NEORWA’s 2018 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest is now closed. First round judging is complete. Check out the amazing list of finalists here

NOTE: If you experience connection difficulties within our site or between the NEORWA site and PayPal, please email the contest coordinators at for assistance.

Entrants in Unpublished Author Categories must be unpublished in book-length fiction (minimum 40,000 words) in the last five years. Unpublished means the author or authors have not accepted a publishing offer for, or self-published, a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more. Published Author category open to any unpublished manuscript by an author who meets the above conditions for Published Authors.

Contest Rules

Click here to view the full contest rules

Fee and Payment

Contest fee is $25. You do not need to be a member of NEORWA to enter.
Click here to pay using PayPal.


Email your entry form and entry to the contest coordinators at

2018 NEORWA Contest Entry Form-Word Format

2018 NEORWA Contest Entry Form-PDF Format

Entry: For all categories, submit the first 5000 words of an unpublished work of fiction. A one to two page (max 500 words) synopsis is optional and will not be counted as part of the entry. The synopsis will not be judged.

First Round Judges: Experienced, Published/Unpublished. (All first round judges will be encouraged to participate in our free How to Judge a Rockin’ Contest workshop.)

First Round Sample Score Sheets: Below you will find samples of the score sheets used by our judges. These files are only available in pdf format.

Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Published Author submitting Unpublished Romance

Young Adult/New Adult

Mainstream with Romantic Elements

2018 Categories and Final Judges: The top three finalists in each category will have their entry judged by three industry professionals who will judge the final round.

  • Contemporary Long Romance–Rachel Gilmer of Sourcebooks; Brittany Lavery of Harlequin; Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency
  • Contemporary Short Romance–Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Agency; Latoya Smith of LCS Literary; Dana Grimaldi of Harlequin
  • Historical Romance–Allison Byers of Wild Rose; Debby Gilbert of Soulmate; Rebecca Strauss of DeFiore & Company
  • Paranormal Romance–Sara Megibow of KT Literary; Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger; Alissa Davis of Carina Press
  • Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements–Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary; Ann Leslie Tuttle of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret ; Rachel Beck of Holloway Literary
  • Young Adult/New Adult–Lydia Sharp of Entangled; Mary C. Moore of Kimberly Cameron & Associates; Whitney Ross of Irene Goodman Literary
  • NEW Published Author Category –Heidi Shoham of Entangled; Michelle Klayman of Boroughs Publishing Group; Char Chaffin of Soul Mate Publishing AND Laurie Kincer, Writers’ Center Specialist @ Cuyahoga County Library

Finalists will be notified on or about August 2018. Winners will be announced at the Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest on September 15, 2018. All entrants will receive first-round judges’ scores and comments. Winners receive refund of entry fee and winner logo graphic.


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