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Judging Process & Criteria — There are three rounds of judging in the Audies Competition. 

This is a qualifying round in which experienced judges listen to samples of each audiobook submitted by publishers. Judges in this round determine which titles qualify to move further along in the competition. Judges listen to at least 30 minutes of the audiobook before recommending to move (or to not move) the title forward to the next round.  The results of multiple judges are compiled and titles move on from there based on those responses.

Submissions are shared with judges in two listening waves.  The first wave is shared in mid-July and the second wave is shared in mid-October.

Judges are required to listen to the complete audiobook and asked to rank their top titles. This is an opportunity to elevate the best the category has to offer.  This round requires the most listening as judges may recieve 20-40 titles total. 

The results of multiple judges are compiled and 5-6 finalists in each category are selected. 

Submissions are shared with judges in two listening waves.  The first wave is shared in mid-September and the second wave is shared in mid-November.

A third set of judges scores each titles against four areas for consideration:

  • Performance
  • Direction
  • Production
  • Content.

Judges are selected from a wide variety of listeners, which includes audiobook fans and experienced evaluators, whose common enthusiasm for the format results in selecting the best productions that meet the below criteria. Audies judges must keep their judging assignments confidential.


  • Narrator presents a professional performance that is believable and convincing.
  • Characters are clearly and consistently differentiated through tone, inflection, pacing, etc., avoiding condescending mannerisms and style.
  • Narrator accurately pronounces all words, including proper nouns, place names, character names, and technical and foreign words and phrases, to the best of the judge’s knowledge.


  • Pace is maintained throughout and the plot flows without interruption.
  • If used, music and/or sound effects are a positive enhancement, not a distraction.
  • The material lends itself to audio presentation/ presentation enhances the text.


  • Recording is free of blatant edits and technical flaws and is of good quality.
  • Signal, voice, and music levels are conducive to audiobook listening conditions.


  • The underlying content is excellent, and appropriate for the audio format.
  • All elements have been integrated to provide a compelling listening experience.