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Criteria for Scoring Applications

The scoring procedure for the 2023 Wine Writers’ Symposium is detailed below. Please note:

  • Each section will be anonymously scored by at least two reviewers.
  • The reviewers will be comprised of Symposium speakers.
  • Scores are for internal use only and will not be revealed to applicants.
  • The highest scoring candidates will be invited to attend. Should any accepted person decline, the next highest scoring candidate will be invited, and so on.
  • In the instance of a tie, the person whose application most strongly demonstrates a fulfillment of the Symposium’s stated mission of promoting diversity within the wine writing community will be invited.



The application will consist of (1) An original essay worth up to 60 points, (2) a personal statement worth up to 20 points, (3) a 1-2 page application form that includes a professional commitment (worth 0, 5, or 10 points), and (4) demographic information (worth 0 or 10 points).

Original Essay Assessment

The original essay will be assessed using an assessment grid model with 6 criteria of assessment, each scored from 1-10 points (with 10 being the highest score), for a total of 60 possible points.

The 6 points of assessment include:

  • quality of writing
  • quality of content
  • reader engagement
  • clarity of point of view
  • originality and/or creativity
  • relevance of topic to wine/wine industry

Personal Statement Assessment

The personal statement will be scored using an assessment grid model with 2 criteria of assessment, each scored from 1-10 points (with 10 being the highest score), for a total of 20 possible points.

The two criteria of assessment include:

  • the potential for the applicant to benefit from the fellow experience
  • unique experience in work or personally that contribute to the fellow discussion

Professional Commitment Demonstration

Applicants will be prompted to list their two most recently published works. The works listed in this section will not be read for review or scored, but each listed work is worth 5 points.

Diversity Commitment

The Wine Writers’ Symposium is committed to fostering developing voices and promoting diversity, both key issues for the wine writing community. To further this mission, a final ten points will be awarded to applicants whose demographic data identifies them as part of underrepresented communities including, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, LatinX, people of color, persons from racially diverse or intersectional communities, persons with disabilities, and persons from LGBTQIA+ communities. This data will not be shared with content reviewers but tabulated at the end by the admissions committee based on provided data points.

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