Evaluation Standards

Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction
Nominations for the Clive Staples Award should be evaluated in these categories:

Writing Style/Mechanics

    Does the quality of the author’s prose (syntax, tone, voice, pacing etc.) enhance the story?
    Do concrete and particular details appeal to various senses and strengthen each scene?
    Is there a balance between exposition and dramatization (telling and showing)?
    Are there errors in word use, spelling, grammar, paragraphing, and punctuation?


    Is the setting well established and realistic?
    Are the speculative elements believable and necessary to the story?


    Does the main character have clear internal and external goals?
    Are the characters complex, with both strengths and weaknesses?
    Are the characters believably and realistically motivated?
    Is dialogue natural and does it contribute to characterization so that each person possess a unique voice?
    Is there discernible and appropriate character development?


    Is the story structured with a clearly recognizable arc of conflict, crisis, and resolution?
    Does the narrative flow, or does it tend toward the disjointed?
    Are the obstacles to be overcome sufficiently challenging to the protagonists?
    Are the complications and the protagonist’s efforts to overcome them unpredictable?
    Is the resolution innovative? Credible? Authentic?


    Does the story contain a central or dominating idea?
    Does the theme arise from the characters and events of the story?
    Is the theme consistent with a Christian worldview?
    Does the theme overwhelm the story, or is it well integrated into the story?