Contest Rules & Regs

 

The Catherine 2014

*Entries must be received by April 30, 2014, 11:59 pm EST*

**Only the first 120 entries will be accepted**

Downloadable Files:

Select the title of each file to download. All forms are in Microsoft Office .doc format. The Rules & Regs are in PDF format.

Every writer who enters comes away a winner!

  • All entrants receive three comprehensive score sheets from the first round judges. Judges are encouraged to make detailed comments explaining their scores.
  • Score sheets will be returned to entrants in mid to late July – in time to revise manuscripts before the Golden Heart entry deadline.
  • Category finalists will have two weeks after notification to revise their entries before they are forwarded to the final round judges.
  • Winners in each category are entered into the Gold Ticket competition.

Gold Ticket Round

Category winners are entered into the Gold Ticket competition judged by Kristin Nelson from the Nelson Literary Agency. The Gold Ticket winner will receive a three-chapter critique by New York Times Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • February 1, 2015 – The Catherine 2014 opens for entries
  • April 30, 2015, 11:59, EST – The Catherine 2014 closes for entries
  • Mid to late July, 2015 – Scoresheets will be returned to entrants
  • Category finalists will have two weeks after notification to revise their entries before they are forwarded to the final round judges.

 

PLEASE NOTE

 Only the first 120 entries will be accepted.

Only electronic entries in .doc format will be accepted.

First pages & synopsis up to 7500 words (no cover page)

Payment only through PayPal will be accepted.

 

HOW TO ENTER

Enter the first pages of your novel-length manuscript plus a synopsis without a cover page. Up to 7500 words combined (this includes synopsis). The synopsis is mandatory and will be judged. Only the first 120 entries will be accepted.

One Entry = First Pages & Synopsis + Entry Form + Payment via PayPal.

CATEGORIES

Contemporary Series Romance

Romance novels targeting series romance publishers. The finished manuscript should meet the target line’s specific requirements for length, sensuality and subject matter.

Contemporary Single Title Romance

Romance novels set after 1945 and intended to be released as individual titles. Single Title romances are typically not shorter than 85,000 words.

Romantic Suspense

Romance novels with a strong suspense element. Entries targeting series romance lines that include suspense elements (e.g., Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Intrigue) may be entered in either this category or the contemporary series category, but not both.

Paranormal, Fantasy, and Futuristic Romance

Romances with paranormal, fantasy, futuristic and supernatural elements. Entries targeting paranormal series lines (e.g., Harlequin Nocturne) may be entered in either this category or the contemporary series category, but not both.

Historical Romance

Romances set in time periods prior to 1945. Manuscripts targeting both single title historical publishers and series publishers (e.g., Harlequin Historical) should be entered in this category.

Young Adult

Romance novels or novels with strong romantic elements where the protagonists are young adults or teens. Entries targeting both single title young adult publishers and series lines with a young adult audience (e.g., Harlequin Teen) should be entered in this category.

Mainstream with Strong Romantic Elements

Mainstream popular fiction that includes a strong romantic element as part of the core story (e.g., women’s fiction or chick lit).

New Adult

Romance novel or novels with strong romantic elements where the protagonists generally fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six. The novel usually encompasses the transition between adolescence and true adulthood where the characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.

HOW TO ENTER

Complete the Entry Form and don’t forget to type author name(s) on the signature line of the form. The entry form should be a .doc format.

Change the file name to Your Name  EntryForm  Category Entered  E.g. Susan Smith EntryForm  Romantic Suspense.

Open New Email:

Email address: trwthecatherine@gmail.com

In the Subject line of the email type in both the Title of your manuscript entry and the Category entering: e.g. Dancing With Death  Romantic Suspense

Attach the Entry Form in a .doc format only to the email (reminder change file name to Your Name_EntryForm Category Entered.)

Attach your Entry (maximum 7500 words) in a .doc format only.  (see below for Submitting Your Entry)

SUBMITTING YOUR ENTRY

Enter no more than 7500 words, including the synopsis – in a single electronic file in .doc format only. Please check that the file extension is only .doc. It is recommended that your synopsis be no more than 3-5 pages (750-1250 words).

We’re sorry we cannot accept .docx or .rtf formats due to issues with reading these formats on different computers.

Name your document with the Title of your manuscript entry and the Category entering. E.g.  Dancing With Death  Romantic Suspense

Email the .doc document plus a completed entry form (also a .doc) to:

trwthecatherine@gmail.com

***You should receive confirmation of receipt of your entry from your Category Coordinator within 7 days.

Submit payment via one of the the PayPal buttons below.

NOTE: Only the first 120 entries with payment will be accepted. 

One Entry = First Pages & Synopsis + Entry Form + Payment via PayPal.

 

After the first round of judging, score sheets will be emailed to entrants in mid to late August.

It is recommended that you Format your manuscript and synopsis using the following criteria as it will be scored!

Standard, professional format:

  • 8.5 x 11 inch page size (A4 accepted for entries from outside North America)
  • 1-inch margins all around
  • Double spaced or set at 25 lines per page
  • 12 pt. Courier/Courier New or Times New Roman font
  • The first page of the prologue (if applicable) and of every chapter must begin one-third of the way down the page (about 4 to 6 double-spaced lines)
  • Header information on every page should include category, title, and page number only
  • Author’s name and/or personal information must NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript or synopsis pages, or the entry will be disqualified.

ENTRY FEE 

  • Multiple entries from one writer must each have a separate entry form and fee.
  • Entry must be received within two days of payment.

JUDGING 

First Round: Each entry will be judged by 3 writers.  At least one judge will be a published author or RWA PRO, and all judges receive formal training.

Final score = average of the two highest scores; the lowest score will be dropped.

Final Round: The top three manuscripts in each category, with minimum scores of 80/100, will be forwarded to the final round judges for ranking (first, second, third). In case of a tie, no more than four entries will be forwarded to the finalist judges. If necessary, ties will be broken by averaging in the third (lowest) score from the first round.

Gold Ticket Round: The first-place entry from each category will automatically be entered into the Gold Ticket round. The winner of the Gold Ticket round will win a 3 Chapter critique by New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Note: TRW reserves the right to change the final round or
Gold Ticket round judge(s) without notifying the entrants.
Any changes will be posted at
www.torontoromancewriters.com

 

Important Information

Each category must have a minimum of ten entries. If fewer than ten entries are received, contestants will be notified and allowed to choose an alternate category or receive a full refund.

Barring unforeseen circumstances:

  • All entrants will be notified in mid to late July 2014 via email with score sheets attached.
  • Finalists will be notified first.
  • Finalists will be given two weeks to make revisions, if desired. Details regarding this process will be communicated to the finalists.
  • Finalist rankings will be announced in early October 2014, and published in a future issue of the Romance Writers Report.
  • The first-place entry in each category will be forwarded to Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency. Gold Ticket round results will be announced late November 2014.

All decisions regarding entries or clarification of any rules will be made by the contest coordinator and contest committee, and will be considered final. No refunds will be issued for entries disqualified for not following the submission guidelines or otherwise violating the rules of the contest.

Contest Co-Coordinators: Irene Jordane and Elisabeth Grace
Email questions to: trwthecatherine@gmail.com

 

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