Imbali Award Judges - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How many books will I be required to judge?

All judges are required to judge a minimum of three books. Should the number of judges decrease we may need to increase that number but we will do so with the agreement of each judge. Judges may elect to read more books which they can indicate on the judging questionnaire when they volunteer to take part.


2.  ​When and how will I receive the books I need to judge?

If you are able to read eBooks, these will be sent direct to your Kindle or emailed to you during May 2020. Any print books for judging will be delivered to your street address or nearest Postnet Branch. Should the books not have arrived by 31st May 2020, please notify the Contest Administrator.

3.  How will entries be scored?

The Contest Administrators will send you the link to an online score sheet. One score sheet needs to be completed for each entry you judge.


Each entry will be scored individually on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent). Although the romance theme must be central to the work, further ratings are requested around  trope interpretation, plot, conflict, characterization and writing craft. Judges will also be required to provide some personal feedback with overall comments.


If any entries are not deemed to have the love story as the central focus or an ending that is emotionally satisfying and optimistic they will be disqualified from the contest.


Each entry will be read by at least three judges. The scores will be added together, then divided by the maximum number of judges who scored all entries (eg a minimum of three) for an average. The entry with the highest average score will be the winner.


4.  Do I judge one entry against the others?

No, each entry should be judged on its own merits without comparison to other entries.


5.  I don’t feel I can judge an entry impartially as it includes elements I’m not comfortable with. What should I do?

Contact the Contest Administrator immediately. The entry will then be re-allocated to another judge.


6.  Due to a personal crisis I will not be able to judge all the books I was assigned. What should I do?

Contact the Contest Administrator immediately. The books that cannot be judged will then be re-allocated to another judge.


7.  What if I know the person who wrote the entry I’ve been asked to judge?

As we are a small community, it is possible you may know the author, either personally or via social media. In the event that you feel you cannot be impartial, please contact the Contest Administrator immediately. Please use the Overall Comments section to indicate such where you do know the author.


8.  Do I have to read the entire entry?

We hope that the quality of books will be high enough to avoid a Did Not Finish (DNF) scenario. However, if you feel you cannot complete the book please do make that clear on the score sheet and use the Overall Comments section to indicate your reason for the DNF.


9.  May I discuss the books I’ve read as entries?

Please do not discuss any entry you have read on any forum, public or private. If, at a later date, you would like to praise an author whose work you read, please do not refer to the work as an Imbali Award entry, but rather refer to it as you would any other book you read on your own initiative.


10. Will my identity be kept confidential?

Only if you agree to have your name used in promotional materials will your identity as a judge be made public. However, the allocation of entries to judges is confidential, and entrants will not be told which judges received their entries. ROSA discourages any communication between judges and entrants.


11. What is my deadline for returning scores to the Contest Administrator?

All Google contest Score Sheets must be completed online by no later than Monday 5th October 2020. We encourage you to complete the Score Sheet as soon as you have read each book in order to ensure an accurate score.