“It’s rare indeed when every single entry is good enough to win and also good enough to be published. Because it seems to happen every year when I judge the Toronto Gold Ticket Contest, I expect no less from entries that make the final round.” Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
“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