Our Review & Awards Process
Timeline and Instructions


Step 0. Are you sure you’re ready?

Before you submit your book, are you sure it’s “ready for prime time”?

  • MWSA’s review and award system will evaluate your book against many industry-standard criteria—including the technical areas of spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.

    • If your book has too many errors, a low technical score will “torpedo” your chance of winning an award—or even getting a positive review.

  • If you’re not quite sure, consider using our Beta Readers program to line up a few of your fellow MWSA members to give it an honest look.

  • You might also want to consider getting a second opinion from a professional editor. See our Resources page for a list of MWSA members offering editing services.

Step 1.  Book Submission

Award/Review Submission Page

Submit your book via our online request form.

  • Acceptable content & format

  • Author must be an MWSA member in good standing

    • If you use a pen name/pseudonym, please use your real name as point of contact when submitting your book so we can ascertain your membership status.

    • See Membership page to join or renew your MWSA membership

  • Cost: $40

    • Submission fee pays for...

      • Basic awards package for Finalists/Award Winners (see "Awards Package Contents & Procedures" section below for details)

      • Press Release(s)

      • Associated costs for awards banquet and reviewer recognition

  • Make sure you check/edit your submission

    • Provide a working link to a website where visitors can purchase your book

    • We normally use this link to find your book's cover, which we'll use for our website listing

    • Your choice of review genre will determine which scoring criteria our reviewers will use to evaluate your book

  • After we've received you book information your book will be added to our online library and will reflect that your MWSA review is "pending"

  • Annual submission window: 15 January to 15 June

    • Submitting your book during the above time period ensures that it will be read, scored, reviewed and considered for that year's awards season if at all possible.

    • However, depending on reviewer workload, we may not be able to complete a review for books submitted in the last part of the season.

      • If this happens, authors will have a choice of having their $40 fee refunded or keeping their books in the running for the next year's awards season.


Step 2. Evaluation & Review

  • As reviewers become available, they volunteer to read and evaluate your book

  • We try to assign books to reviewers in the order received; but this isn't always possible

  • Depending on work load, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to identify your three reviewers

  • Once we've lined up all three reviewers, the Awards Director will email you with information on how to get copies of your book to each reviewer

  • Each reviewer reads and scores your book

    • Please bear with us... this step also takes a while to complete

      • Many reviewers will read well over a dozen books in a season

      • It may take several weeks (or longer) to identify your three reviewers and then a similar period of time to complete the entire evaluation process.

    • Although scores and certain internal, "eyes-only" reviewer comments will not be released to authors, many reviewers submit comments that the author might find useful.

      • These comments can be released to authors upon request

      • Notes on reviewer comments:

        • Comments are primarily meant to communicate evaluation details to the Awards Directors

        • When released to the author, these comments will not be edited for "tact or diplomacy" beforehand.

        • In other words, be prepared for direct and unedited reviewer critiques, comments and observations if you ask to see them!


STEP 3.  Review and Awards

MWSA Reviews

  • Our No. 1 reviewer will write a review of your book

  • Within a few weeks after all reviewers have finished reading and scoring your book, we'll let you know that your MWSA review has been added to your book's listing in our online library.

  • No matter how well--or how poorly--a book scores, all authors will retain the right to have their book and/or MWSA review removed from our website.

  • MWSA's main goal will always be to help our member authors.

    • Our reviews are normally oriented toward that goal, and as such should not be considered "critical" reviews.

    • We prefer not to post any review detrimental to an author's book marketing efforts.

  • However, in order to maintain the credibility and consistency of our Review and Awards system, books that score below a minimum threshold will be handled as follows:

    • The MWSA Awards Director will notify the author that the final average score of their book did not reach our minimum standard.

    • At this time, the director will go over some of the main problem areas identified by our reviewers and offer the author the chance to receive a copy of reviewer comments and observations--but not the actual scores.

    • Books that fail to reach our minimum threshold score must have reviews that mention some of these problems found.

    • Authors will be able to see the draft review and decide whether or not they'd like to have us publish it on our website.

  • MWSA will not "negotiate" with authors with respect to the content of our review.

  • MWSA will not normally refund a submission fee in the case where the author decides that our review should not posted on our website.

MWSA Awards

  • Whereas MWSA reviews are focused on helping our member authors, our awards are determined based on an objective and critical evaluation of each submitted book.

    • Books do NOT compete against each other, but against a rigorous, numerical scoring standard.

    • See our Details Page for more background information on our evaluation and scoring process

  • About two months after the submission window closes (in July or August), MWSA Awards Finalists will be announced

    • Being an Award Finalist means your book has scored high enough for an award

    • Even if your book's score doesn't qualify for an award, its review can appear on our website

  • Specific individual award winners (Gold, Silver and Bronze), as well as Special Recognition Awards (such as our Founder's and President's Awards and the MWSA Writer of the Year) will be announced at our MWSA Awards Conference

    • See our Awards Section for more information.

    • See our Events Section for details or to register to attend our annual Membership Conference and/or Awards Banquet

    • If circumstances warrant, we may have "virtual" award ceremonies (i.e. winners announced online only)

  • Awards Package Contents & Procedures

    • All Finalists/Medal winners will receive an awards package containing:

      • One medal and ribbon

      • 100 book stickers

      • Award Certificate

      • Notification letter

    • The above awards package is presented to the author during our awards ceremony/banquet

      • The cost is included in the original book submission fee.

    • If the author cannot attend the ceremony, MWSA will mail the package to anywhere in the continental US.

    • If an award-winning book has more than one author, extra medals, stickers (and postage, if necessary) can also be purchased in our online store.

      • These extra medals and/or stickers can be purchased any time after the announcement of Awards Finalists, but before the awards ceremony if you'd like us to present the extra awards materials during the awards banquet.

All authors should read this page before submitting their book!


Restrictions & How to get them to MWSA

Restrictions & Limitations

  • Your e-book must be published and have a ISBN (or ASIN) number

  • PDF or word processor files will not be accepted by any MWSA reviewer

  • Not all of our reviewers can accept e-books

  • Authors may not send e-books directly to MWSA reviewers

  • Procedures below apply to those authors with...

    • paper AND e-book versions of their work, or

    • only e-book version(s) of their work.

  • Please do not send unsolicited books—instead, use our online form

How to send us an e-book for review

  • Please read these instructions carefully!

  • Use Amazon’s “Buy for others” option

    • You’ll find this on the right side of your book’s listing on Amazon (just under the normal purchase block, and above “Send a free sample”)

    • Select the quantity of eBooks you’ll be sending us

    • Click on the “Buy for others” button

  • Fill out the “Complete your Kindle book gift purchase” page (see image below) using the following steps:

    • Type “MWSAAwardsDirectors@gmail.com” in the “To” block,

    • If you’re signed into your Amazon account, YOUR name should already be in the “From” block

    • In the “Message” block enter the desired Reviewer Number(s) to whom we’ll be forwarding your gift certificates

    • Make sure the “Delivery Date” is “Now”

    • Once you’ve checked your Order Summary, Payment Method, and Billing Address, click the “Place your order” button

      • Note that my Amazon account had my personal gift card balance, resulting in a $0.00 Order total—you may not be so lucky. :-)

Click for expanded view of screenshot

  • The above procedure is for Kindle eBooks only

    • If you're sending a combination of paper and e-book versions of your book (because one or more of your reviewers accepts/prefers eBooks), you'll only need to send one gift per reviewer accepting eBook format.

      • The other reviewer(s) will need a paper copy mailed to them at the address provided.

  • You do not need to send more than one format (i.e. softcover and Kindle) to any one reviewer.

  • Once we receive your gift certificate(s) via email, we’ll forward to the applicable reviewers and send you a short email letting you know that’s happened.

Other eBook Options

If the above Amazon Gift Certificate option is not possible, the Awards Directors will work with authors to try to come up with an acceptable solution to get your eBook to our reviewers.  

  • After discussing the details together, MWSA may be able to accept...

    • a digital file (.mobi, epub, etc.)

    • an electronic bookstore coupon (Amazon, Apple/iTunes, etc.) of sufficient value to cover MWSA's purchase of e-books for reviewers


Review & Awards Contact Form
Send us your questions or comments

Please do not use this form to submit your book for review/award consideration!

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