Here at Figgy Idol, we do not utilize a rubric for our judging. We tried it for one season and found that it didn't work well for us. It's hard to quantify fantastic writing, and we feel that it shouldn't come down to a numbers game. Writing is something that is felt, so based on what we think about a specific story and writer, we make our decisions.
I have compiled a bulleted list of things for my judges to think about when submitting their final decisions to me at the end of each judging period. The list looks something like this:
- Does it have a complete plot (beginning, middle, and end)?
- Are the characters well developed and consistent?
- Does the story flow and is easy to follow?
- Do the details match one another? Are they logical? Any unexplained aspects?
- Does the story make you feel something?
- Was it enjoyable to read?
- What aspects about it stood out to you, both positive and negative?
- What is your overall impression of the story?
- Has the writer shown improvement from the previous round?
Even though this list is directed at the judges, I encourage each writer to also think about these things as they write because it's what we will be looking for when we make our decisions. After each judge has read and submitted their decisions to me, it comes down to a vote. The writer(s) who receive the most votes for elimination will be eliminated. It's not always going to be the worst writer or the least improved; there have been some writers eliminated that surprised even me. There are no bad writers in our competition, and that's what makes our job so hard. Bring your A-game, that's all I have to say. Fight for your spot!