2013 RITA Reader Challenge!

Gold dude holding a gold starIt's time for the 2013 RITA® Reader Challenge! You ready? 

For the past two years, we as a reading community review every single RITA®-nominated book. To coordinate, I set up a public spreadsheet of all the RITA® nominees, and we review every single one by the time the RITA® winners are announced in July. It's crazyfun, and I've had requests for the 2013 challenge – so I hope you're up for reading and reviewing a book! There are PLENTY to choose from. 

Here's the deal:

  • Select a book on the spreadsheet you'd like to read and “claim” it on the Google Doc by writing your name/handle in a box to the right of each title. If someone else has claimed a book you want to read, feel free to grab it as well, up to three names per book. Not everyone has the time to read and write a review, despite their best intentions, so it's good to have backup! I will post multiple reviews of the books as they come in.
  • If you're ready to read, we've created an Amazon store of all of this year's nominated books to make the shopping easy. If you'd prefer to shop at other retailers, here are links to those as well: Barnes & Noble | Kobo | AllRomance. (Sorry that we can't set up an all-titles-in-one-place store for you at those places as well).

    When you use our above affiliate links, we receive a commission of about 6-8%, which helps keep the lights on and the crazysauce flowing. For those that opt to click on them, thank you!

  • Next, read the book and craft an honest review of at least 150 words, by 14 July 2013. 
  • You can skip the plot summary – that's often the hardest part. You can make it silly or serious, but please make sure to explain the ways in which the book worked for you, or didn't work for you, keeping in mind that the book you're reading has been nominated as one of the best of the past year.
  • Unlike previous years, I'm not limited the length of the reviews, though I reserve the right to edit if absolutely necessary (and I will contact you to ask permission). You want to get wild with gifs and silliness, squee and excitement? Bring it on. 
  • If you'd like to submit a review for a book you've read and reviewed elsewhere, please make sure that what you submit is original content, and not a copy of what you've published elsewhere. You can quote yourself, but please make sure the majority of the review is original content. You can absolutely include a link to the review you've already written.
  • Please send the review and your grade for the book to me via email with “RITA® Reader Challenge” in the subject line so I can prioritize it. (My inbox, it is scarier than I can describe.)

I'll start publishing the reviews as they come in, and collect them under the “RITA® Reader Challenge 2013” tag. 

The goal, as I said, is at least one review for every book – though if there's more than one, and the grades differ widely, it gets even more interesting. In previous years, the RITA® Reader Challenge resulted in a ton of reviews, but it also made the award ceremony a lot of fun because by the end, we were all familiar with the different books. The RITA® reviews, according to those who emailed me about them, gave folks great ideas for what to read next, and made them more attentive to the awards ceremony as the winners were announced. Much like the OSCAR® movie challenges, where folks commit to seeing all the Best Picture nominees, the RITA® Reader Challenge is a big commitment, but it's worth it, I think.

I hope you'll join in the fun. Thank you to the Romance Writers of America for use of the RITA® name, which is a registered service mark of Romance Writers of America, Inc. And big congratulations to the nominees, and happy dress and shoes shopping to all of you!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    MissB2U says:

    I would be interested in any pointers from you or other reviewers here on the basics of writing a review.  New skillset!  Yea!

  2. 2
    Morgan says:

    For some reason I can’t get anything past row 101 to load. Is “Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin” still open?

  3. 3
    Emily A. says:

    Can we only pick one? In previous years, I reviewed more than one.  Is there a limit and if so what is the limit? Thank you.

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:

    @Emily A: You can pick as many as you think you can review. Some readers commit to one book from each category, some pick one or two. Up to you!

    @MissB2U: I can write that up, sure! That’s longer than a basic comment!

  5. 5
    Emily A. says:

    Thank you Sarah!

  6. 6

    Is it okay if we use the audiobook versions?  I’m literally just finishing Don’t Cry for Me by Sala, a nominee in the RomSus category and will have my review posted Friday on my blog.

  7. 7
    Fran S. says:

    I’d love to buy through the Amazon store, but is it possible to hook ebooks up through it?

  8. 8
    SB Sarah says:

    @Diana: Absolutely! If you really liked the audiobook version, please feel free. But for the RITA® Reader Challenge reviews, we need original content only.

    @Fran: Absolutely, yes. Once you’re on the book’s page at Amazon, click on the Kindle version and enjoy!

  9. 9
    DonnaMarie says:

    Everytime I see this list I’m amazed by how many of these I haven’t read and how many of the books I’ve LOVED are never on it.  I’m signing up for one I loved, but sad to say no book worthy of a ranty snarky review, and those come so much more naturally to me.  Not saying there isn’t a deserving one on the list, just not one I’ve read. Oh well.

  10. 10
    Fran S. says:

    Thanks so much Sarah!!

  11. 11
    Tabs says:

    Um, I just added Pamela Clare’s “Defiant” to the list in the historical category because it wasn’t there for some reason.

  12. 12
    Sveta says:

    I signed up for Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris (Had a copy lying around :D) please let me know of some basics you’d like to be included in a review (I reviewed it for my blog, but want to try to write it in another way…thanks!)

  13. 13
    kkw says:

    I’m not going to review any books this year, because the Wi-Fi situation in Burma is so spotty, I’m not sure I’ll be able to download a book, much less post a review. But I look forward to reading all of the reviews afterwards!

  14. 14
    Sel says:

    I’m no longer reviewing two books for the RITAs due to time constraints.

    As such “Naomi’s Christmas by Marta Perry” under the “Inspirational Romance” category now no longer has anyone reviewing it.

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