The first five pages are judged on Hook and Storyline. Lowest score is tossed out, which means if one judge hates your genre, s/he can't trash your chances.
For the contest, Hook was defined as: "Is the conflict is described in a compelling way? Does the narrative inspire the reader to want to read more?"
Storyline was scored on: "Is the plotting clear and understandable? How are the characters developed? Does the story engage the reader?"
The judges, described as avid readers as well as published and unpublished authors, are asked to score and encouraged to comment.
I still need to finish rewriting the story, incorporating everything I've studied since I wrote the first draft in 2006. I sent it out back then and was royally, but correctly, thumped, and I've been terrified ever since.
I'm not thinking about possibility of winning. I am excited to have something that "shows" I have improved as a writer.