- Scoring will be based on a number system, with 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each story will receive a number in each scoring category (see the categories below) for a possible total of 50.
- Scores can include half values. For example 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5
- Scores are due by September 1st 2024.
- The top 3 finalists in each category will be announced by the end of September. The winner of each category will be announced in October.
In the Event of a Tie
- If 2 or more entries acquire the same top score each of those entries will be given to additional judges who have not yet read those entries.
- These second round scores will determine the winner.
Please note: Judges and authors will be given a more comprehensive scoring guide with each category and what to look for in each story.
- Atmosphere/Setting/Descriptive Writing
- World Building
- Secondary Characters
- Romance (Love scenes and romantic tension and compatibility)
In the Event of a DNF
If a judge is struggling with a story and can not finish it, they can give it a DNF score. A judge must make a solid effort to finish the story. However, if they can’t, please see the following DNF guidelines.
A DNF score is permitted if a story fits the following circumstances:
- There are too many grammar/spelling/mechanical errors to continue reading.
- There are too many craft errors and the judge feels the book was not ready to be published.
- There is excessive and unnecessary head hopping that makes the book unreadable. Please note, this does not mean POV shifts.
- The book is not the type of story the judge typically reads.
- It is written in more or less POVs than the judge personally prefers.
- It is written in the POV (third or first) that is not the judge’s personal preference.
- The judge doesn’t like the book, plot or subject matter.
- The judge doesn’t like the characters.
- The judge finds the book boring.
- The judge doesn’t like the pacing.
- The judge thinks the book is not in the correct category.
- The judge feels the book deserves a low score and therefore DNF.
- The judge does not like the language and/or dialogue used in the story.
- The judge does not like the tropes in the story.
- The judge doesn’t like the heat level of the love scenes.