Official Rules for The 2019 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest sponsored by NEORWA
- Entrants in Unpublished Author categories must be unpublished in book-length fiction (minimum 40,000 words) in the last five years. For the purpose of this contest, unpublished means the author or authors have not accepted a publishing offer for, or Self-Published, a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more.
- Published Authors may submit an unpublished, uncontracted manuscript to our Published Author category.
- For all categories, submit the first 4500 to maximum 5000 words, to a clear story break (such as a chapter break). Actual computer word count is used for all entries and contest categories.
- Entry must be in DOC or RTF format, and emailed as an attachment(s) to email@example.com.
- Each entry must be accompanied by a completed Entry Form/Contestant’s Agreement.
- No previous winning entry can be entered again.
- Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest finalists from the last two years may not re-enter the same work, even with significant revisions, in their prior category or a new category. However, both previous winners and finalists may enter a NEW work in whatever category they choose.
- Prior entrants who were not finalists are encouraged to submit revised entries.
- Judges are not eligible to judge any category in which they are entered.
- Any entry deemed to have been plagiarized in part or in whole will be disqualified.
- Any entry containing eroticized non-consensual sexual activity or glorification of bigotry of any kind will be disqualified.
The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest will accept a maximum of 125 entries. No entry will be officially accepted until payment has been received.
Fee: $25.00 per entry
Payment: Contest entrants must pay via PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay through PayPal.
To pay via Pay Pal, either go to our website at www.neorwa.com and follow the links to our Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest page where you will find a Pay Pal link OR go to www.paypal.com and send payment to Treasurer@NEORWA.com. Please include your name, your pen name (if you write under a pseudonym) and title of entry in the notes box. Indicate on entry form that you paid via Pay Pal.
To email entry form and entry, send each document as a separate attachment in a single email to the contest coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org
All fees are non-refundable.
Judging: Each entry will be judged by three (3) trained judges (we provide our judges with a no-cost online judging workshop before judging begins). The lowest score will be dropped and the top two scores added together to determine a final score. The third score will only be used in the event of a tie.
Finalists: The top three finalists in each category will be reviewed by 3 industry professionals. Finalists in each category will receive certificates of merit. Finalists may receive feedback from the judging editors and agents.
Winners: Winners of each category receive a refund of their entry fee, a winner certificate, and a contest winner logo graphic.
Eligibility: Entrants (for all categories with the exception of the Published Author category) must be unpublished in book-length fiction (minimum 40,000 words) in the last five years. For the purpose of this contest, 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.
Categories: Unless noted, contest category definitions match those of the RWA National Golden Heart®/RITA®contests. Heat levels for the work may vary from mild (Sweet Romance) to hot (Erotic Romance) in all categories.
- Contemporary Long Romance: Includes single title romance and romantic suspense in a current, contemporary setting. Manuscripts may be set from 1950 to the present and should focus primarily on the romantic relationship. Finished manuscript should be greater than 65,000 words.
- Contemporary Short Romance: Includes series length romance and series length romantic suspense in a current, contemporary setting. Manuscripts may be set from 1950 to the present and should focus primarily on the romantic relationship. Finished manuscript should be between 40,000 and 65,000 words.
- Historical Romance: Manuscripts may be set in any time period prior to 1950 and should focus primarily on the evolution of the romantic relationship.
- Paranormal Romance: The future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot. The love story is the main focus of the manuscript. May be any time period or setting.
- Young Adult/New Adult: Manuscripts in which young adult (teen/high school age) OR new adult (twenty-something/college age) life is an integral part of the plot. The relationship between the main characters is integral to the storyline, character development.
- Mainstream with Romantic Elements: A work of fiction in which a romance plays an integral part in the story and is resolved in an emotionally satisfying and optimistic way, but other themes or elements take the story plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries. May be any time period or setting.
- Published Author: Unpublished romance manuscripts written by authors who do not met the above criteria for Unpublished Authors. Manuscript may be any romance sub-genre or a mainstream novel with romantic elements.
Entrants are responsible for choosing which category to enter. If you have questions about where your manuscript fits, please email the contest coordinator before submitting your entry. Part of each score sheet includes a Special Elements category that addresses category choice. For more on scoring, follow the sample score sheet links found on the NEORWA website’s Contest page.
Note: If fewer than five entries are received in any category, the category may be eliminated and the entry fees returned to contestants, or contestant may elect to choose another category for the entry.
- Manuscripts must be in doc or rtf format.
- Text should be in a 10 to 12 point serif font such as Times New Roman.
- The header on every page should contain only the story title, entry category, and page number.
- The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
- Email the entry as an attachment to email@example.com and put “Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest” in the email Subject line. NOTE: The completed entry form must also be attached to the same email message.
Multiple Entries: Contestants are encouraged to submit more than one entry. However, the same manuscript may not be entered in two different categories. Each entry must have its own entry fee and entry form.