The Zebulon: Judges FAQ

The Zebulon 2020 is actively canvassing for judges. Are you interested?

If so, you probably have some questions…

HOW HAS THE ZEBULON CHANGED?

Zebulon has been retooled for the 2020 edition, basing the contest on Submittable for both judge registration and contestant submissions. 

On the contest side:

The short story category returns. 

For novels, contestants will be judged on a 500 word synopsis and the first 2500 words of the manuscript. 

For short stories, contestants will be judged on the entire story, which can be up to 5000 words in length. 

Contestant prizes are cash based and larger this year to encourage geographic diversity. 

On the judging side:

Judges need to register and be vetted. Compensation is also cash based to encourage geographic diversity. 

Judges are paid $5 per submission judged, up to a cap of $50. 

Judges are paid $10 for every submission critiqued. 

There are two judges per submission. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY?

We are looking for people who have professional experience reviewing manuscripts, people who are in the publishing industry, people who teach writing, past Zebulon judges. Published authors. If we’ve missed your area of qualification, please apply and let us know. 

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

Expect to spend about 2 hours per submission judged. Critiques can take a bit longer. If you’re spending more than 4 hours, then that’s way too much. 

HOW DO I JUDGE A SUBMISSION?

Scoresheets are online. Critiques need to be downloaded. There will be no line edits this year. Just score and comment.  

WHAT IS THE CONTEST TIMETABLE?

The contest opens September 1st, 2019
The contest closes November 1st, 2019

This is the judging part…

Main Round judging begins November 15th, 2019
Main Round judging ends January 6th, 2020

If the score variance between the two judges is too large, a submission will have a third judge. The two closest scores are used. 

Third Judge Round begins January 13th, 2020 (if required)
Third Judge Round ends February 3rd, 2020 (if required)

Agents and Editors for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2020 are VIP judges, and they will set the ranking order for the top three entries of each category. 

VIP Judge Round begins February 10th
VIP Judge Round ends February 28th. 

Winners are announced on March 6th, 2020

WHAT ARE THE CONTEST CATEGORIES?

The Zebulon is a contest for short story and novel length fiction. It does not accept children’s books below middle grade, screenplays, poetry, or nonfiction entries, including memoir and creative nonfiction. Each entry must be submitted in one of the following categories:

  • Middle Grade/Young Adult
  • Mainstream/Literary/Historical
  • Romance/Women’s Fiction
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Urban Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal
  • Short Story (any genre up to 5000 words)

More information about the contest itself can be found at:

https://pikespeakwriters.com/contest/the-zebulon-rules/

HOW DO I APPLY AS A JUDGE?

Applying is easy:

1) Open up your favorite browser to:

 https://pikespeakwriters.submittable.com/submit

2) Choose the PPW Zebulon Contest Judge Portal

3) Fill out the application

4) Hit submit!