Guidelines for readers

Entries are marked for both the publishing quality and the content of the publication.  For Class 3.0 (Fiction for Adults) 30% is allocated to publishing quality and 70% to content. For Classes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 40% is allocated to publishing quality and 60% to content.   Please note: each mark should be supported by constructive, objective comments about the strengths and weaknesses of the publication and should be entered as a percentage on the review form..

The criteria for evaluation will depend on the type of publication.  The following should be considered.  Please apply these criteria with an open mind and remember that the publications should add to the knowledge, enjoyment and appreciation of Cornish life, literature or culture both in Cornwall and throughout the world.


  • Is the general appearance of the cover pleasing?
  • Does the size make for ease of handling?
  • If hardback does it have a dust jacket?
  • If paperback does it have a durable or wipe-clean cover?
  • Is the paper of good quality?
  • How strong is the binding?
  • Is the type of binding appropriate for the size and thickness?
  • Is the layout and legibility suitable for the target audience?
  • Is the page layout pleasing to the eye?
  • Are the proof reading and editing of a high standard?
  • Does the publication display correct spelling, punctuation and grammar?
  • Are the pages clearly numbered?
  • If illustrations or photographs are included are they appropriate and do they enhance the text?
  • Does the entry create a favourable overall impression; is it particularly appealing in terms of appearance, quality and aesthetic impact?

Children’s and Young adults’ publications:

  • Is the author clear about the age group to be targeted?
  • Is the language appropriate for the target audience?
  • Is the book popular with the target age group?


Cornish Language Publications:

  • All established orthographies are acceptable and publications should be evaluated without considering the orthography..

Fiction, Poetry and Drama:

  • The plot – is it well constructed?
  • Does the author appear in control of the plot, making definite and positive decisions about the direction events take and the conclusions they reach?
  • Do events happen, not necessarily logically, but acceptably within the limits set by the theme?
  • Is the final resolution of the book credible in relation to the rest of the publication?
  • Characterisation – are the characters believable and convincing?
  • Are they well-rounded and do they develop during the course of the work?
  • Do they interact with each other convincingly?
  • Are the characters’ behaviour and patterns of speech consistent with their known background and environment?
  • Are the above characteristics maintained throughout the work?
  • How effectively are the characters developed through narration, dialogue, inner thoughts and the reactions and responses of others?
  • Style – is the style appropriate to the subject and theme?
  • How successfully has the author created mood appropriate to the theme?
  • How effective is the author’s use of literary techniques and conventions?
  • Where rhyme or rhythm are used are their use accomplished and imaginative?
  • Is it a ‘good read’?


  • Is the quality and/or scholarship of a high standard?
  • Is the analysis and argument original?
  • Is the work accessible?
  • Is there a Table of Contents, an Index, a bibliography, footnotes, a glossary, tables and references where appropriate?
  • Is the quality of research good?
  • If maps are included are they sufficiently clear with a detailed scale and key?
  • Where factual information is presented is this accurate and clear?


  • Does the cost provide value commensurate with the target audience?
  • Would you pick up this book in a bookshop or library?..

Marking guidelines:

Poor 0-40%;     Average 40-60%;      Good 60-75%;  Very good 75-90%;   Exceptional 90%+