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Golden Crown Literary Society Literary Awards

Roles and Responsibilities



The GCLS Board of Directors shall:

  1. Appoint independent Awards Administrators to oversee, enforce guidelines and rules, and coordinate the awards judging and ceremony, and to keep it fully confidential;
  2. Prior to opening the awards nominations, review the GCLS literary awards guidelines and the literary award categories from the previous year and rule on any additions, deletions, and/or modifications for the subsequent year;
  3. Prior to opening the awards nominations, rule on any modifications to the fee and book submission requirements;
  4. Prior to opening the awards nominations, appoint a member of the Board to serve as a Liaison for the Awards Administrator’s convenience. Said Liaison will serve as a sounding board for the Awards Administrator and provide historical data whenever needed.
    • In the instance where the Awards Administrators and the Board Liaison require guidance in an unexpected situation for which there is no pre-determined rule or guideline, and the possible outcome is ambiguous - The awards liaison will jointly, with the Awards Administrators, minimize the information through the complete elimination of all data pertaining to the book or books involved, including but not limited to: the author, editor, publisher, and any additional information that is not pertinent to the advice being sought, and then present the situation as ‘generically’ as possible to the Board of Directors for a ruling which will then become part of the Awards Guidelines for this and future Awards processes.

 The GCLS Board of Directors shall NOT:

  1. Have any influence whatsoever in the outcome of the awards;
  2. Have contact with the Awards Administrator regarding the awards from the opening day of the current nominations period through the presentation of the awards;
  3. Have any participation in the awards process, other than in the extreme situation where current rules and regulations have not addressed a situation and the possible outcome is at best ambiguous, lending the Awards Administrators unable to make a ruling and therefore requiring a new rule be admitted to the Awards Guidelines. (See Role of Board Liaison, below).


The GCLS Awards Liaison shall:

  1. Serve as an advisor to the Awards Administrators during the awards process;
  2. Serve as Liaison between the GCLS Awards Administrators and the GCLS Board of Directors only when an extreme situation requires a ruling clarification by the board, and only when the Awards Administrators ask her to do so;
  3. Assist the Awards Administrators in communications to the members;
  4. Provide technical support as needed by the awards Administrators;
  5. Assist the Awards Administrators as needed during the Awards Ceremony.

The Awards Liaison to the Awards Administrators shall NOT:

  1. Influence the outcome of the awards, other than to act as an advisor (e.g. in the interpretation of a rule or guideline, or how a rule has been applied historically) to the Awards Administrators when asked for input by the Awards Administrators;
  2. Be influenced by others, in terms of her role in the awards process.


The GCLS Awards Administrators shall:

  1. Serve two- to three-year, overlapping terms upon appointment by the GCLS Board of Directors.
  2. Review, edit, and release annual versions of the multiple approved documents related to the GCLS Awards for the new awards year. Any changes will be related to dates, clarity, typos, and related issues. Any change in rules will require Board approval before implementation, and that can only occur outside of the annual awards period.
  3. Be responsible for the selection and assignment of at least three (3) to five (5) judges per literary award category;
  4. Record and process all award nominations;
  5. Provide clarification to nominators regarding the rules and guidelines;
  6. Be responsible for managing the judges and enforcing the approved judging rules and guidelines;
  7. Provide the judges with all the forms, books, guidelines, and guidance necessary to complete the judging process;
  8. Evaluate accuracy, completion, and fairness of all evaluations, and in the case of an obvious disproportionate score, contact the judges to ascertain any information necessary to determine whether one score should be eliminated on the basis of prejudice or another factor of equally serious consideration;
  9. Upon completion of the judging process, the administrators shall receive, inspect and verify judged category scores from the OpenWater awards management software; tally and verify SurveyMonkey scores for the Ann Bannon and Tee Corrine specialty awards; and determine the lists of finalists and winners in all categories;
  10. Require the vendor who will make the awards, to sign a Confidentiality Agreement, prior to the delivery of the winners’ names and categories;
  11. Deliver the names of the winners in complete confidence to the vendor who will make the trophies;

 The GCLS Awards Administrators shall NOT:

  1. Discuss, share, or otherwise compromise the awards process or details of the judging process before, during, or after completion of the awards process outside of themselves and the Board Liaison.
    • The only exception being in the extreme situation where the current rules and guidelines do not address a complex situation and that at best permits only an ambiguous decision and therefore requires a ruling by the Board. In this situation, the Awards Administrator provides only a generic question (devoid of any related data such as the book(s), author(s), category(s), publisher(s), editor(s), or other detailed information that might allow the Board members to discern what book(s) the question may be about), to the Liaison to take to the Board for a ruling. The Awards Administrator then adds the new rule to the current Awards Guidelines, and the liaison publishes the new version on the website with an announcement to the members;
  2. Divulge to anyone the specifics of the numerical rankings for the winners or the way the various judges evaluated the works they read.

The judges’ decisions are final. Neither the Awards Administrators nor the Board will entertain objections or challenges with regard to the judging or the judging process.


A Judge shall:

  1. Attend the training webinars provided by the Awards Administrators before they may proceed with their judging duties.
  2. Judge only in categories in which s/he is not nominated;
  3. Judge only categories in which books by a partner or relatives are not nominated;
  4. Agree to adhere to the rules and guidelines of the judging process;
  5. Agree to adhere to the timelines established by the Awards Administrator;
  6. Sign a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement;
  7. Sign a conflict of interest form;
  8. Notify the Awards Administrators immediately should a conflict of interest emerge.

A Judge shall NOT:

  1. Be influenced in any way by outside forces/people about how she judges a book.
  2. Let it be known to anyone that s/he is a judge for the awards, prior to the awards ceremony.

Any questions regarding roles and responsibilities should be directed to awards@goldencrown.org


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