2018 RITA Judging: Entering Scores Online

2018 RITA Judging: Accessing Entries and Entering Scores Online

The purpose of the RITA Award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. We ask that you take a few moments to review the following instructions.

Upon receipt, please review all the books assigned to you and notify the office immediately if you find any books you cannot judge without bias. Bias can be positive or negative, and you are asked to err on the side of caution in order avoid any appearance of conflict and to uphold the integrity of the RITA Award. If you cannot judge the work objectively for any reason, contact the office immediately so the book can be assigned to another judge. Please review the RITA Contest FAQ, located Here.

The RITA is a peer award, and judges are expected to evaluate a novel or novella’s qualities using their unique knowledge as a professional author. Good storytelling is at the core of every RITA finalist entry; it's at the core of "keeper" books. Entrants have invested a lot of time, effort, and money into their books. They deserve your best effort.

Thank you for your time and desire to help make this year’s contest the best ever!

2018 Judge’s Agreement

By volunteering to judge the RITA Contest, I attest that:

  • If I am employed by a publisher or literary agency or provide freelance services to publishers, authors, or agents, then I will not judge books for which I or my company had any involvement or interest.
  • I accept my responsibilities to complete the judging assignment in a timely manner, returning scores on or before the deadline. The deadline for scores to be returned to the office is March 7, 2018.
  • If I am unable to fulfill the judging assignment, then I will contact the RWA Contest Coordinator immediately.
  • I understand that all aspects of the judging process remain confidential and agree to refrain from discussing my assigned books in any forum, public or private.

Judging Overview

  • Read the entire entry.
  • Do not judge entries against each other.
  • When in doubt, contact the Contest Coordinator.
  • Give your opinion
  • The identity of judges is confidential. RWA discourages any communication between judges and entrants.


Scoring Overview

Each preliminary-round entry will be scored individually on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0, with 1.0 being the lowest (poor) and 10.0 being the highest (excellent). Decimals (from .1 to .9) are STRONGLY encouraged to help avoid the possibility of a tie. Judges are encouraged to think of the points system as equivalent to a classroom grading scale:

9.0-10.0: Excellent 8.0-8.9: Good

7.0-7.9: Average

6.0-6.9: Below average

5.0-5.9: Marginal

4.0-4.9: Poor

Below 4.0: Very poor

Judges: Click Here to Access Entries and Enter Scores

Judging Instructions

Once you click on the link to the contest site, your entry assignments will be listed.

  • The initial screen opens to the Judge’s Rules and Agreements page, Click I have read the rules and guidelines and agree to these conditions.
  • Click Continue
  • Book assignments will be listed.
  • Click on a title to access each title (you must do this to access the PDF and the scoring section)
  • Each page is divided into two parts; the score section and the entry section. The entry section, which includes the PDF book, is located in the lower portion of the screen. The score section is located at the top of the screen.
  • The entry section lists the entry title, entry category, and the PDF file.
  • Click on the PDF page icon. The document will open in a new tab, within your Internet browser, allowing you to read it. Once you have read the book close the tab, you will return to the judging page.
  • Locate the Ratings field, click Click to edit
  • Select the appropriate score from the pull down menu.
  • Click Yes or No next to the following three questions:
    • Does the entry contain a central love story?
    • Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?
    • Does the entry fall within the category description? 
  • Click the Draft link located at the top of the score section, and select Final.
  • Click the Back to Judging button. You will return to the list of assigned entries.

The deadline to enter preliminary round scores is March 7, 2018. 

Contact Carol Ritter at contests@rwa.org or 832-717-5200, Ext. 127, with questions.