The program is intended as a means of recognition for students, teachers, and schools producing excellent literary magazines; as an inducement for improving the quality of such magazines; and as encouragement for all schools to develop literary magazines, seeking excellence in writing and school-wide participation in production.
Magazines are evaluated and ranked; each entry is reviewed and scored by two judges working independently.
The judges will be English teachers at the middle, secondary, or college level. Judges will not be permitted to rate magazines from their own schools. Ratings by state judges are subject to review by PRESLM's Advisory Committee, which also makes final selection of the program's Highest Award winners.
Note: The following types of magazines are not eligible: K–elementary magazines and other kinds of publications, e.g., newspapers, and yearbooks.
Evidence of plagiarism will disqualify a magazine.