TORONTO ROMANCE WRITERS PRESENTS:
The Catherine 2014
(formerly the Original Golden Opportunity Contest)
Our contest has been renamed The Catherine to honour the late Catherine Witmer. A member of RWA® since 1996, Catherine was an incredible proponent of the romance genre through her work as a Romantic Times reviewer. She also served as president of the Toronto Romance Writers in 1999 and 2001. A portion of the proceeds raised by The Catherine will be donated to Canadian literacy.
The Catherine is a great way to get your writing in front of some of the industry’s top editors. Many prior finalists have received requests from the final round judges. All entrants receive three comprehensive score sheets from the first round judges.
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.
“I just wanted to share with you that I did end up signing a three-book deal with Grand Central after being a finalist in this contest! Thank you so much for providing this opportunity to get my work in front of editors. It definitely made a big difference for me!”
– Sara Richardson, Finalist
Sara’s entry, The Art of Persuasion, placed FIRST in the Strong Romantic Elements category of The Catherine 2013
Select the green text to see the full list of Past Contest Winners.
Categories and 2014 Final Round Judges:
Contemporary Series Romance – Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Contemporary Single Title Romance – Leonore Waldrip, HQN
Historical Romance – Katherine Pelz, Berkley
Paranormal, Fantasy, Futuristic – Esi Sogah, Kensington
Romantic Suspense – Leis Pederson, Berkley
Strong Romantic Elements – Kathleen Gilligan, St. Martin’s
Young Adult – Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins Children’s Books
NEW THIS YEAR – New Adult – Megha Parekh, Grand Central Publishing
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.
***Entries must be received by April 30, 2014, 11:59 pm EST
This web-page summarizes The Catherine 2014 and presents changes to the contest for this year. Please read the full list of Rules and Regulations before submitting your entry. This list is available at Contest Rules & Regs and the following downloadable files. In the case of discrepency between the web-site and these files, the files will be the final point of reference.
Select the title of each file to download. All forms are in Microsoft Office .doc format. The Rules & Regs are in PDF format.
NEW FOR 2014
The Catherine is open to
1) ALL unpublished writers (you do not have to be a member of RWA)
2) Published writers who are not eligible for RWA PAN status by date of entry (you must be a member of RWA). Please see the RWA website regarding PAN eligibility rules.
Changes to Categories
NEW THIS YEAR – New Adult
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
***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.
- Multiple entries from one writer must each have a separate entry form and fee.
- Entry must be received within two days of payment.
Fee for TRW members is $25 (above)
Fee for non-TRW members is $30 Canadian (above)