Who Can Enter
The contest is open to writers not published in book-length fiction during the past five years. For the purposes of this contest, “book-length fiction” is defined as 40,000 words or more, and “published” means having fully executed a contract with an RWA-recognized publisher (self-publishing does not disqualify the entrant). No entrant may submit a manuscript for which a publication offer is pending, or under contract by any publisher (recognized or not). Previous Touch of Magic finalists may not re-enter the same manuscript. No entrant may submit a manuscript to a contest category s/he is judging or coordinating. If the entry is authored by more than one person in partnership, both authors must meet all entry requirements.
A complete submission will include an .rtf file of the beginning of a manuscript (including prologue, if applicable), not to exceed 25 pages total, and a separate .rtf file of a synopsis, not to exceed 3 pages (double-spaced) of your original manuscript. The synopsis will be used for reference only and will not be scored.
Our mission with Touch of Magic is to give you, the author, useful feedback to assist you in achieving your goal of publication (at least, we assume that’s your goal). The following guidelines are in place to that end.
Entries are not judged on marketability; having said that, please note that judges are readers as well, and judging is subjective. We recognize that the definition of romantic novel is broadening rapidly and widely, and will do our best to ensure that your entry is being judged by judges who are familiar with the genre you are writing.
Your entry must fit into one of our six official categories, but please note that novels “with romantic elements” should be entered in the more specific category, NOT in NSRE. In other words, if your novel is paranormal with romantic elements or suspense with romantic elements, it should be entered in paranormal or romantic suspense as appropriate, not NSRE. See scoresheets for more information.
Contestants may enter more than one manuscript, but each entry must be submitted separately, and each submission may be entered in only one contest category. Each entry must have a separate entry form.
Short Contemporary (previously called Series Contemporary): manuscripts intended for submission to one of the Harlequin category romance lines or similar, final MS length est. 50,000 – 70,000 words.
Single Title Contemporary: manuscripts intended for submission to a single title publishing house; final MS length est. > 80,000 words.
Historical: manuscripts in which the action takes place previous to 1945.
Paranormal: manuscripts which include paranormal elements, time travels, or futuristics
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: manuscripts in which romance is a strong, but not primary, theme; e.g. chick lit, women’s fiction
Romantic Suspense: story line includes significant external conflict and danger, a villain as the antagonist, and a commensurate level of tension and intrigue.
Steampunk, urban fantasy, or other novels with anachronistic elements should be entered in paranormal – do not enter them into historical.
Fees may be paid by check, money order or PayPal. Make checks payable to Central Florida Romance Writers. You may use a single check to pay for multiple entries; however, each entry requires a separate fee.
Fee for each entry:
- $25 CFRW members
- $30 non-members
Complete entries and fees must be received by the appropriate category coordinator no later than March 23, 2013. Contest entries will be capped at a total of 125. Entries received over that number will be put on a waiting list and accepted providing we can find qualified judges. Should a category not receive a minimum of 7 entries, that category will not be judged. Contestants will have the option of entering another category or having their manuscript deleted from our files and their fees returned.
Both manuscript and synopsis must be double-spaced in an appropriate 12-point font (such as Times New Roman) (script fonts will be disqualified), with one-inch margins on 8 1/2 x 11 paper (check your page layout tab for this). Non-US authors may submit formatted to A4 without penalty. Entries that do not conform to these (including 1.5 line spacing and narrower margins) may be penalized by either having the entry cut off at page 25, with the judge instructed not to read further or disqualification. Page headers should contain the title and contest category on the left, and page number on the right. Example:
Title/Contest Category Page #
Entrant’s name(s) must not appear on the manuscript or synopsis. Entries with names may be disqualified. We realize that with electronic manuscripts, changing is easier than in the old days of paper, but please be respectful of the coordinators’ time.
Please remember to send your synopsis, entry form, and manuscript in separate files.
Each entry will be judged in the initial round by three judges. CFRW will make every effort (but cannot guarantee) to provide experienced and/or certified contest judges, including at least one published judge, per entry. The top three entries in each category will become finalists (four in case of a 3rd place tie).
Finalists will proceed to a second round of judging. CFRW will make every effort (but cannot guarantee) to provide an actively acquiring editor or agent for the final round of judging. Current information on final round judges may be found at the chapter’s website: www.cfrwa.org. Finalists will be notified of their status by either telephone or email on approximately May 15, 2013. CFRW will make every effort to notify finalists promptly.
CFRW reserves the right to cancel any or all contest categories due to non-participation. In the event that a category is canceled, the entries will be deleted and fees refunded via check using the mailing address you provide in your entry form.
Finalists will be notified and their status posted on the CFRW website (www.cfrwa.org) on or about May 15, 2013. Final round results will be posted by early July. A list of all winners and finalists will be submitted for inclusion in RWR.
All finalists will receive a certificate suitable for framing. Winners will receive a Touch of Magic charm.
A completed entry contains the following:
- One completed, signed entry form
- One payment for the appropriate entry fee (paypal or mailed check or money order)
- One file .rtf format for the manuscript; a separate .rtf file for the synopsis.
Please email your completed entry to the appropriate coordinator: Karen.Blondeau.TOM.Coordinator@gmail.com
If you don’t want to pay via paypal, please mail your check or money order for the entry fee to:
Touch of Magic
PO Box 533916
Entries/payments must be RECEIVED no later than March 23, 2013!
All entrants, by submitting the entry form, acknowledge that they have read and understand the official rules of CFRW’s 2013 Touch of Magic Contest; that they realize and accept that manuscript judging is subjective; that they agree to abide by the decisions of any judge and/or contest official; and that they shall hold harmless CFRW, its contest personnel, and its judges for any and all disputes arising from contest rulings and/or decisions and or/circumstances beyond the control of contest officials.
Thank you for entering the Touch of Magic Contest.