MWSA Ethical Guidelines

These guidelines are to ensure that MWSA reviews are standard, consistent, fair, and professional.

  • All authors will receive the same consideration and be held to the same standards regardless of method of publication.

  • A book will go through the review/award process only once, regardless of year published or format (hardcover, soft cover, eBook). Subsequent editions will not be reviewed again (though new cover art may be submitted for display on the website). The only exception is when a book changes genre that will significantly impact the judging criteria—such as audio book or teleplay or screenplay.

  • Authors may not contact reviewers (by message, phone, text, Twitter, Facebook, email, or any other method of communication) during the review/award process. If an author contacts a reviewer, the reviewer will report the incident to the Director of Awards and the book will be disqualified from the awards process. The book will still be eligible for review and posting on the MWSA website.

  • Reviewers will score books based on the standard criteria defined by MWSA and published on the MWSA web site.

  • Reviewers will recuse themselves from reviewing books written by family members or close associates.

  • Reviewers will recuse themselves from reviewing books if they have submitted or will be submitting a book in the same Genre/Sub-Category in the current award cycle.

  • Reviewers may not negotiate reviews or scores with authors, publicists, or publishers.

  • The Director of Awards maintains the fairness of the review and scoring process, and is subject to removal by the board if conflicts of interest in the reviewing process arise.

  • The Director of Awards is responsible for reviewer assignments.

  • Final scores are determined by averaging the scores of three reviewers. The Director of Awards receives and averages scores and maintains a spreadsheet of all books and scores under consideration in a given award cycle.

  • The Director of Awards will maintain the spreadsheet with the current years’ book titles and scores in their appropriate categories and update it monthly.

  • The Director of Awards will provide the score information to the president annually, in preparation for announcement of finalists.

  • Officers, board members, and reviewers may not offer awards to authors, publishers, agents, or any other organizations in exchange for joining MWSA or in exchange for money or other favors.