With 2007 nearing an end, and with just two topics left in this quarter's Challenge (as I write), it's time to start recruiting some new volunteers to act as judges in the first quarter of the Writing Challenge for 2008. If you are already a judge, don't respond here (although you can certainly encourage people to have a go). I'll be contacting all the current judges very soon about next quarter availability.
But, if you have never judged, or perhaps haven't done it for quite a while, I would like to encourage you to give it a go. There are just a couple of things to make you eligible for the job:
1. You must love to read and love the Challenge.
2. You must either be an Editors' Choice winner (at some point in the history of the Challenge), OR have placed twice in Level 3 at some point (this includes "Highly Commended").
Judges are only rostered on for one week in the quarter, and they are given plenty of information to help them get started. Also, we have a system in place that makes the job easier than you may imagine.
If you think you would like to give this a go, please send me an email or PM.
I will need to know if you have Excel, MS Works, or even "Open Office" on your computer. It isn't absolutely vital, but it will make your job a lot easier. You can act as a judge just using a print off sheet (Word, or PDF); however, it means you would need to use a calculator to work out your final scores for each entry.
If you don't have Excel, MS Works or Open Office, can I recommend that you download the free Open Office system? It is almost identical to MS Office, and includes a spreadsheet program that is very similar to Excel. I have a Judges' rating sheet available for Open Office, so it is worth trying. Here is the link to download the program. It is definitely worth having if you don't have MS Office. A few judges do use this, and it is definitely much better than having to work everything out manually (and it's completely free):
The only reason I need to know which program you are using is so I know which rating sheet file to send you.
If you are willing to volunteer, I will also need to know if there are any weeks during the period 3rd January to 16th March that would be difficult for you.
Once I hear from you, I will send you a whole lot of information about judging to help you get started. You can even have a little practice beforehand.
I really do encourage anyone who is eligible for this role to seriously consider giving back to FaithWriters in this way. I value the support of our volunteers enormously (hey, I'm one too, you know). The Challenge would come to a grinding halt if we didn't have the assistance of our very faithful and committed volunteer judges.
Hope to have you on the team.