All entrants will receive two score sheets with constructive feedback on their entry.
All preliminary round finalists will have their work read by an acquiring editor and agent, be listed on the TRW and RWA websites, be listed in the RWR, and will receive a badge for their website.
An acquiring agent and editor will read all the top entries, determining a first place winner in each category.
The first place winner in each category will win a critique of their entry by a published author before advancing to the Gold Ticket Round.
Gold Ticket Round
Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency will choose the overall winner and runner-up for The Catherine 2017 contest.
The winners of the Gold Ticket Round will be announced in the RWR, on the TRW website, and the RWA website.
The winner and runner-up of the Gold Ticket Round will win a three-month mentorship that will include a critique of the revised entry, time for the entrant to make further revisions, and a final critique. See below for information on this year’s mentors.
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart. Originally from Australia, Stefanie now lives in Toronto and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, perfume, romance novels and zombie movies.
Mary Sullivan has always had a creative hunger she loved to feed and when a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory found its way into her hands, she became hooked on romance and knew she wanted to write these heartfelt stories of love, family, perseverance and happy endings.
A former RWA Golden Heart Contest finalist, she has gone on to publish 13 Superromances with Harlequin and to win writing awards.
In January of 2017, her first Harlequin Western Romance, RODEO FATHER, will be released. Who knew daydreaming could be so rewarding?
A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine d’Abo has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.
Ann Lethbridge writes Regency-set historical romances. Since 2006, she has seventeen full-length novels and ten short stories published in print and digital with traditional publishers. Her first novel received an honorable mention from Foreword Magazine and she won the 2010 Daphne DuMaurier Award for excellence in suspense in the historical category. Her books are published in countries around the world. She is a history geek and when not writing can be found wandering around Britain looking at English Country Houses and other Regency buildings.
#1 NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Cainsville modern gothic series and the Age of Legends YA fantasy trilogy. Past works include Otherworld urban fantasy series, the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising teen paranormal trilogies and the Nadia Stafford crime trilogy. She also co-wrote the Blackwell Pages middle-grade fantasy trilogy as K.L. Armstrong with M.A. Marr.
Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess—the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a nationally bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.
USA Today bestselling author and 2015 RITA® winner JULIANA STONE fell in love with books in the fifth grade when her teacher introduced her to Tom Sawyer. A tomboy at heart, she splits her time between baseball, books, and music. When she’s not singing with her band, she’s thrilled to be writing young adult as well as adult contemporary romance—books that have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly & Booklist—from somewhere in the wilds of Canada.
Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate’s goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers.
National bestselling author Eve Silver has been praised for her “edgy, steamy, action-packed” books, darkly sexy heroes and take-charge heroines. In 2015 she won the OLA Forest of Reading White Pine Award, and her work was shortlisted for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy (2014), and was both an American Bookseller’s Association Best Book for Children and a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens (2013). She has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Quill and Quire, two RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Library Journal’s Best Genre Fiction Award, and she was nominated for the Romance Writers of America® RITA® Award. Eve lives with her husband, two sons, an energetic Airedale terrier and an exuberant border collie/shepherd.
Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.
She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.
Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.
Dishing It Out, her last Harlequin Flipside won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for best Flipside in 2005.
Her Superromance Baby Makes Three won the RT Reviewer’s Choice for best Superromance in 2006. L-length Her novella, “The Christmas Eve Promise” in The Night Before Christmas won the RITA in 2009. And her full length contemporary romance CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE won the RITA in 2013.