Judging the Vocal Writing Awards

From submission to celebration: learn about the VWA judging process

By Vocal Curation TeamPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read

Hey Vocal Creators 👋

With just 9 days left to enter, the final countdown to submission deadline has begun for the Vocal Writing Awards (VWA), a celebration of the most captivating writing contributions from our community. To ensure a transparent process, we've outlined the complete procedure in this resource article. So whether you're a participant, voter, or an eager spectator, here's everything you need to know.

1. Preliminary Judging by Vocal: Behind the Scenes

Submission Review

Our dedicated Vocal Awards Committee (VAC), led by former Times literary editor and author Erica Wagner, will first compile all entries. The foremost priority is to ensure that each piece meets the award's specific criteria, guidelines, and rules.

Eliminate Multiple Category Submissions

A crucial point to note: each story can only be submitted to one category. If your story appears in more than one category, it will be considered solely for the first category it was submitted to.

Blind Evaluation

Here's where the magic begins! All entries will be stripped of any personal identifiers and given a unique ID. Our judges won't know whose work they're reading, ensuring objectivity.

Criteria-based Assessment

Your work will be evaluated based on:

  • Originality
  • Structure and coherence
  • Emotional impact
  • Style and voice
  • Relevance to the category

Each aspect is weighted to create an aggregate score.


After meticulous evaluation, the cream of the crop— the top 10 entries per category as determined by VAC— will make it to our prestigious shortlist.


Brace yourselves! The shortlisted entries will be announced to the entire community by 5pm ET on October 15th, 2023, marking the commencement of the phase you've been waiting for: community voting.

2. Community Voting: Your Turn to Judge!

Voting Period

Mark your calendars! The community will have from October 15, 2023-November 16, 2023 to cast votes.

Who's Eligible to Vote?

All Vocal creators! However, a small caveat: voting eligible accounts should must be created on or before September 30, 2023. Votes cast by accounts created after the deadline will be disqualified.

Blind Voting Setup

Shortlisted entries will be showcased to the community, stripped of their author and Vocal link. Each piece will sport a unique voting ID, ensuring anonymity. Please note that we will not un-publish the existing published Vocal story links, but they will not be tied to the entries in the voting procedure.

Ranked-Choice Voting

Ranked-choice voting determines the entries with the strongest support, eliminates the need for multiple decision rounds, and reduces vote gaming. A bit unfamiliar with ranked-choice voting? No worries! Clear guidelines will be provided. Simply put, you'll rank your top 3 favorite entries per category in order of preference.

Tallying Votes & The Big Reveal

After votes are in, we will identify the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place champions of each category. We will announce the winners on Friday, November 17th, via vocal.media, Discord, email, and social.

3. General Guidelines

Fairness First: Should a judge recognize a submission or have any ties to a particular piece, they'll step back from evaluating it, ensuring unbiased judgment. Shortlisted pieces will also be scored for AI content. The VWA are strictly for human creators.

Feedback Matters: We understand the value of feedback. We're committed to offering insights to the standout pieces on our shortlist. Feedback will be provided after the conclusion of the Awards judging period.

Stay in the Loop: The journey of the awards is as significant as the destination. We'll keep you updated at each step of the way— from key dates to milestone announcements.

Upholding Integrity: Every phase of our awards, be it internal evaluations or community voting, is anchored in transparency and the highest ethical standards.

The Vocal Writing Awards is more than just a competition; it's a celebration of our community's diverse voices and talents. Whether you're in it to win, vote, or simply cheer from the sidelines, your involvement is what makes these awards special.

So what are you waiting for? Any Vocal creator can enter any category, and Vocal+ creators get 50% off one entry per category. Enter now and may the best entries win!🌟


About the Creator

Vocal Curation Team

Collaborative, conscious, and committed to content. We're rounding up the best that the Vocal network has to offer.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (23)

Sign in to comment
  • Dawn Earnshaw2 months ago

    This is fantastic news; I’ve been working really hard on original and upcoming projects and events, I didn’t realise not to enter my work into different categories until now. I couldn’t decide at the time what category they would go in. I know my AI assisted work would be a major challenge; so I pre emptied this and put a mini novel together to do with everything going on in the world right now. I believe it to be the next American Novel- only I’ve missed this category. To be honest I just love writing and reading any feedback; which is most helpful and it is inspiring me to write more. But absolutely good luck 🤞 everyone you have written brilliantly.

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    UMMM! I am trying to submit my entries, I really procrastinated, sorry. But I cannot get past Stripe's address criteria, it is a military postal code, my PC is being rejected. I know it is correct because it works with my CC many times. Can anyone help me, Thanks.

  • Alexander McEvoy2 months ago

    I was wondering how the voting aspect would work, thanks for explaining! Looking forward to seeing how the whole thing shakes out :) Best of luck to all entrants!

  • PK Colleran2 months ago

    Brilliant plan. Blind voting is a great idea. Nervous and excited too. Good luck to all writers ✍️🍀

  • Alexis Dean Jr.2 months ago

    Nervous. Excited. And, nervous. Good luck everyone!

  • Great 💯✌️❤️📝🎉😁

  • Brilliant! Thanks for updating us! 🌈🕊️✨🤍

  • Scott Christenson2 months ago

    It's good to hear the AI stories will be taken out to the backyard...

  • Rob Angeli2 months ago

    That's a great way to do it. Look forward to it!

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh2 months ago

    I love this framework. I do appreciate the attention given to screening out AI generated content in the submissions. What is to be done about all of the AI vocal subscribers? Is it a goal to ensure that all *voters* are human as well?

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Thank you Vocal for this!!!♥️♥️💕

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I had not thought to enter until I read this. It sounds very thorough, and about as fair as you can make it.

  • Lena Folkert2 months ago

    I did not know before now that this was going to be blind-judged. I wish I did, because it makes me want to enter so much more, but I haven't prepared to! EEK!! I have work to do! But Vocal team. This is my number one request since the platform I found. It is SUCH an unbelievable relief, and just... I"M SO PROUD that you listened and that you put this into action! I'm proud of Vocal for this. And so, so grateful!! WELL DONE!!! Now, I'm off to try to get some entries in!!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Thank you for the information. I'm curious about something. You said judges who were familiar with certain entries would step back. Considering you have also stated that pieces that placed in previous challenges are welcome, how would the judges NOT be familiar with those? Are there different judges for the awards than for the challenges?

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    🤩🤩🤩 Sounds exciting! Best of luck to everyone who enters!

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    I'm immensely impressed by the process you have opted for, VCT! I'm excited for the blind voting element, especially. One note: Are the discount codes something you prefer to be contacted about thru Support, or could you provide the codes in this article, perhaps? Many creators do not know what they are. Thank you so much for publishing this now, as opposed to after the submissions deadline. :D

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    thank you Vocal for this information! it is appreciated and means I will definitely enter!

  • Chloe2 months ago

    I would love to enter the Vocal Writing Awards, but (not to be a debby-downer) I doubt that I’d even place. Sure, I will be very happy for everyone who wins and places!! Especially in such a huge contest! But as for me, I don’t think I’m ready yet, and I know (because I very rarely place) that I wouldn’t place in such a big, BIG challenge. Thanks for the update, though! I’m looking forward to finding the winners!

  • This is awesome and thanks so much for the clear explanations of all the steps. Really appreciate it! I had one question. What would be the suggestion of a creator who is voting if they had their story appear on the shortlist? Should they avoid that category? Or rank only the other stories? Do they still rank their own story or is that unfair?

  • Cendrine Marrouat2 months ago

    This is very reassuring, Vocal Team. I'm glad you opted for blind voting!

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    That was very helpful, thank you for putting it together before the submission deadline. Is there somewhere that will show how many total submissions there are per category at some point? (Or is there a place now?) Thank you!

  • Ashley Lima2 months ago

    Eeeeeek, I'm so anxious and excited. Time to saddle up and write some YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Romance...

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    Thank you for the information! 👍👍

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.