but on the other hand, with a jury or something similar chosing entries rather than just looking at the score/views, I think and hope those submissions closer to the "heart of NG" will still stand a better chance of being chosen. after all, what is somebody like Zipperfish gonna do with 250 bucks more? I bet they/he are/is fine the way he is...
This announcement makes me so much more motivated to finish the stuff I'm working on right now. If it's gonna be in the top 5 of the month, well maybe it's a dream but I'll give it my best!
Thank you Tom Fulp and all other responsible at NG! You are the best, seriously!