Plot & Premise – The idea behind the story; creativeness, intrigue, etc.

Structure/Plot – The story’s framework. Effective use of development and progression. All aspects, turning points, conflicts, and/or events, and timing of such, that move the story forward.

Characters & Dialogue – How the characters are layered; being memorable, distinctive, unpredictable, and/or compelling. Is there a proper protagonist and antagonist with clear, active goals that interact and flourish between the two, or is the connection underdeveloped or inappropriate?

Vocab/Spelling/Grammar – A combo of vocab usage and spelling/grammar. Who used language/vocabulary to strengthen and better their story? As far as spelling/grammar: Did someone use an incorrect participle? Did they use ‘believes’ instead of ‘beliefs’? The words change the sentence. Did someone literally not even use spellcheck in order to give us their absolute best? This cat exists to penalize the lazy. It’s a writing competition. Grammar is part of writing, as is spelling.

Theme – The underlying message of the story as told to the reader through plot, dialogue, description and other literary aspects.

Style/Tone – Quality of the writing. Appropriate tone, grammar, dialogue and other aspects that channel the mood or feel.

Commercial Potential – The appeal of the story to an audience as well as publishing or selling potential.