Frequently Asked Questions - Judging

FAQs - Judging

Judges can find answers to most questions here. If you don't find your answer, contact the Competitions Chair.

Judges are teachers, librarians, published authors, publishers, editors. 

It's not hard at all, though it may require some consideration. Judges read entries, then score each one on a form that is available on the website. The form has several areas where you evaluate aspects of the work. Then you write feedback.

The feedback is necessarily brief, limited to 150 words. It should not be overly technical, but give the young, and impressionable, writer words of encouragement so that they may improve their future writings. Do give honest critique, but remember to be kind. Start with the good points, things you liked, and move on to areas for improvment. Keep in mind that the young writers receive feedback from all their judges, so be mindful that these are kids. Try to remember when you were a kid and how hurtful words impacted your future, whether it affected your writing or general outlook. 

We're here to inspire, while mentoring.

Let's give these young writers the ability to fly!

When you register to judge, you are asked to specify the categories, as well as the age division, you wish to judge. You will also be asked about the number of entries you can take. The NVYW Judge Coordinator uses that information to assign you reads.

You will receive your judging assignment by email and the files will be attached to that email.


There are three rounds of judging:

In the First Round, all entries are read and, based on the scores from this first round, the finalists are determined. . 

In the Finalist Round, the entries are judged and ranked according to the scores from the judges. The top six entries, from each category, determine the winners.

These winners will appear in the New Voices Anthology

In the Grand Prize Round, the first place winners from each division category are judged. The overall winner from each division is declared the Grand Prize winner of that division. 

Three judges read each entry in each round. Because judging is largely subjective, there are often differences of opinion. Based on the scores, and the ranking, the Competitions Chair identifies the winner. This judging process works for us; we can only use data the judges provide and make the best determination possible.