Earlier this year InD’tale asked me to be a judge for the RONE awards. I wasn’t able to participate last year due to writing deadlines, but I was excited to get involved this year. My main reason was to give back to InD’tale Magazine who do so much to help educate and promote authors. The big surprise was the added benefits I hadn’t considered. BENEFIT 1 Judging books is a great way to connect with new authors. I have a tendency to stick my with favorite authors and genres, but as a writer, reading other genres and/or different authors is a great way to diversify what you learn. I like to dissect sentences and I’m always looking for interesting ways to express myself or my characters. BENEFIT 2 When you’re a judge, you’re helping fellow authors. Without judges there’d be no contests and writers wouldn’t get the recognition and feedback they deserve. BENEFIT 3 Indy’tale mentioned I’d get recognition for being a judge. What author doesn’t appreciate, or need, a bit of free advertising? It was a wonderful and unexpected surprise that provided icing on the cake for being one of their judges. They announced the winners last week. They include a wonderful collection of stories from various genres. I was thrilled to see authors I knew either as winners or honorary mentions. Whether you’re a writer or reader, you should check out InD’tale for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.