I've been hearing some buzz lately about judging for the RWA RITA and Golden Heart contests. I'll be honest, most of it I ignore...or at least the negative part. I think there are a lot of pluses to judging and one of the first things I did when I joined RWA was sign up. As a PAN member I would judge even if I didn't enter.
But I did enter and so one of the reasons I judge is because if I expect someone to read my books, the least I can do is return the favour.
Also, what other chance do you have to be guaranteed anywhere from 5-8 free books in the genre/subgenre of your choice?
Duty, and fiscally sound. Well, that's a good start. FWIW the retail for the books would cover my entry fee for a book, so yay!
Then there's the added bonus of being able to discover new favourite authors. That happened to me last year, and I ended up with several of this author's backlist in my tbr. Making new discoveries is fun.
As a writer, it's also beneficial to read outside of one's subgenre. I'm a short contemporary author, so it's really neat to read longer formats, shorter formats, historicals, suspense, paranormal...more than just for the enjoyment, but to stretch my own writing by seeing what works in other kinds of writing, and simply LEARNING from people who are great writers - or even not so great.
I think everyone who is eligible to judge SHOULD. I know I'm very appreciative of those writers who will be taking their time to read my books this year. I just hope that the ones I've entered resonate with them in some way.
Oh...and today I'm blogging at the Pink Heart Society with a freakin' amazing Christmas wishlist. It's all destined to remain wishes, but I had fun putting it together.