Orange Rose Contest

The Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers


The Orange Rose Contest is in its 34th year! This storied contest has in its roster many finalists who are now published, such as Rita Winners Laura Drake and Tessa Dare and New York Times best-selling authors Allison Brennan, Judy Duarte, Susan Squires and Debra Holland to name just a few. Why has the ORC enjoyed this level of success? It’s in large part due to the exceptional judges, both first round published author and final editor/agent judges, and our comprehensive score sheets.

Our top prize, the coveted Charlotte Award, is given in honor of long-time OCC member Charlotte Lobb, who passed away in 2013. Charlotte was a tireless volunteer and supporter of this chapter and its members, as well as a multi-published author of over 60 books. She was known for her generosity of spirit and great sense of humor. It is fitting that we present this top award to an unpublished writer in honor of Charlotte’s mentorship and encouragement of fledgling writers. One more thing, Charlotte herself was an Orange Rose finalist back in the day.

The Orange Rose Contest is open to all Romance Writers of America® members. If you would like to enter and are not a member please join RWA National.

ORC Rules & Guidelines


The 2017 Orange Rose Contest
for Unpublished Writers 1st Round Finalists and Winners



Contemporary Romance
1st place – Sara L. Hudson – Houston, We Have a Hottie
2nd place- Emily Mahon – Working the Polls: A Tale of Love, Sex and Politics
3rd place – Gwynne Jackson – All Songs are Love Songs

Historical Romance
1st place – Carolina Prentice – The Moon and Stars
2nd place – Elizabeth Everett – The Seduction of Mrs. Smith
3rd place – Alyssa Roberts – Saving the Duke’s Baby

Inspirational Romance
1st place – Rebekah Millet – 15 Days
2nd place – Catherine Ensley – California Bride
3rd place – Naomi Voorhees – Hearts Entwined

Mainstream Fiction, with a central romance
1st place – Jenny Hansen – A Sister in Need
2nd place – Deb Merino – The Storm Shall Pass
3rd place – Deb Merino – Scratch Line

Paranormal Romance
1st place – Raewyn Bright – Demon Curse
2nd place – Lisa Knight – Praetorian Rising
3rd place – Sage J. Winter – Immortal Games: Courts of Wings and Shadows

Romantic Suspense
1st place – Leslie Marshman – Goode Over Evil
2nd place – Alan Chaput – Emerald Drone
3rd place – Lisa Malice – Lost and Found

Young Adult
1st place – Riley Darkes – Serving Time
2nd place – Lani Forbes – The Seventh Sun
3rd place – Gregory Mark Henry – Prisoner’s Poison



1st Place and Winner of The Charlotte
Romantic Suspense
Leslie Marshman – Goode Over Evil

2nd Place
Contemporary Romance
Sara L. Hudson – Houston, We Have a Hottie

We had a tie for 3rd Place

3rd Place
Young Adult
Riley Darkes – Serving Time

3rd Place
Historical Romance
Carolina Prentice – The Moon and Stars

4th Place
Mainstream Fiction, with a central romance
Jenny Hansen – A Sister In Need

Congratulations to you all!

From contest coordinator, Jann:

“I wish to extend my most heartfelt appreciation to all of our Author, Editor and Agent Judges who made this contest possible.”


2017 Orange Rose Contest Committee

You may contact the committee by using the contact form found on the ORC contact tab. You may also email them at

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