Writing Contests

Updated 3/25/18

2018 Touched by Love Award (Open to published and unpublished authors )

Sponsor: Faith, Hope, and Love RWA Chapter
Fee: $20–25.00
Deadline: April 1, 2018
Eligibility: Contest is open to all authors who have not accepted a publishing offer from a publisher or self-published a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more in the past three years.
Entry: Electronic entry only. First 20 pages of an unpublished Christian fiction romance manuscript, 2-page synopsis.
Judges: Published and unpublished in the first round. Three published authors will score entries in final round, and an editor will critique/review the 1st place category entries.
FMI, http://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org or email contest coordinator, Kelly Ann Riley, [email protected]


Northern Hearts Contest (Open to published authors)

Sponsor: Toronto Romance Writers
Fee: $35.00 RWA members/$45 Non-RWA members
Deadline: April 1, 2018
Eligibility: Published between January 1 and December 31, 2017.
Entry: The Northern Hearts Award for outstanding published novels and novellas in romance fiction.
Categories: Novella, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal/Futuristic Romance, Young Adult, Canadian Author Award.
Judges: Judged by authors, readers, librarians and booksellers.
Top Prize: First place award, certificates for second and third place, all to be announced at the TRW Northern Hearts Conference on September 22, 2018.
FMI, see our website http://torontoromancewriters.com/northern-hearts/northern-hearts-contest-rules/ or contact J.K. Coi [email protected]


Rosemary Award for Excellence in YA & NA Unpublished Manuscripts (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor: Young Adult Romance Writers of America
Fee: $15 members/$25 non-members
Deadline: April 1, 2018, at 11:59 pm (ET)
Eligibility: All authors, regardless of publishing status. Manuscripts must not have been published, self-published, or contracted to be published, and have a word count of at least 40,000 words.
Entry: First 25 pages. No synopsis.
Categories: YA Contemporary; YA Historical; YA Paranormal; YA Speculative; New Adult.
Judges: First-round judging by three trained judges. YARWA will make every effort to have a published author judge in every group. Final Judges will include at least one editor and one agent in each category.
Top Prize: All finalists will receive a website badge, finalists listing in RWR, and a free YARWA class of their choice.
FMI, http://yarwa.com.


The Sheila Contest (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor: Valley Forge Romance Writers
Fee: $25 for VFRW members, $30 for non-members
Deadline: April 7, 2018
Eligibility: Participation is open to ALL romance members who are unpublished, self-published, and published. The entry must be the author’s original work, unpublished in any format (including author’s website, self-publication, ebook, mass market, etc.) and not under contract.
Entry: First 20 pages of manuscript and up to a 5-page unjudged synopsis. The synopsis is required, but not judged.
Categories: Single Title Romance, Historical Romance, Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult Romance
Judges: Entrants will receive a detailed score sheet from three qualified judges, including PRO and PAN members.
Final Judges: editors/agents.
Best of the Best Judges: Best-selling authors and booksellers.
Top Prize: Certificates. First through fourth place winners will have their names printed in RWR Magazine. Best of the Best winner receives $100 prize.
FMI, please visit our website http://www.vfrw.com/contest.


2018 Stiletto Contest (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor: Contemporary Romance Writers
Fee: $15–40.00
Deadline: April 13, 2018
Eligibility: Unpublished and Published (In the Unpublished Division, we are also accepting unpublished manuscripts written by published authors. Restrictions apply. See the website for more details.)
Entry: First 7,000 words plus a 500-word synopsis.
Categories: Contemporary Romance Short/Novella (25-50k), Contemporary Romance Mid-length (51k-84k) Contemporary Romance Long (85k and up), Suspense/Mystery, New Adult (NA), and Young Adult (YA).
Judges: PAN and PRO members.
Final Judges: Editors and Agents.
Winners to be notified at RWA National 2018 in Denver.
FMI, visit http://contemporaryromance.org or email contest coordinators at [email protected]


Book Buyers Best Contest (Open to published authors)

Sponsor: Orange County Chapter
Fee: $30.00
Deadline: April 15, 2018
Entry: PDF only; copyright 2017.
Judges: Readers, Librarians, Book Sellers.
Final Judge: See website
FMI, visit http://occrwa.org/contests/book-buyers-best/.


Elevation of Love Contest (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor Chapter: Cultural, Interracial, and Multicultural Special Interest Chapter
Fee: $25 for members of CIMRWA, $30 for all other entrants.
Deadline: April 15, 2018
Eligibility: CIMRWA’s First Annual ELEVATION OF LOVE contest is open to entries that feature diverse cultural, interracial, and multicultural romances. Both published and unpublished authors are welcome to submit. However, only unpublished works may be submitted.
Entry: The first 5,000 words of a completed, unpublished manuscript of no less than 40,000 words.
Judges: All submissions will be judged by three trained judges.
Final Judges: Editors and agents
Categories: Contemporary; Romantic Suspense; Women’s Fiction/Romantic Elements; Young Adult; Historical; Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal, Erotica.
FMI, please check http://www.cimrwa.org/contests.html. If questions, please contact Kelly Garcia at [email protected]


The Passionate Plume Contest (Open to published authors)

Sponsor: Passionate Ink
Fee: $25 for PI Chapter members, $30 for RWA members, $35 for general public
Deadline: April 15, 2018
Eligibility: Published works of high heat and erotic romance published anytime in 2017.
Entry: The most prestigious contest for high heat, steamy, and erotic romances, sponsored by the chapter founded by Sylvia Day. Your work will be judged by passionate fans and bloggers in the genre, with agents and editors included in the final round of judging. All submissions will be in electronic form only, with at least a polished PDF file from you, although we appreciate receiving both PDF and mobi formats. Enter in as many categories as you’d like, with multiple works of romantic fiction.
Categories: TBA, although the 2017 contest included: Contemporary, Novella, Speculative Fiction (PNR and Sci-Fi), and Historical.
Judges: Readers, bloggers, editors, and reviewers.
Final Judges: Bloggers, editors, and agents.
Prizes: Certificates and Passionate Plume charms for all winners and top 2 finalists.
FMI, http://www.passionateink.org, under the CONTESTS tab.


The Maggie Award for Unpublished Authors

Sponsor: Georgia Romance Writers
Fee: $35 for RWA members, $30 for GRW members, $40 for non-members
Deadline: April 29, 2018
Eligibility: See website for details.
Entry: Open to all works of Romantic Fiction over 40,000 words, with the exception of Romance Novella, which is between 20,000 and 40,000 words.
Categories: Best New Book by a GRW Author, Contemporary Romance: Long, Contemporary Romance: Short, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance Novella (published entries only), Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult/New Adult Romance.
Judges: Three (3) judges from our bookseller/librarian pool will evaluate each book.
Final Judges: Industry editors and agents.
Top Prize: Highest scored book in each category will receive the prestigious Maggie Medallion. All Finalists will receive a certificate. Winners will be announced October 6, 2018, at the Moonlight & Magnolias awards banquet.
FMI, visit http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/the-maggies/about-the-maggies/ for complete rules, entry instructions, and payment options.


2018 Golden Rose Contest (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor: Rose City Romance Writers
Fee: March 15–31, $25 RCRW members, $30 RWA non-RCRW members; April 1–30, $30 RCRW members, $35 RWA non-RCRW members.
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Eligibility: Open to all non-contracted RWA authors of romantic fiction unpublished in the last three years and any member of RWA who is not eligible to join RWA-PAN.
Entry: All electronic. The first 10,000 words of a full-length novel. (No novellas.)
Judges: Each entry will receive a detailed score sheet from three qualified judges.
Final judges: Please see the website for the complete list of final editors.
FMI, rosecityromancewriters.com.


Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished and Emerging Writers (Open to published and unpublished authors)

Sponsor: Orange County Chapter RWA
Fee: $25 members, $35 non-members
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Entry: ALL entries are electronic, and manuscript entries must be submitted as an attachment to the entry form. Manuscript entries (in addition to the online entry form and payment) shall consist of: ONE document (.RTF) that is a maximum of 35 pages, which includes the first chapters of the manuscript followed by a synopsis. Any 35-page combination is acceptable.
Eligibility: Author unpublished in romantic fiction or a published author who has two (2) or fewer self-published or traditionally published works that have NOT earned $1,000 or more on a single title.
Categories: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Young Adult Romance.
Judges: Each entrant will receive three scores from three published authors.
Final Judges: Two to three acquiring editors and/or acquiring agents per finaling entry.
FMI, visit http://occrwa.org/contests/orange-rose-contest. If you have questions, please contact Kathleen Rowland, Chair, [email protected]