2019 Stiletto Contest Rules and Guidelines

The Stiletto Contest celebrates and recognizes excellence in the contemporary romance genre for published and unpublished novels.

The Contemporary Romance Writers Chapter focuses on the contemporary romance genre and its inception of the Stiletto Contest upholds the chapter goal of bringing awareness to the best work by authors and writers in contemporary romance.

Published Entries:

  • Eligibility: All traditional, small press, e-published, and self-published novels released in 2018 are eligible.
    • Predatory press entries are not permitted and will be disqualified without a refund.
    • Any reissue or re-release is not eligible for this contest, even if revised in whole or in part; renamed; or removed from POD or online purchase.
    • Any previous unpublished manuscript winner of the Stiletto Contest is not eligible to enter the same manuscript as a published entry.
    • No anthologies will be accepted.
  • All entries must have been released between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
  • All entries must meet the word count for the category which they entered.
  • Entries may be submitted beginning MARCH 8, 2019.
  • Deadline for entries is APRIL 12, 2019 @ 11:59 pm EST.
  • Electronic entries must be submitted in pdf, mobi and ePub files.
    • Entries submitted must use the novel’s title as the pdf, mobi and ePub file name.
  • Paperback entries may be submitted. A $10 fee per entry will be added if choosing to enter paperback copies. All paperback copies must be received by April 1, 2018. Please include the novel’s entry receipt, along with 3 (three) signed copies and send to:
    Contemporary Romance Writers
    c/o Stiletto Contest
    12 Barri Drive
    Irwin, PA 15642
  • Audio files may be submitted for no extra fee. Files should be sent to the contest email address: crwstilettcontest@gmail.com
  • There is no limit on the number of submissions per author.
  • Entries may be submitted to only ONE primary category.
    • All entries will be given the option to choose a second category in case the first option does not reach the minimum requirement.
    • Do not select the same category as your first choice category.
  • Membership in RWA or Contemporary Romance Writers is not required.

Unpublished Entries:

  • Eligibility: Authors may submit unpublished works under the following guidelines:
    • The work is a standalone or, if the work is part of a series, it must be the first book in the series.
    • The work must not be available on sites such as Wattpad.
    • The work must not be under contract to be published.
    • Past Unpublished entries that did not final are eligible to re-enter any current Stiletto Contest categories.
  • Ineligible:
    • Past Unpublished entries that finaled.
    • Re-issued work. Any work available for purchase online or in print at any time is considered published and is ineligible, even if revised in whole or in part; renamed; or removed from POD or online purchase.
    • Any unpublished entry found to have broken any of the unpublished manuscript rules will be automatically disqualified from the contest without a refund.
    • No anthologies will be accepted.
  • All entries must meet the word count for the category which they entered.
  • Submissions must include the first 7,000 words of the manuscript.
  • A 500-word synopsis must be pasted at the end of each entry.
    • The synopsis is not included in the word count.
    • The synopsis will not be judged as part of the entry.
  • Manuscript formatting:
    • Times Roman 12 pt. font, double spaced with 1-inch margins.  
    • The title of the manuscript must be at the top of each page in header format, along with the category entered and the page number.
  • Do NOT include your name or any other writer identifying marks on the manuscript.
    • Be sure to remove all identifying file properties. Any manuscripts submitted with their name included will be disqualified without a refund.
  • The manuscript must be sent as a document file (.doc), submitted under the name of the manuscript title.
  • There is no limit on the number of submissions per writer.
  • Each category has a 10-entry minimum requirement.
    • All entries will be given the option to choose a second category in case the first option does not reach the minimum requirement.
    • Do not select the same category as your first choice category.
  • Entries may be submitted beginning MARCH 8, 2019.
  • Deadline for entries is APRIL 12, 2019 @ 11:59pm.
  • Entries that final in the unpublished category cannot be published in any format before the 2019 Stiletto Contest winners are announced at RWA Nationals on TUESDAY, July 23, 2019. Failure to follow this rule will result in entry disqualification without a refund. The author can have other published works, but the contest entry can not be published.
  • If an editor or agent requests a full manuscript from a finalist, the requesting editor and agent’s publishing procedures/requirements are to be followed.
  • Membership in RWA or Contemporary Romance Writers is not required.


Entry Payments:

  • All entries and payments are non-refundable.
  • All payments must be made through PayPal.
  • Cost for each published and unpublished entry:
    • Contemporary Romance Writers members: $15
    • Non-CRW members: $25
    • Non-RWA members: $35
    • Paperback entry fee, Contemporary Romance Writers members: $25
    • Paperback entry fee, Non-CRW members: $35
    • Paperback entry fee, Non-RWA members: $45
  • Payment must be made before submitting an entry. Entries without payment or completed submission form will not be judged and no refund will be issued.

Judging:

  • All published and non-published first round entries are judged by RWA General, PRO, and PAN members. No judges outside of RWA are permitted.
  • First round judges are given a 1-5 score sheet and are encouraged to use decimal points to help in tie-breakers. Any judge that enters a score under 4.0 for an Unpublished entry is required to give constructive feedback as to the reason for that score.
  • First round score sheets will be returned to the entrants.
  • Final judges for the Unpublished categories are editors and agents chosen from  the traditional publishing industry.
  • The judges’ decisions are final.

Timeline for Stiletto contest activity:

  • Submissions Open: March 8, 2019
  • Submissions Close: April 12, 2019

Winners:

  • Finalists for Unpublished categories will be notified by May 16, 2019.
  • Finalists for Published categories will be notified by June 21, 2019.
  • Winners will be announced the RWA19 National Conference, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto Party.
  • First place winners will receive an award or plaque and certificate and announcement in RWR.

Please note: The CRW Chapter will hold its Stiletto Party off-site this year. Contest entrants who wish to attend may purchase non-refundable tickets on a first-come, first served basis via this link.

Any questions should be directed to CRWStilettoContest@gmail.com.

 

**Payment must be made before filling out entry form. Any entry that does not submit payment will be disqualified. The Stiletto Committee does not send payment reminders for entries. Please make certain you are choosing the correct entry price. Any submission without the correct entry payment will be disqualified without a refund. The Stiletto Committee does not contact entrants for incorrect payments. If you have any questions, please contact the Stiletto Committee at CRWStilettoContest@gmail.com. Thank you and good luck!


Contest Entry Fees
Entrant Pen Name
Entry Title



 

Stiletto Contest Published Entry Form 

Stiletto Contest Unpublished Entry Form