Five Reasons You Should Judge The Stiletto Contest

~ By Mary E. Thompson

The 2018 Stiletto Contest opens March 9.

To make the contest a success, we need lots and lots of judges!

Judging isn’t an easy job, but it’s a great job.

We think you’d be perfect for it!

You Get Free Books

Who doesn’t love free books? You don’t get to pick any free book you want, but you do get to read books without having to pay for them. That’s always a good deal. Unpublished entries will be documents, and published entries will be mobi, epub, or paperback books so they’ll be easy to read! And yes, we provide instructions for side-loading files onto your e-reader.

It Will Broaden Your Horizons

There are so many authors out there, so many styles, so many genres. Thousands of new romance novels are released every year. There’s no way you can read them all, or even a good sample of them, especially if you like sleep and writing and all those other things that go along with life.

By signing up to judge, you get to read books by authors you might not have heard of. You might read books in genres you’ve never read before. You never know when you might find a new author or genre that you love and never even knew about.

It’ll Make You A Better Writer

Being a judge isn’t always easy. But being a judge requires you to look at another author’s work and decide if that book is well-written or not. It’s a story that’s completely new to you, so you can look at it with fresh eyes. And that helps you be a better writer.

It’s almost impossible to look at our own work objectively. We think our work is great, and our baby can’t possibly be cut to pieces. But looking at someone else’s workbook and gavel allows us that objectivity. It makes it so we can see our flaws through the eyes of their manuscript. I’ve spotted things in other manuscripts that I didn’t think were well done and realized I did them myself. Every time I’ve judged a contest has pushed me to improve my writing.

You Can Choose How Much You Do

Do you have a little time but are worried it isn’t enough? Sign up to judge 1-3 entries. Do you have a lot of time, but not until after taxes are done? Good news! Entries won’t go out to judges until mid-late April. You can select how many entries you’re willing to judge. It’s a commitment, but you get to read free books! It’s really not a chore, is it?

It Helps CRW

This is an amazing chapter. Our officers have worked really hard to keep CRW going and bring back the Stiletto Contest, but none of it is possible without your help. If every member of CRW judged, the contest would be covered almost exclusively from our members. If you’ve ever thought about giving back or getting more involved, this is a great way to do it!

We need you!

If you’re ready to sign up to judge the 2018 Stiletto Contest, you can sign up today! Go here – – to read all about the contest and check out the score sheets (yes, you can see them now before the contest opens so you know what you’re getting into!). Or you can go here – – to sign up now.

Contemporary Romance Writers thanks you!

Mary E. Thompson writes scintillating stories with a side of hope. She reenergizes every year with a trip to Nationals, and every month at her local chapter meeting. When Mary isn’t writing, she cheers on her daughter at gymnastics and her son at every other sport. Mary is lucky to have her own romance novel worthy husband to tag-team if things get too crazy. Visit her website at to learn more.

2 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Judge The Stiletto Contest”

  1. I judged one entry last year and — despite my initial reservations (about the time and effort that may be involved) — I enjoyed the story and found the analytical experience rewarding.

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