I hope everyone is enjoying reviewing for the MEFAs. Now that we have moved away from nominating and categorizing, it may seem that not much is going on with the awards. In fact, there *is* a good bit of activity going on behind the scenes - mostly by members reviewing the nominated stories. It just usually does not recall much in the way of announcements and public discussion.
I *do* like to write an occasional how-to post. This is partly to remind you that the awards are going on, and perhaps encourage you to write a review or two if you want to but had not gotten around to it. That happens to all of us, myself included. But most importantly, I want to help answer questions you might have about how the awards work.
This week, I'd like to talk about review goals. Anyone can write any number of MEFA votes that they want to; there's no minimum or anything. However, many reviewers *do* like to set a goal for themselves, to give themselves something to aim for. The MEFA site lets you enter such a goal and we even recognize the members who reach their goals, both at our website and by giving you an icon you can display. The real purpose of this function, however, is to help you set a target that you can work for. Many people find that motivating.
WHAT GOAL SHOULD I SET?
This is really a personal question, having to do with how much time you have to spend on reading for the MEFAs, how long of stories you prefer to read, and what proportion of stories you read you end up voting for. The goal should be the number of reviews you intend to write. So if you predict you'll review roughly two-thirds of the stories you read and you set a goal of twenty, that means you will probably need to read around thirty stories to write that many reviews. It may be reasonable to read thirty short stories but not thirty novels - only you know what you can handle.
WHAT REVIEWS COUNT TOWARD THE REVIEW GOAL?
Only final and hidden reviews count toward your goal. If you write a draft review and later change it over to a hidden/final review, then AT THAT POINT it will start counting toward your goal.
If the nomination is withdrawn, reviews you wrote for it do NOT count. However, you can re-enter the vote if the story is competing under a different nomination (i.e., if you nominated + voted for the story, and your nomination was withdrawn but the story is still competing where someone else nominated it). You do need to re-enter that review if you want it counted.
IS THIS A *LIMIT* TO HOW MANY REVIEWS I CAN WRITE?
Your review goal is just a goal. If you set a goal of 25 and when you meet it you're just hitting your stride, keep on reviewing. Likewise, if you set a goal but realize you can't meet it, you're not obligated to write the full twenty-five stories. You'll be publicly recognized on our site if you meet your goal, but if you don't, you're the only person who will know you didn't write as many reviews as you intended to.
HOW DO I SET/CHANGE MY REVIEW GOAL?
Just log in to www.mefawards.org and click "Your MEFA Account Details" from the "Members" menu. Then click "Set or change your review goal" and enter your review goal. The process for changing your review goal is the same.
*IMPORTANT*: The deadline to set or change a review goal is fast approaching. Please set your goal by September 5. (That's one month after check ballots ended.) After that point you can't enter a new review goal, and you also can't change one you already entered.
Happy reviewing, whether or not you decide to enter a review through our website.