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Rated: E · Bulletin · Contest · #1564389
Guidelines judges and reviewers will use when evaluating Young Stars contest submissions.
Banner for Young Rising Stars Contest

Welcome Judges and Reviewers, as well as contest participants eager to learn how their entries will be rated and reviewed.

The "Young Stars Shine Your Light Contest, sponsored by Rising Stars, is an opportunity for WDC members under the age of eighteen to compete against writers in their peer group based on age and writing experience. The concept of the contest is to provide a platform for these writers to practice their craft in a supportive, learning environment.

With those goals in mind, I have created the following guidelines that judges and members of the review team will follow when evaluating entrants' work. My hope is the feedback the participants receive will educate, motivate, and encourage our young writers to take their craft to the next level.

Review Guidelines

*Note4* Near the bottom of this page, you will find a review tool template that you are free to copy, WritingML and all, into your review tool. This is offered but not obligatory *Smile* If you choose not to use the review tool template, please be sure that your reviews DO include the following information:

*Note* The criterion on which we will be basing the winning entries each month are:


*Bullet* Characterization, Conflict, Show Don't Tell descriptions, Dialogue, POV narration


*Bullet* Strength of the story's beginning and ending

*Bullet* Logical chain of events as the plot unfolds

*Bullet* Pace of the piece with regard to opening, rising action, climax, resolution


*Bullet* Look for: Overuse of passive voice; Erroneous shifts in verb tense; Problems with capitalization and punctuation -- especially in and around dialogue; Typos

Wow Factor

*Bullet* What was the emotional impact on you the first time you read the story? This feedback is critical to writers, because a successful story must deeply engage its reader the first time through. If the essense of the story is most appreciated the second or third time it is read, the reading audience may not stick around long enough to fully enjoy it.

Rating the Entry

Each criteria evaluated in the review will receive a star rating based solely on the element(s) discussed in that section. You will rate the Characters separately, as well as the Plot, the Grammar, and the Wow Factor. Once you have decided the rating for each section based on its merits, you will average the four sections (add together the stars from all the sections, then divide the sum by four). This will give you the entry's overall rating.

WDC star rating system is broken down for us, but I'd like to re-define the meaning of the stars for the purpose of this contest. Please consider the following when rating the story elements for this contest, keeping in mind that our participants have a middle school to high school education:

Five stars - Perfect execution of the element(s). No need to improve anything.
Four and a half stars - Demonstrates a solid understanding of the element(s),
         and only minimal tweaking is necessary to strengthen the work.
Four stars - Very good effort; room for improvement.
Three and a half stars - Good use of basic writing skills. There is merit to the
         work but there are many areas where the writing could be stronger.
Three stars - On-level work that both shows creativity as well as illustrates
         where the writer needs to improve.
Two and a half stars - Below-level work that will benefit greatly from encouraging
         suggestions for improvement.

~Please~ do not rate anything below two and a half stars for this contest.

*Note* When calculating the overall rating, please round up. For example: If the average number of stars comes out to 4.25, the overall rating would be 4.5 stars.


Review Tool Template
*Bullet* Keeps your reviews organized *Bullet*

Please feel free to copy the following and paste it as a new template in your review tool. The notes to you, the reviewer, are in blue and should be, of course, deleted when you use the template. [If you have never used the Review Tool before or have questions about how to create this template in your Review Tool, please email me (NickiD89 ) today!]

*Down* Begin copying here *Down*


{c:lblue}{b}Hello (entrant's name)! Thank you for entering this story in:{/c}{/b}


In appreciation for the time and energy you spent writing this creative story in response to the prompt, I offer you this in-depth review. {b}Please refrain from editing your piece until after the winners are posted in the forum.{/b} Thanks!

{b}[{c:rose}The suggestions following red check marks are based on my observations and opinions. Please only take what you find helpful and leave the rest {e:smile}{/c}]{/b}

{e:note2} {c:orange}{b}{u}Characters:{/c}{/b}{/u} (Number of) {e:star}'s

{e:thumbsup} (Note to reviewers: please use as many *Thumbsup*s as necessary in each section to discuss the strengths of the element(s))

{e:check2} (Note to reviewers: please use as many *Check2*s as necessary in each section to discuss the strengths of the element(s))

{e:note5} {c:indigo}{b}{u}Plot/Conflict/Pace:{/c}{/b}{/u} (Number of) {e:star}'s



{e:note1} {c:red}{u}{b}Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling:{/c}{/u}{/b} (Number of) {e:star}'s



{e:note3} {c:green}{u}{b}First Impression Wow Factor:{/c}{/u}{/b} (Number of) {e:star}’s



{e:right} {font:impact}{c:rose}{u}My Overall Rating:{/font}{/c}{/u} {e:star}

{font:comic}{c:lblue}{b}I enjoyed your creative story! Reviewers and Judges are in the process of reading each story and writing its review. Winners will be posted in the contest forum no later than the 7th of the month. The Judge will email the winners individually and award their prizes just prior to posting the results. Best of luck to you!{/c}

(Your Name and/or signature image)

*Up* Stop copying here *Up*


Thank you so much for helping our young writers grow in their craft through participation in this contest!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me *Smile* NickiD89

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