How are judges assigned?

When you complete the judging registration form, you will tell us about your preferences for which categories you'd like to read, as well as your comfort zone with several content areas.

Sexual heat level: How hot are you comfortable reading? The range is from no sex at all, maybe some kissing (0), to anything goes (9).

Explicit Language: Same 0 - 9 range, from no bad language (0) to lots of cussin' (9). This area includes not only cussing, but also the graphic words used for body parts, and other language that might be offensive.

Extreme Violence: 0 - 9 range, from no violence at all (0) to. my eyes are bleeding (9).

Religious Overtones: 0 - 9 range, from no religion mentioned (0) to highly religious (9). These are normally from the Christian tradition, but other religious traditions may be depicted.

Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism (BDSM): These practices are generally between consenting adults. If one of the practioners is not consenting, this is torture and should be included under Extreme Violence. It can include being tied up, spanking, and other pain or humiliation inflicted by a dominant over a submissive. Descriptions of such practices are normally only found in the Erotica category or in the erotic romances entered in the Romance categories. If you mark a sexual heat level of, say 3, and "Yes" to BDSM, you might be sent books at your preferred sexual heat level with BDSM content.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT): The relationship between gay or lesbian characters can be depicted in any book, from a sweet romance, which would not be sexually graphic, to erotic works, where all bets are off. Any GLBT content should be marked. If you mark a sexual heat level of, say 3, and "Yes" to GLBT, you might be sent books at your preferred sexual heat level with GLBT content.

We do not read every book before we send it out. We rely on the information supplied by entrants for these same questions in order to match judges to a book. Sometimes, a book may be placed with a judge who finds the content uncomfortable. In this case, contact the judge coordinator (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the Competitions Chair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to return the book. You must then delete the book from your computer. You may receive a replacement if any books are available that meet your preferences.