First round judging information and sign up
helping another writer is a gift we can give.
all it costs is a little time.
Honest, educational feedback is important to the writing process.
not every story has to be told the same way. but every story has someone who needs to read it.
stories are for everyone.
Help make sure they're told.
The Gateway to the Best is in need of first round judges. Judges are not required to be published authors, but should have significant experience in writing and reading romantic fiction. Judges must be willing to read 4-6 entries in the contest categories (you are able to opt out of categories for which you're not familiar with the the reader expectations).
Books can be a powerful force for change. MORWA invites all writers willing to contribute their expertise to encourage, support, and celebrate the diverse voices of our fellow authors.
What MORWA Expects from you
Expect to spend a minimum of 2 - 4 hours on each entry. You will need to thoroughly read the entry (up to 25 pages), evaluate the strengths and weakness of the story and writing, and write thoughtful and educational comments in the manuscript and in the score sheet.
Judges will have about four weeks (about September 20 - October 20, 2020) to complete judging, but are encouraged to not wait until the deadline to accomplish judging. Our experience indicates entries that are judged at the last minute are less helpful to the entrant because the judge did not spend enough time with the manuscript.
MORWA recognizes that there are very knowledgeable writers who are not yet published, so we accept judge applications from everyone. We also encourage writers who have never judged a contest before, because everyone has to start somewhere.
Writers who wish to judge the Gateway, however, do need to have strong knowledge of the romantic fiction writing craft including characterization, conflict, and plotting. They should understand the reader expectations of the overall genre as well as the subgenre they are reading.
Most of all, judges should be able to differentiate between they way they would write the book and the way the author has chosen to write the book to uncover the merits of the story they are reading.
Most authors enter contests to get feedback on their story. They want to know what works and what doesn't. Your feedback is key in supporting the authors who contribute to this contest.
We expect judges to provide feedback in each and every story they read. We expect that feedback to be included in the manuscript where you will point out great writing and areas of improvement in a kind and supporting way. Additional feedback, often summarizing common strengths and weaknesses, will be included in the score sheet to explain the numerical rating you will assign to each judging category.
Feedback, feedback, feedback should be your mantra.
MORWA contest coordinators review judge's feedback to ensure it meets our criteria of being respectful to the author and their story.
If you think you've got what it takes to judge, please fill out the short form below. We'd love to hear from you!