2023 Stiletto Contest

Announcing the 2023 Stiletto Contest

The Stiletto Contest celebrates and recognizes excellence in the contemporary romance genre for published and unpublished novels. 

Contemporary Romance Writers focuses on the contemporary romance genre, and the Stiletto Contest upholds the organization’s goal of bringing awareness to the best work by authors and writers in contemporary romance.

  • Submissions open: March 1, 2023
  • Submissions close: March 31, 2023
  • Winners announced: July 29, 2023 at our Virtual Conference

Unpublished Division Final Round Judges include:

  • Jocelyn Travis, Editorial assistant, Sourcebooks
  • Elaine Spencer, Agent, Knight Agency
  • Eva Scalzo, Agent, Speilburg Literary
  • Amy Brewer, Agent, Metamorphosis Literary
  • Rachel Gilmer, Editor, Sourcebooks
  • Linda Camacho, Agent, Gallt & Zacker
  • Ann Leslie Tuttle, Agent, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

The Entry Categories for the Published and Unpublished Divisions are:

  • Contemporary Short (20,000 to 50,000 words)
  • Contemporary Mid-Length (50,000 to 80,000 words)
  • Contemporary Long (over 80,000 words)
  • Contemporary Young Adult / New Adult
  • Contemporary Women’s Fiction / Chick-Lit
  • Contemporary Speculative / Paranormal (includes Urban Fantasy with romance)
  • Contemporary Romantic Suspense
  • Contemporary Erotic Romance

Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Stiletto Contest does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion. We expect the same from our judges and entrants with a zero tolerance policy.

Any questions should be directed to contest@contemporaryromance.org.

Important links:

Go here for contest rules

Finalists | Winners

Unpublished Division

Contemporary Romance Long

Love On Site, Margaret Torres
Twist or Kiss, Savanna Scales
When It Rains, Alexis Rey
Digging Dr. Jones, Olga Jackson
The Hiding Game, J.E. Irvin

Winner: When it Rains, Alexis Rey

Contemporary Romance Mid Length

Trust Me, Ana Morgan
The Love Algorithm, Michelle Hazen
Leaves & Love, Rachel Cooper
Hot Tag, Jessica Raquel Fox

Winner: Trust Me, Ana Morgan

Speculative/Paranormal Contemporary Romance

Love on Loop, Kathryn Ferrer
100% That Witch, M.C. Vaughan
Drowning in Air, Sree Natesan

Winner: 100% That Witch, M.C. Vaughan

Women’s Fiction

The Tides That Bind, Katie Schenck
The Middle Sister, Lyssa Reese
Weekend Friend, Viktoria Dahill

Winner: Weekend Friend, Viktoria Dahill

Published Division

Long Contemporary Romance

Looks Good On Paper, Kilby Blades
The Corey Effect, Casey Dembowski
The Royal and the Rebel, J. Santiago

Winner: Looks Good On Paper, Kilby Blades

Reader’s Choice: Looks Good On Paper, Kilby Blades

Mid-Length Contemporary Romance

A Full-Bodied Love, Amber Cross
Once Upon a Royal Christmas, Teri Wilson
Sweet Slow Sizzle: Bangers Tavern Romance 4, Sadira Stone
The Perpetual, Cindy Kehagiaras
What to Expect When She’s Expecting, Laurel Greer

Winner: The Perpetual, Cindy Kehagiaras

Short Contemporary Romance

Ever After Exes, Susannah Erwin
Temporary Nanny for the Tycoon, Marie Tuhart
Tender Tide, Laurie Ryan

Winner: Tender Tide, Laurie Ryan

Reader’s Choice: Ever After Exes, Susannah Erwin

Romantic Suspense

Baby Call the Shots, Harper Cross
Baby Heal the Pain, Harper Cross
Christmas Baby Rescue, Jordyn Redwood

Winner: Baby Call the Shots, Harper Cross

Reader’s Choice: Baby Heal the Pain, Harper Cross

Speculative/Paranormal Contemporary Romance

Fire Magic & Ice Cream, Lauren Connolly
Shelter for a Shifter, Lauren Connolly
The Nighthawkers, Amy L. Bernstein

Winner: Fire Magic & Ice Cream, Lauren Connolly

Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance

No Other Love, Lori Jean Rowsell
Wanderlost, Jennilynn Wyer
Whiskey Girl, Grea Warner

Winner: Whiskey Girl, Grea Warner

Reader’s Choice: Wanderlost, Jennilynn Wyer