I'm very active in my local chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA). Yes, a professional organization for romance writers exists; no, you do NOT have to be published to join.
Each year, we hold a contest for unpublished writers, The Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest. Our trained first-round judges will give you detailed feedback on the opening chapters and synopsis of your story (a combined total of 55 pages). I'm one of the trainers and a judge. :) You'll get constructive and supportive comments to help you improve your story, and the top three entries in each category will move to the second round of judging--one acquiring editor from a traditional publisher AND one acquiring editor from an e-publisher. Many of our past finalists have gone on to final or win RWA's Golden Heart Contest (which has the same page requirement for entry), receive requests for full submissions from our second-round judges, and/or sell their manuscripts. Our score sheets are available for viewing prior to entry by following the contest link above. See below for more details!
Indiana' s 2013 Golden Opportunity Contest - ONLY 4 WEEKS LEFT TO ENTER!
Several of our past entrants have gone on to final in the Golden Heart Contest, sell their manuscripts, or become RITA winners.
NEW IN 2013
* TWO Editor Judges for each category (1 traditional print & 1 e-pub)
* Updated rules & score sheets
Contest Opens: May 1, 2013
Contest Deadline: July 1, 2013
Entry Fee: $35.00 US
Entry: Entry consists of the first section of the manuscript beginning with Chapter One (or the Prologue, if you have one), and the Synopsis. The total length of the entry (partial manuscript and synopsis) must be no more than 55 double-spaced pages. Entry must be a .doc format.
The first round of all categories will be judged by IRWA members that are either published authors or trained judges.
Final Judges: Offering TWO editor judges (One Traditional and One ePub) for all category finalists.
Contemporary Romance :
(T) Latoya Smith - Grand Central Publishing (E) Rhonda Helms – Carina Press
Erotic Romance :
(T) Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing Group (E) Michele Paulin - Resplendence Publishing
Historical Romance :
(T) Laura Fazio – NAL at Penguin Group (E) Erin Molta - Entangled Publishing
Inspirational Romance :
(T) Shana Smith – Harlequin Love Inspired (E) Becky Philpott - HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Paranormal Romance :
(T) Kristine Swartz – Berkley Publishing Group (E) Heather Howland - Entangled Publishing
Romantic Suspense :
(T) Patience Bloom – Harlequin Books (E) Deb Nemeth – Carina Press
Young Adult Romance :
(T) Leah Hultenschmidt - Sourcebooks Casablanca (E) Stephanie Taylor - Astraea Press
Best of the Best : Katherine Pelz - Berkley Publishing Group
Prizes: 1st Place Finalist in each Category: $50 and certificate
2nd Place: Certificate
3rd Place: Certificate
The Best of the Best Award: A special keepsake award and certificate.
Further information, rules, and a sample of our score sheets are available at IRWA website: http://www.indianarwa.com/
Please share this information, and good luck to those who enter!
Romance...With A Kick!