I've been notified that my book is NOT an Awards Finalist... Now What?


The fact that your book didn’t score high enough for an award does not mean that you’re done with MWSA.

We highly recommend that your first step be to find out what happened and why.

Ask for your reviewers’ comments!

  • Your awards directors will forward your three reviewers’ comments to you upon request.

  • Our reviewers are asked to evaluate your book using an objective system—involving 20 multiple choice questions.

    • They are also asked to provide as many of the details behind their evaluation as possible.

    • Although all scores and comments involving our internal deliberations  cannot be released, other comments can be shared with our authors.

  • Are your reviewers the final word with respect to the quality of your book?

    • No, but please consider your reviewers’ demographics.  All three of your reviewers…

      • are MWSA members (something you have in common),

      • are writers themselves (theoretically, a step above a “plain reader,” and also something you have in common),

      • volunteered to read your book.

      • In other words, they’re very likely “your preferred/target demographic!”

    • If three of these reviewers decided to answer our evaluation questions in the same way, it’s not unreasonable to recognize that they might have valuable feedback for you.

  • What if you have more questions after reading your reviewers’ comments?  Ask if you can contact one or more of your reviewers.  He/She/They may agree to contact you and share their thoughts.

    • It happens every year: we get at least one or two books that reviewers love, but have to score lower based on our objective scoring system—they want you to succeed!

    • Although our system is designed to keep our reviewers anonymous; once the evaluation is complete, they don’t have to stay that way.

      • SOME reviewers will be happy to respond… others (perhaps even most) will not. 

      • Go ahead and ask, and we’ll see what happens.

    • Our goal is to facilitate an information-sharing and learning process—not to offer you a chance to convince your reviewer(s) how they were mistaken in their evaluation of your book.

  • Frankly, in most cases, the problems identified by reviewers can be fixed with further editing—either by the author, or by working with an editor.

  • Visit our resources page and see if someone is offering help to work with you to address any problem areas identified by your reviewers.

  • At the very least, your reviewer comments might give you food for thought.  Hopefully, the comments will help you strengthen your skills as a writer.