2017 Rules & Guidelines

We want you to understand and have the best contest experience that we can provide. There are no secrets. If you have questions about the rules, the categories, the category guidelines, please contact us and we’ll be happy to clarify.

***Important Note***

Due to situations beyond the control of the Contest Coordinator,
the 1st Round Finalists will be announced on August 12, 2017, rather than in July.

 

Contest Rules

1. The Contest is limited to the first 150 Entries.

2. The Contest closes April 30, 2017 at midnight Pacific Time. If an entry is received after that time, it will be disqualified.

3. Entry fee $25 for OCC/RWA Members, East Valley Author Members, Los Angeles Romance Authors Members & RWA San Diego Members, $35 for all other RWA Members. If co-written with a RWA Member who is not a member of one of the chapters listed here the higher rate applies. All fees are non-refundable.

4. Entry fees received after April 30, 2017, will not be accepted. An email notification will be sent to individuals who miss the deadline.

5. Fees may be paid through PayPal or mailed to OCC RWA’s PO Box 1147, Brea, CA 92822. (See Entry Form for PayPal Payment information.)

6. Contest is open to any writer meeting the following criteria:

  • Must be a member in good standing of RWA National
  • Has not been published, self-published or contracted in any format, print or electronic, in either book-length fiction (40,000 words or more) or novella length fiction (20,000-40,000 words) in the last five years. No previously published work is eligible for submission.

7. If the manuscript is accepted for publication or self-published on or before June 30, 2017, the contest coordinator must be notified and all entries for that writer withdrawn.

8. The entry must have a projected minimum length of 40,000 words or more for book length fiction or a length between 20,000 and 40,000 words for novella fiction. Any category that does not receive a minimum of five entries will be canceled. The manuscript will be placed in the writer’s second choice category. Categories are:

  • Contemporary Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Historical Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Romantic Suspense (40,000 words and over)
  • Erotic Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Inspirational Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Young Adult Romance (40,000 words and over)
  • Romance Novella (all genres, 20,000-40,000 words)

9. ALL entries are electronic, and manuscript entries must be submitted as an  attachment to the entry form. Manuscript entries (in addition to the online entry form and payment) shall consist of:

  • ONE document (.RTF) that is a maximum of 35 pages, which includes the first chapters of the manuscript followed by a synopsis.
  • The combination can be 25 pages of manuscript and 10 pages of synopsis, or 30 pages of manuscript and 5 pages of synopsis, or any combination of manuscript and synopsis pages that does not exceed 35 pages in total. The manuscript will be disqualified if it exceeds 35 pages.

10. Entries must be formatted as follows:

  • A readable document in .RTF format
  • Double-spaced (including synopsis) – no extra spacing between paragraphs
  • Readable 12-pt font such as Bookman, Courier New, Arial, Times New Roman
  • One-inch margins on top, bottom and both sides
  • Unjustified right margins
  • Header with manuscript title on left, category and page number on right
  • Do not put your name on your manuscript! If your name appears on the manuscript it will be disqualified.

11. Enter as many different manuscripts as you wish, but each manuscript may only be entered in one category.

12. Each separate entry must be accompanied by an official entry form submission and separate payment.

To enter the contest, visit our ORC Registration Page.

Judging:

13. First Round Judging:

  • Judging to be done on a point basis, with all manuscripts judged by three published authors. The three scores will be totaled to reach the final score.
  • First Round Finalists: First, Second and Third Place Finalists are chosen by their overall score in each category. A finalist’s manuscript must be among the top three scoring manuscripts in each category.
  • First Round Finalists will be announced July 8, 2017, at the OCC/RWA’s general meeting.

14. Final Round Judging:

  • The First Place/highest scoring manuscript in each category that receives a minimum of 85% of the possible points will be read by three acquiring editors and/or acquiring agents.
  • Their scores will be totaled to determine Second through Fourth Place–the highest scoring manuscript will be awarded The Charlotte.
  • The winner of The Charlotte, Second, Third and Fourth place winners and remaining final round finalists will be announced and awards presented on October 14, 2017, at OCC/RWA’s general meeting.

Awards

15. First Round:

  • Finalists will be awarded a Certificate at the OCC/RWA July 8, 2017, general meeting.
  • Finalists not in attendance will be notified by phone or email and their Certificate mailed.

16. Final Round:

  • Finalists will be awarded an Orange Rose Contest pin at the October 14, 2017, general meeting.
  • Second, Third and Fourth Place Finalist winners will receive an award.
  • The Charlotte will be presented to the writer of the highest scoring manuscript overall.
  • Finalists and winners not in attendance will be notified by phone or email and their awards mailed.

17. Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in disqualification.

18. The OCC/RWA Board of Directors will resolve any disputes that may arise; its decision will be final.

19. OCC/RWA and the Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers cannot be held liable for any failure of the delivery of entries due to any electronic or Internet outage issues. It is the responsibility of the writer to insure that she has received an entry confirmation.

Categories and Judging Guidelines

With the exception of Erotic Romance, all categories may have varying levels of sensuality. All novel categories are for works of 40,000 words or more. The Romance Novella is the only category that may be shorter at 20,000 to 40,000 words.

Contemporary Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which the themes or elements other than the romance are integral to the story, even through a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic resolution to the romance, are still present. Can be any time period and must contain a strong romantic element, such that one or more romances form an integral part of the story’s structure.

Judging guidelines: Any kind of fiction, of any tone or style and set in any place or time, is eligible for this category. The romantic elements, while not the primary focus of the story, should be an integral and dynamic part of the plot or subplot. There should be a satisfactory resolution to the romantic elements. This category is intended for romances that do not fit neatly into any other category due to their mainstream fiction nature but where the central romance could not be removed without damaging the storyline.

Paranormal Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which time-travel, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot. May be set in any time period.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript; a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element is blended with the love story; and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Historical Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts set prior to 1950. This category cannot include any elements of the paranormal category including time travel.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Romantic Suspense
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. May be set in any time period.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, a suspense/mystery/thriller plot is blended with the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Erotic Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These manuscripts may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, romantic suspense, etc.) and may be set in any time period.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, scenes of explicit sexual interaction are blended with and form a significant part of the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Inspirational Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot. May be set in any time period.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are blended with and form a significant part of the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Young Adult Romance
(40,000 words and up)

Manuscripts in which the young adult protagonist is typically between 14-18 years old and young adult life is an integral part of the plot. May include elements of other sub-genres (such as paranormal or romantic suspense) and any time period.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the manuscript, the element of being a young adult is blended with the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Romance Novella
(20,000 to 40,000 words)

Novellas that focus primarily on the romantic relationship. May fall within any of the above categories.

Judging guidelines: In this category, a love story is the main focus of the novella, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Sample Score Sheet

We’ll have a sample of our First Round Score Sheet soon. It will show you the type of feedback you can expect. We are updating it to improve the contest experience for our entrants and our judges.

For questions and/or additional information, email the 2017 contest coordinator at: orangerose@occrwa.org.

To enter the contest, visit our ORC Registration Page.

Comments are closed.