2020 Gateway to the Best
Missouri Romance Writers of America (MORWA)

Score Sheet 

Judge Number:

Entry Number:

Entry Title:



Score each section from 1-10:

 10 = Excellent, ready to submit

   9 = Almost there, needs only a little polishing

8/7 = Above Average, minor corrections needed

6/5 = Average, shows promise
4/3 = Below average, needs work
2/1 = Major problems, author needs better understanding of basic                                      

         concepts in this area


Please do not give a score of zero (0). We also encourage commenting directly in the manuscript as well as using the comments section on the second page to give additional feedback. Scores below 4 should be addressed in the comments so the author can understand the rationale and use it to improve their writing.


OPENING/HOOK: Does the submission open with a lure and end with a hook? Would you keep reading after the first page and at the end of the submitted pages?


CHARACTERS: Are the characters interesting (i.e., creatively written and multidimensional, sympathetic, with distinct character traits and histories?)



CONFLICT: Is there sufficient internal and external conflict (or the groundwork for conflict for the protagonist and antagonist (or whichever characters' points of view are in the submitted pages) to keep the pace moving forward and to sustain a story for the entire manuscript?


DIALOGUE: Does the dialogue flow naturally and move the story along? Is there an effective mix of dialogue tags, action, and dialogue standing alone?  



PLOTTING: Is the plot innovative or original, either as a whole or because of a creative internal or external conflict? Does the opening lay the groundwork for the emotional relationship and attraction between the couple, even if they do not meet on these pages?


WRITING: Is the point of view clear throughout the submission?  Are transitions smooth and easy to follow? Is the writing vivid and evocative, with an easy-to-read style using varied sentence length and structure?


VOICE: Does the writer's voice work well for the subject matter and plotting?  Does the author have a unique and/or interesting voice?


PACING: Is the pacing appropriate to the story?  Does each scene promote and advance the plot progression? Does the author present necessary plot information (backstory) at relevant locations and in an unobtrusive way?


DESCRIPTION: The writing clearly defines the setting; good sense of time and place; sets the mood, effective use of the senses.


MECHANICS: Manuscript is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors; formatted according to industry standards.

Total Points


(Maximum:  100 points)

What is your overall impression?

Please describe at least one area that you feel the author handled well? 


Please describe at least one area that the author needs to work on. 

Additional Comments: