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Taking Notes

Judging Committee

Submissions for the Dripping Quill Award will open on March 1, 2023.

The Dripping Quill Literary Awards are now accepting applications from qualified judges.

We welcome applications from people who bring a variety of perspectives to the judging process; from established industry leaders to rising talents who are making waves within the industry

The Assessment Committees

Selection Committee

The selection committee is made up of only LAIPA directors. 

This committee is responsible for collating all submissions into the right genre/category.  They are also responsible for ensuring all entry fees have been successfully made. 

Finalist Committee

The finalist committee is the second round of judging. All shortlisted books are reviewed by this committee to decide the finalists for each genre. 

The committee meets to discuss and agree on the finalist list.

Shortlisting Committee

The shortlisting committee is responsible for making the initial assessment of all submissions.

The entire committee meets to discuss and review their selections. The final stage is the shortlist recommendations. 

Final Judging Panel

The final judging panel reviews all finalists and decide the winners and finalists for each genre. 

Judges also meet to discuss their decisions and recommendations before the final list of winners and finalists are approved.

Are You Interested In Judging?

The DQL Awards (formerly the GMA), founded in 2019, rely on generous volunteers who contribute their time and expertise. These volunteer judges help identify the most outstanding works in the advancement of independent authors and independently published books.

A panel of volunteer judges assess, score, and review entries submitted in each of the seven categories that comprise the DQL Awards. Following this, they all come together online in the last week of judging to decide on the winners.

Judging will take place remotely between May and July 2023. If you would like to volunteer as a judge, please click on the button below to fill out an application. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Judge Qualification and Selection

Judges may be authors, editors, readers, librarians, booksellers, and/or other members of the literary community considered eligible by the Awards Administrators. Judges must be well-versed in the genre as well as knowledgeable of the writing structure, storyline, plot, and other significant aspects that make a book successful. Judges should recuse themselves from judging any category in which they are personally familiar with the author if they feel they cannot judge fairly and equitably. As a judge, you are responsible for adhering to the rules and guidelines established for the judging process. Judges are required to adhere to the schedule established by LAIPA. In order to be eligible to judge, a judge must agree to read and score ALL books within the category in which they are assigned. This is because some categories receive a much higher number of submissions than others, therefore requiring a substantial time commitment. A judge who discloses their status as a judge of the Dripping Quill Literary Awards during the award cycle for which they are a judge is immediately disqualified. Judges commit to being impartial in their judgment, consistently evaluating each text on its own merits. This is without regard to previous works, knowledge of the author, hearsay, or other potentially influencing factors. A Judges' Agreement must be signed by the judges before the Awards Administrators can send the books to the judges for judging. After the judging process has begun, a judge may not request to withdraw from the process. This is unless there is an emergency that has been discussed with the award administrators, or if an unexpected conflict of interest arises. It is imperative that the judging process be conducted in an ethical manner and within the prescribed timeframe. When a judge requests to withdraw or is asked to withdraw from the judging process after it has begun, they agree to return any physical books that have been provided. DQL Award reserves the right to invoice the former judge for any costs associated with purchasing and/or delivering the required books to a reserve judge so that judging may proceed. In regard to the judging process or the final outcome, the decisions of the judges and awards administrators shall be final. The judges, awards administrators, or any other group representing the DQLA will not engage in any correspondence regarding the judging process or final outcome. Judges agree not to sell any copies of the paper books or e-books they receive as part of the judging process.

Key dates

Judging Timeline:

  • Selection Committee – May 2nd – May 5th

  • Shortlisting Committee – May 6th – May 29th

  • Finalist Committee – June 1st – June 30th

  • Final Judging Panel – June 1st – July 5th

How much time should judges expect to volunteer?

  • In general, depending on the number of entries per category, judges should expect to spend 4 hours a week reading.

  • ​This is completely dependent on the entries per category and entries assigned per judge as well as the judge’s average reading time

  • Each committee has a panel of 5 judges

  • Judges may receive an honorarium (depending on funding).

  • Judges should expect to spend a minimum of 20–40 minutes reviewing and scoring each entry.

  • In the last week of the assessment period, the lead judges convene their panels for 1–2 hours to review and select the winning entries.

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