For 2015: F. J. Bergmann
Judge should be someone reasonably experienced with both SF/fantasy/horror and poetry, if possible, and someone whose name would be a draw in at least some of those circles. Ideally, this would be before the previous year's convention, so that the judge can be announced there. We pay $200; the judge has the option of reading all the entries, or of having them screened by preliminary readers to reduce the number. Judge is expected to pick honorable mentions as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but is only expected to write a comment for the first 3 places in each division. Update website with new judge as soon as available (also new contest e-mail address for inquiries).
Entries generally open in October. About then, information is sent to the following:
- Main St. Rag newsletter
- Informational forum for Wi. English teachers
- Cynthia Ward
- Viable Paradise
- Viable Paradise XII
- Winning Writers
- Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
- Hope Clark
- Science Fiction Poetry Association
- SFPA Facebook
- Strange Horizons contributors listserv
- OddCon listserv
- MadSF listserv
- Open Call https://www.facebook.com/groups/440107622678110/
- SpecTech writers group
- my FaceBook
- Madison NaNoWriMo
- previous entrants
Announcements on some of the lists above. Adult entrants are welcome to serve as prelim. readers for the Youth division.
Make a list of all entrants for each division with ID #s, entry titles, postal and e-mail addresses. Check eligibility (form, # of words—every year a few send ineligible work). Check Adult payments with treasurer as soon as deadline has passed (every year a few don't pay). Put all entries for each division in a single Word .doc or .rtf and standardize format (font, spacing, para indents), making sure all identification has been removed.
If necessary, split document to send manageable # to preliminary readers—if more than 40-50 entrants, will probably need to be split. Note that some readers always fail to return results in time; ALWAYS use extras (6-7 per section should be sufficient; more readers, alas, tend to level the playing field, rather than producing the expected bell curve). Readers are asked to pick their top 10 entries and rank the top three: assign points and send the top-scoring entries and anything that was picked for a first place to the final judge. If ties (frequent), ask if judge will read a few extra.
Make sure judge has received file. Prod around Feb. 27 to make sure judge hasn't forgotten. Once judge has picked winners, provide judge with winners' names to make sure there is no conflict of interest. If any suspicion of plagiarism, do a Google search for chosen phrases.
E-mail winners and invite them to attend OdysseyCon. Post winners on website. Send announcement to all entrants and readers, OddCon and MadSF listservs. Provide treasurer with addresses of judge and Adult and Youth winners. Include for those who get free memberships: Let registration know the names and addresses of those winners who will attend.
Jim Frenkel has donated books every year; these need to be picked up before the convention. Usually. about 2 trade paperbacks will fit in a 9x12 padded envelope; so, about 12 books. Make sure Youth winners' books are age-appropriate.
Find out which winners will attend and read. Print award certificates. If coming from far away, help them make arrangements and feel comfortable at con. At con, arrange for volunteers to read winning entries if winners are not available. Present those who appear with books and certificates. Mail them to those who can't come or don't show up.