Judging in this year's QSQs will be done, as usual, by committees who hold confidential discussions and vote on the winners. In the past few years it has become harder to find enough members to fill the committees and it's difficult to keep track of exactly who is going to be available during the judging period. So, in an attempt to solve these problems, for the last two years we have asked people to express an interest in joining a committee in order to give us a pool of judges to choose from. The committee leaders will still have final say on appointing members and posting here does not guarantee that you will be selected. It will hopefully just make the organisation easier.
If you would like to sign up, please post below using the form. Please think before you sign up and make sure that you are totally happy with what judging requires. You will be expected to be available fairly frequently during the months of August and September (needing occasional weeks off is fine, but if you know you're only going to be around for a couple of days during this time, please don't sign up) and you must be prepared to read all the nominations in your category (we usually ask for around the first five chapters of chaptered stories). Please think about the types of stories you would be prepared to read (remember nominations can be any rating and contain any warnings) and avoid categories you would feel uncomfortable reading. You may not enjoy everything you read, but it is still important that you give a fair, balanced opinion. If you think you won't have as much time, then I would suggest asking for a smaller category.
The final thing to note is that we keep the entire judging process secret. This means that you may not reveal anywhere which category you are judging, or express any opinions on nominations outside the judging forums. This will be taken very seriously this year and I will be very unhappy if I find people discussing the judging outside their committee. If your committee does decide on a winner before the final deadline, it goes without saying that you shouldn't post the results anywhere. I also expect that once a decision has been made by a committee, all members of that committee will support it, even if it is not for a story they voted for.
I know it all sounds rather scary but being on a committee is not all bad - it's a great way to be involved in one of the most anticipated MNFF events of the year, and you may find yourself reading and enjoying stories you'd never have considered before. So long as you are clear about what is expected, and can set aside time for reading and writing brief opinions on stories, then it is not a huge commitment. And committees are vital in the running of the awards. The fewer judges we get, the fewer people who have a say in the final decision and the less representative the decision becomes.
Here is the form to use for sign-ups:
Feel free to add in any details you think are necessary.
[B]Do you fully understand the rules and commitment required to be QSQ judge?[/B]
[B]How many committees would you be prepared to sit on?[/B]
[B]Are there any categories you are particularly keen to judge?[/B]
[B]Are there any categories you would not be happy to judge?[/B]
[B]Would you be prepared to lead a committee if necessary?[/B] (This means assigning committee members stories to read, leading discussions and chasing people up to post their comments/votes. You must have participated in QSQ judging in a previous year to lead a committee)
[B]Can you think of any potential problems/issues that would affect your ability to judge?[/B]
Committees won't be appointed until nominations have closed to ensure no one is asked to be on a committee they've been nominated for. This thread will be open until the 23rd July.