How We Choose a Weekly Challenge Champion

Beginning April 3, 2014, with Challenge 59, The Iron Writer will begin using judges to select the weekly challenge champion. Each challenge will have four judges. Each judge will award a one point to the entry of their choice. Additionally, the story that receives the most votes in the popular vote will also receive one point.

If there is a tie after all points are awarded, the weekly challenge champion will be chosen by those authors who are in the Iron Writer Facebook group, using an open ballot.

Please note judging each challenge is a fluid, ongoing project and subject to change.

The judging process works like this:

To be a judge you must have taken at least one challenge on The Iron Writer and be part of our Facebook group (to coordinate who is judging which challenge).

The judges will rate (1 to 5, 5 being best) each challenge entry based on five categories. These categories are subject to change.

  1. Story Arc  (does the story have a beginning, a middle, an end)  
  2. Character    (are the characters well developed)
  3. Language  (grammar, spelling, etc)
  4. Use of Elements  (how well the four elements are used)

All points are combined to select the weekly champion. The table below gives an example of the scoring process, using Challenge 49.

One in a Million Ten Seconds Sam Eagle Seeing Stars
Judge 1 Story Arc 3 4 4 3
Character 3 3 4 3
Language 3 3 3 2
Elements 3 5 3 5
Total 12 15 14 13
Judge 2 Story Arc 3 4 5 3
Character 3 3 5 3
Language 3 4 4 4
Elements 4 3 5 4
Total 13 14 19 14
Judge 3 Story Arc 4 3 2 4
Character 4 2 3 2
Language 4 4 4 3
Elements 3 4 5 3
Total 15 13 14 12

In this example, each judge chose a different story. Judge 1 chose “Ten Seconds”. Judge 2 chose “Sam Eagle”. Judge 3 chose “One in a Million”, so each of those stories would receive one point. As “Sam Eagle” won the popular vote, that entry would receive one point as well. The final score would look like this:

One in a Million  1 (judge point)

Ten Seconds 1 (judge point)

Sam Eagle 2 (one point for popular vote, plus one judge point)

Seeing Stars 0

Sam Eagle is the weekly champion.




4 thoughts on “How We Choose a Weekly Challenge Champion

  1. It sounds like a fair way to judge. Having it depend entirely on reader votes really only shows how many people the authors were able to coerce into reading, or merely voting for, their stories.

  2. Alex, this has morphed somewhat over the last year or two. Judge as you seem fit, but please approach it as if you are the mentor, the teacher. Please do not approach it as a competitor.

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