Apply to Be a Book Awards Judge

Opportunity

The Minnesota Book Awards

Apply to Be a Book Awards Judge

Now accepting applications! Click here to apply.

The Minnesota Book Awards is committed to having a broad base of experience on judge panels. Judges are selected from across the state to include a diversity of professional experience, educational background, ethnicity, age, and gender. Previous judges are welcome to apply.

Application deadline: Friday, September 13, 2019, 5 p.m.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for an assignment as a judge, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older and a resident of Minnesota
  • Have professional experience, volunteer experience, or in-depth knowledge related to the category for which you are applying
  • Be available to attend the selection meeting in Saint Paul (Preliminary: January 25 / Final: March 14)
  • Not be a writer with a book entered in the current year
  • Not be a member of the staff, board, or committees of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Employees of publishers may only serve as judges for categories in which the publisher is not submitting a book that year.

Judging Process:

Preliminary Round
Finalist selection beginning in October and culminating at the end of January. Each of the nine award categories has a panel of three judges. The judges and a facilitator on each panel will meet on Saturday, January 25 to select the four finalists in each category.

Final Round
Category winner selection beginning in late January and culminating in mid-March. Each of the nine award categories has a panel of three judges. The judges and a facilitator on each panel will meet Saturday, March 14 to select the winner within each category.

The three overarching criteria, for all categories of submissions, are:

  • 1) Literary/Artistic Merit (50%): Quality of writing should receive primary consideration in judging. In addition, the illustration, editing, and craft involved in the book’s creation may be important criteria in certain categories.
  • 2) Originality (30%): Originality in concept and execution is a primary consideration in selecting finalists. Finalist titles should demonstrate innovative artistic qualities, which in many cases will be specific to their genre or category.
  • 3) Audience Appeal (20%): An award winner should have strong appeal to its target audience. The book should be judged on its effectiveness in engaging that particular readership.

These criteria, in addition to other considerations, are listed in the judging handbook.

Recognition:

  • Each judge will be offered a $350 stipend.
  • Each judge has the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony in April 2020 in Saint Paul.
  • All judges will be acknowledged in the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony program.

Preliminary Round Judge Position Overview:

Assignment Duration: October through January 25, 2020

Available Positions: Three preliminary round judges will be assigned to each category for a total of 27 positions to be filled.

Summary of Assignment: The preliminary round judges read all of the titles submitted for consideration in their category, then meet with their panel to select four finalists in that category. The number of books submitted varies from category to category and from year to year. There is a stipend of $350 offered to each judge, and mileage reimbursement for travel to the judging session is available to individuals living outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Depending on their assigned category, judges can expect to review between 20 and 40 books during the reading period beginning in October.

The Minnesota Book Awards is committed to having a broad base of experience on the panels including diversity of professional experience, educational background, ethnicity, age, sex and location of residency in the state. Previous judges are welcome to apply as are qualified candidates new to judging. The overall makeup of individual panels changes from year to year.

Preliminary round judge candidates should have experience and a comfort level with reviewing a large volume of books within a relatively short period of time. This is a volunteer assignment, but mileage reimbursement for travel to the judging session is available to individuals living outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Support Provided to Judges:

  • The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library provides judges with returnable copies of all of the books that have been entered. These books will be distributed to judges in batches as they are submitted. The Friends will do its best to ensure judges receive all of the titles in their category well in advance of the panel session in January.
  • A detailed handout, including the criteria for evaluating books, is provided to all judges at the time they receive their first set of books.
  • Each panel of judges at the January 25, 2020 selection meeting is assigned a facilitator who will be present throughout deliberation. The facilitator does not participate in the deliberation or selection process, but is there to ensure the discussion adheres to the Minnesota Book Awards criteria and guidelines and that a decision is made in a timely manner.

Eligibility Requirements for Judges:

  • To be considered for an assignment as a judge, applicants must have professional or volunteer experience which qualify them to be a sound evaluator of books in the award category they are interested in judging.
  • Judges must be available to attend the selection meeting the afternoon of Saturday, January 25, 2020. This meeting will be held at The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, 1080 Montreal Avenue. Each panel of three judges will meet at this time to select the four finalists in their assigned category. Judges need to be well prepared, having thoroughly reviewed and taken notes on all of the submitted books in advance of this session.
  • Writers who have a book entered for the Minnesota Book Awards in a given year may not serve as judges in that same year. Employees of publishers may only serve as judges for categories in which the publisher in question is not submitting a book that year. Any other potential conflict of interest situations should be immediately brought to the attention of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
  • Judges must have the ability to respect a policy of confidentiality (books under consideration are not to be discussed with anyone other than the other judges on the panel); keep the Minnesota Book Awards criteria in mind at all times (literary merit, originality, and audience appeal); read beyond their own preferences and personal tastes; and engage in respectful deliberation.

Final Round Judge Position Overview:

Assignment Duration: January 25, 2020 through March 14, 2020

Available Positions: Three final round judges will be assigned to each category for a total of 27 positions to be filled.

Summary of Assignment: The final round judges read the four books selected as finalists in their category, and then engage in thoughtful deliberation with their panel to select one award winner. Final round judges need to be comfortable evaluating and considering books as the potential award winner that may not be the books they themselves would have selected as finalists had they been part of the preliminary round panel.

The Minnesota Book Awards is committed to having a broad base of experience on the panels including diversity of professional experience, educational background, ethnicity, age, sex and location of residency in the state. Previous judges are welcome to apply, as are qualified candidates new to judging. The overall make up of individual panels changes from year to year.

There is a stipend of $350 offered to each judge, and mileage reimbursement for travel to the judging session is available to individuals living outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Support Provided to Judges:

  • The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library provides judges with returnable copies of the finalist books. These books will be distributed to the judges during the last week of January and must be returned to The Friends at the March 14 judging session.
  • A detailed handout, including the criteria for evaluating books, is provided to all judges at the time they receive their books.
  • Each panel of judges at the March 14, 2020 panel meeting is assigned a facilitator who will be present throughout deliberation. The facilitator does not participate in the deliberation or selection process, but is there to ensure the discussion adheres to the Minnesota Book Awards criteria and guidelines and that a decision is made in a timely manner.

Eligibility Requirements for Judges:

  • To be considered for an assignment as a judge, applicants must have professional or volunteer experience which qualify them to be a sound evaluator of books in the award category they are interested in judging.
  • Judges must be available to attend the selection meeting the afternoon of Saturday, March 14, 2020. This meeting will be held at the office of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (1080 Montreal Avenue) and will conclude no later than 4 p.m. Each panel of three judges will meet at this time to select the winner in their assigned category. Judges need to be well prepared, having thoroughly reviewed and taken notes on the four finalist books in advance of this session.
  • Writers who have a book entered for the Minnesota Book Awards in a given year may not serve as judges in that same year. Employees of publishers may only serve as judges for categories in which the publisher in question is not submitting a book that year. Any other potential conflict of interest situations should be immediately brought to the attention of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
  • Judges must have the ability to respect a policy of confidentiality (books under consideration are not to be discussed with anyone other than the other judges on the panel, and the panel’s choice for the winning book must be kept strictly confidential until after the Awards Ceremony in April); keep the Minnesota Book Awards criteria in mind at all times (literary merit, originality, and audience appeal); read beyond their own preferences and personal tastes; and engage in respectful deliberation.

Opportunity Opens

Tuesday, Aug 20th 2019

Opportunity Closes

Friday, Sep 13th 2019, 5:00pm

Application Location

External Site
MN Artists