Want to be a Judge?

Thank you for your interest in serving as a judge for the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

We are currently recruiting Illinois library staff members to serve as judges for both of our annual contests: the Illinois Author Project and the Manuscript Project (details below). You may sign up to help with either or both.

Illinois Author Project

  • Entries are indie-published or self-published works of adult or young adult fiction.
  • Judges typically read 6 to 7 books over an eight-to-ten-week period beginning in August, and fill out a brief evaluation form for each title.
    • Each judge will be asked to read 3 or 4 books in the first round of judging, as well as the three finalists.

Manuscript Project

  • Entries are unpublished works of adult fiction.
  • Judges typically read 9 to 11 manuscripts over a twelve-to-fourteen-week period beginning in January, and fill out a brief evaluation form for each title.
    • Each judge will be asked to read 3 or 4 books in the first and second rounds of judging, as well as the three finalists.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are judges required to attend any in-person or virtual meetings?

  • No. Judges are asked only to read and evaluate their assigned books. No other commitments are required.

How do judges access their assigned books?

  • Judges will read their assigned books electronically through the BiblioBoard platform. Judges can use the BiblioBoard app (available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire) or read in a browser.

Do I need to be a librarian to be a judge?

  • No. Judging is open to anyone who works for an Illinois library, not just librarians. Please note: judges must be employed at a library within the state of Illinois at the time of judging.

Questions/Comments

Any questions about being a judge or the judging process should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Wheaton Public Library.



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