Arrhynsia - World of the Adenshur Scrolls

Judging the "Title" Special Category for WE 2022

by Terry Cassis   As a Newcomer to the community of World Anvil I was thrilled to sponsor a special category in 2022. World Ember itself was a bust for me - I had to prioritize family over my writing, but I looked forward to all the creative content I knew would be waiting for me in January. I finished judging my sponsored category today. There is no spoiler in this article, but I wanted to provide the criteria I used for judging. When I sponsor again the criteria will probably be the same.   First, I don't care about popularity. There are lots of great articles written by people who have very few followers. Great work deserves to be read and enjoyed, so how many reads an article gets is not relevant when I judge.   Second, I read every article. Every one of them. I do not pick on the basis of random choice, I care about how good an article is.   Third, only one person will win, but I wrote an article that will point you to the handful of top contenders in this category and tell you why I liked them.   Fourth, I'm sorry, but I find myself unable to fairly evaluate articles that are not done in english. As a point of reference for any future competitions, I do not count problems with language skills against an article if english is not the author's native language.   Fifth, World Ember is about drafting world building content - so almost everything I looked at was in draft state vs polished final. That's fine, but it is undeniable and inevitable that articles which had been read and edited prior to submission did better in the judging.  

Criteria and Judging Process:

  I evaluated each article on the following factors in the following sequence:   Community Appreciation: I looked at the percentage of people who liked an article as a function of the number of people who read it. If 20 people liked it, and 100 people read it, that was a 20% community appreciation metric. If 2 people liked it and only 10 read it, that was the exact same score - 20%.   First Impressions: I picked up every article and read them all in one sitting, making notes and identifying the ones I wanted to go back and evaluate. If I wanted to come back, the article got a positive score on this criteria.   Style & Visual Impact: I scored the articles on their visual appeal, structure, and mechanics. Things that mattered were:
  • avoiding the dreaded "Wall of Text",
  • completeness (extra credit if the article did not use the template and still covered everything I wanted to know or if the template was tailored well!),
  • including unique and relevant art for that article,
  • world/background style, font style and legibility,
  • use of quotes and active links to other articles in the larger world,
  • use of unique CSS to style the article (structure, scrollers, embedded pics etc),
  • use of other WA features (maps, timelines, whiteboards etc),
  • grammar (incomplete or incorrect (missing words) sentences, verb tenses, spelling etc)
  Story and Writing: I love a well written story. A good story grabs the reader and takes us into a world. This criteria evaluates how compelling an article is - does it make people in the world and the world itself come alive through the medium of storytelling? Can I see the seeds of a story in your article, perhaps how the element of the world being described contributes to the creation or resolution of conflict for the people in the world?   World Building: This criteria evaluates how the article defines and shapes this important or meaningful element in your world - put another way, can I see the significance of the element under discussion? Does the description make sense in your world, and does it further the world as a unique or interesting place to spend time - does the article strengthen your world and give it needed definition?   Uniqueness: I like unique articles, but this criteria is the lowest value compared to the other criteria. I am an engineer by trade, so it is more important for me for a world to be logical, consistent, and feasible than it is for it to be unique. But when that happens, the coolness factor is really high, so some articles got bonus points when they had something really unique that made sense to me.   I hope this helps world builders undertand the judging process. Every judge is different, but these are the things I look for.   I hope you had a great World Ember, and are taking up the challenge to read and make your own world building resolutions for 2023!   Terry

Cover image: by Undrey


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26 Jan, 2023 08:47

This is such an insightful article! Thank you for sharing your steps in judging submissions and the things that you look for in articles! I'll definitely come back to this when the next challenge comes rolling around. :D

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