Every time I enter a book in a contest, I promise myself I'll judge at least one writing competition. That's how it works in many contests--authors, librarians, booksellers are the judges. But the contests only work when people are willing to step up to the plate, when they give back to their community.
I'm judging a contest now. I won't say which one, but I volunteered because if I had entered that contest, I'd want to be confident there were judges in place to take on the task of reading and evaluating the submissions. Our close community of romance readers, authors, editors and publishers only works when we all pitch in.
Finally, it's time for a shout out to the contest coordinators. These are the people who keep track of the submissions, making sure they meet contest criteria, getting judges lined up, shepherding the books that final to the next level of competition. Well done! Thank you for all you do to help readers find quality books.