Volunteer Reviewers

The success of the Write Michigan Short Story Contest would be impossible without volunteers to review those stories.

Every story submitted to the contest gets read and reviewed at least twice by volunteers. The contest has been steadily growing in submissions — our 2019 contest received more than 1,300 stories — which means we need more help than ever.

As a a reviewer, your ratings help winnow the entries down to 10 semifinalists in each category, which are then evaluated in January by a panel of judges and voted on by the public.

Reviewers are asked to follow this rubric when evaluating stories; you will be providing a single rating for each story on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent.

Who should volunteer?

Those who love to read, who love to promote the written word, who love to see good things happen to people and who love new ideas.

Where does the reviewing take place?

All reviews are done online. You can download and print a story for offline reading, but your ratings will need to be submitted online.

We use Submittable to manage our reviews, so if you do not already have an account with Submittable you will be asked to create one .

When does the reviewing take place?

The contest closes to submissions at noon on Nov. 30. Reviewing takes place in December and early January.

In those final days of the review phase, we also need last-minute reviewers to help rate stories that other volunteers did not get a chance to assess.

How can I help?

Volunteers are asked to read entries in one of four categories (Adult, Teen, Youth and Spanish-Language).

  • Each volunteer will be asked to read between 10 to 20 stories, depending on the category you choose:
    • Adult reviewers: 10 stories
    • Teen reviewers: 15 stories
    • Youth reviewers: 20 stories
    • Spanish-Language reviewers: 15 stories
  • Each story will be read by two volunteers.
  • You may sign up for more than one category but please keep in mind that this means accepting the full story load for each category. Signing up for Adult and Teen categories, for instance, means taking on 25 stories.
  • If you or a family member has entered the Write Michigan Short Story Contest as an author, you are still welcome to participate as a reviewer. We ask that you sign up for a different contest category.
  • Once stories are assigned, depending on how many entries and reviewers we have, we may reach out asking if anyone is willing to read additional stories. Taking on additional stories is totally optional.

How do I get started?

  1. Visit KDL’s VolunteerHub page. Sign in or, if you do not have a VolunteerHub account already, create an account.
  2. Click “Sign Up” next to the reviewer category of your choice.
  3. If you do not already have a Submittable account, create one. If possible, use the same email address associated with your VolunteerHub account.
  4. At the end of November, you’ll receive reviewer instructions.
  5. Starting Dec. 2, you will begin receiving your story assignments.

Your help is most appreciated! Also, if you know of other volunteers, Friends of the Library members, book club members, retired schoolteachers and librarians who might be interested, please share this page with them. We’d love to include them.