Contest Judging FAQ

New England Readers’ Choice Awards Contest Judging FAQ

Want to serve as a judge for our contest? Sign up here!

Q. Who can serve as a contest judge?

A. Readers, librarians, booksellers, and unpaid bloggers/reviewers are all welcome to judge the NERW contest.

Q. Who’s not allowed to judge?

A. Published romance authors and paid reviewers are not allowed to serve as judges.

Q. How many books will I be required to read and judge?

A. Judges will be asked to read and score 3 novels/novellas. Ebooks will be sent out one at a time; once judges have submitted their scores for their first book, they will be sent a second, and then a third, book to judge. If judges submit scores for all three books early, and wish to judge more entries, additional books will be sent out if they are available (up to a limit of 10 per judge).

Q. Do I get to choose the books I want to read?

A. Our contest coordinators will assign books based on reading preferences indicated by judges on the judging intake form.

Q. How much time will I have to judge my books?

A. Books will be sent out between March 2024 and April 2024, as they are received by the contest organizers. Judges will need to submit all scores by April 30, 2024.

Q. What does the judging score sheet look like?

A. Here is a sample of the 11 question scoring rubric.

Q. What happens if due to unforeseen circumstances I can’t finish the books assigned to me in time?

A. Please inform the contest coordinators at [email protected] as soon as you realize you are unable to finish reading/judging any book assigned to you, and it will be reassigned to another judge.

Q. What if I really don’t like the book assigned to me, can I exchange it?

A. We ask all judges to read and score the books they are assigned. If for any reason you feel you are unable to fairly judge a book, please contact the contest coordinator at [email protected].

Q. I was a judge in the last Reader’s Choice Award Contest, what has changed?

A. Our scoring sheet has been updated, based on feedback by our DEI consultant. Previous contest judges were asked to give a single numerical score to each book. Our current scoresheet asks judges to rate each book (1-5) in 10 different categories, and to give an overall score. Here is a link to our current scoresheet.

Q. Are all books eBooks now or do you still send print books to judges?

A. The majority of our entries are in the form of ebooks. Less than 5% of our entries are in the form of paperbacks.

Q. This is my first time, anything I should consider before signing up?

A. Do you have time to read three romance novels?

Are you able to judge without bias?

Are you ready to have fun?

Additional questions? Please contact the NERCA contest coordinators at [email protected]. Ready to sign up? Click here!