Categories abbreviations used: Contemp (Contemporary), ER (Erotic Romance), FFTP (Futuristic / Time-Travel, Fantasy, Paranormal), HF (Historical Fiction), HR (Historical Romance), MS (Mainstream), Mys / Sus (Mystery / Suspense), NA (New Adult), NSRE (Novel with Strong Romantic Elements), Para (Paranormal), RC (Romantic Comedy), RE (Romantic Elements), RS (Romantic Suspense), ST (Single Title), Sci-Fi (Science Fiction), YA (Young Adult).
Contests for published works show "Type" in this color.
Stephie Smith's historical romance DUKE OF DECEPTION is available in ebook and in print at several retailers.
Duke of Deception

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Stephie Smith's humorous mystery RULES OF LYING is available in ebook and in print at several retailers.
Sponsor / Org Contest Type Eligibility Dates Entry Fee Submission Categories / Judges Awards / Other Info
Valley of the Sun Romance Writers of America Hot Prospects Romance Published or unpublished RWA member in good standing with uncontracted entry. e-deadline / postmark 11:59 p.m. PST Sept 1, 2015; finalists notified Oct 31; winners announced ~Dec 15. beginning of ms (25 pp) and synopsis (3-5 pp). Total entry cannot exceed 30 pp. $25 members, $30 all others mail or electronic. Pay by check, MO, or PayPal. 1st round - 2 judges. If scores vary by 26 or more points, there will be a 3rd judge with lowest score dropped. 3 finalists per category. Final Judges: ST Contemp (Leanne Morgena, The Wild Rose Press; Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks; RS (Amy Stapp, Tor / Forge; Angela James, Carina Press); HR / Regency (Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing; Jess Verdi, Crimson Romance); F/F/ Para (Eileen Rothschild, St. Martin’s Press; Dana Hopkins, Harlequin) Grand prize winner will have entire manuscript (400 pp max) reviewed by two professional editors at Novel Needs. Finalists receive certificate, graphic for website and acknowledgment in RWR.
Mid-America Romance Writers of America Fiction from the Heartland Romance unpublished and uncontracted during past five years; excludes MARA members Received by 11:59 PM Sept 7, 2015 beginning of ms +, synopsis (10,000 words max) $35. electronic entry No more than 10 overall finalists from all categories. Final Judges Category Romance (Gail Chasen, Harlequin); Contemp ST (Elle Keck, HarperCollins Publishers, Avon); HR (Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks); RS (Dana Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing); Para (Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group); ER (Heidi Moore, Samhain Publishing); YA / NA (Mary Altman, Sourcebooks); Inspirational (David Long, Bethany House). Also Agents Sara Negovetich, Corvisiero Literary Agency; Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency; Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency; Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency; Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency; Linda Scalissi, 3 Seas Literary Agency  
Music City Romance Writers of America Melody of Love Romance or romantic elements novel of 40,000 words or more Published or unpublished author, with uncontracted, unpublished (via any means) entry Received by 11:59 p.m. Sept 7, 2015; finalists announced early Oct; winners announced late Nov. first 25 pp $22 MCRW members, $27 other RWA members, $32 non-RWA members email or postal mail, can pay by check or PayPal Three first-round judges, lowest score dropped. Final Judges:  Contemp: (Mary Altman, Sourcebooks); HR (Cindy Brannam, Soul Mate Publishing); Para (Angela James, Carina Press); NA: (Heidi Moore, Samhain Publishing); YA (Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency) Winners in each category receive: 1st place, $50. 1st - 3rd place receive certificate and 1-yr membership to MCRW (certain conditions apply). Winners announced on MCRW site and in RWR.
Missouri Romance Writers of America Gateway to the Best Romance Writers not contracted / not published within last 3 yrs from July 30, 2015. Self-published authors may enter with unpublished work. 11:59 PM CDT, Sept 12, 2015; finalists announced Oct 31; winners announced ~Nov 30. up to 1st 7,000 words $20 for members, $30 non-members; half price for add'l entries electronic; pay by PayPal, check or MO. 3 judges for 1st round, lowest score dropped. Final judges and categories:ST / Contemp Series (Sue Grimshaw,Penguin Random House); HR (Kathryn Chesire, Mills Boon / Harlequin); Women's Fiction w/ SRE (Katherine Pelz, Berkley); Para (Kerri Buckley, Carina Press); RS (Esi Sogah, Kensington); YA / NA (Megah Parekh, Grand Central Publishing). Grand Prize winner receives a 2 hour coaching session with writing coach Michael Hauge, valued at $700 plus Gateway Charm; 1st - 3rd place receive certificates; 1st and 2nd place receive one-yr membership to MoRWA e-newsletter..
Yellow Rose Romance Writers of America Cover the Words Romance Book, Novella Anyone with published romance or novella. Sept 20, 2015; winners announced Oct 10 Electronic submission of any romance book or novella’s front cover $15 Electronic All categories. Overall Winner and Top Three Finalists in each category will be determined through popular voting. Final category winners will be judged by editors and publishing houses for 1st - 3rd place. 1st - 3rd places receive badge to display on website, will be displayed on Yellow Rose website, and announced in RWR.
Chesapeake Romance Writers of America The Rudy formerly "Finish the Damn book" Romantic fiction Published or unpublished. Need not be RWA member. Midnight, Sept 30, 2015 First and Last chapters (40 pp max) plus synopsis (5 pp max) which will not be judged. $15 RWA member; $20 others   Final judges TBA. Categories: Contemp, HR, Para, ER, YA / NA, MS w/RE 1st Place winner receives $50; 1st - 3rd finalists receive certificates.
Fabula Press Nivalis Short Story Contest Fiction (check website for genre exclusions Anyone aged 18 and above. Stories must be in English, original and unpublished at time winners are declared 11:59 PM US CT) Sept 30, 2015; winners announced ~Nov 15 Stories from 2,000 wds min to 7,000 wds max. $10 Submittable online submissions manager tool Judges include published authors, journalists, and literary agents. Winners decided by highest score in 9 point scoring matrix. 1st Prize : US$150 and 2 copies of anthology: 2nd Prize: US$100 and 2 copies of anthology; 3rd Prize: US$100. All longlisted finalists are published in, and get a free copy of , the contest anthology. Additional cash awards are also paid if judges determine any 'honourable mention' entries.
Red Hen Press Red Hen Press Poetry Award Poetry Previously unpublished poem. Open to anyone except those affiliated or associated with Red Hen Press. Postmark by Sept 30, 2015; winner announced Jan 2016 Complete poems, 120 line maximum each. $20 for up to 3 poems, maximum 120 lines each. Mail or via Submittable online Final Judge: Camille Dungy, finalist for the PEN Center USA 2007 Literary Award and the Library of Virginia 2007 Literary Award and Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University. $1,000 and publication of the selected poem in The Los Angeles Review.
Essaymama Summer Writing Contest Essay in English Anyone can enter. Entry must be original work. Deadline October 1, 2015; winners announced Oct 9. 800 to 1,300 words on 1 of 8 topics. See website for details. Free; must "Like" the Essaymama FB page OR follow Twitter profile and share/ retweet the contest info. See website for details. via email Judged by Essaymama team. 1st place - $500; 2nd place - $350; 3rd place - $200. Winning essays published on EssayMama blog
North Louisiana Storytellers & Authors of Romance (NOLA STARS) The Suzannah Romance Anyone. Entry must be unpublished and uncontracted in any format before Nov 30. Entries capped at 120. Midnight CST Oct 1, 2015; winner announced March 5, 2016. 7,200 words max, including synopsis and beginning of manuscript $30 for NOLA members, $35 others. Submit before Sept 1 and pay $5 less. via email 1st round judges are published authors, RWA Pro members, industry professionsals. 3 scores, lowest one dropped. Final judges are panel of at least 6 agents and editors incl: Gabrielle Keck, Avon HarperCollins; Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency; Erin Niamata, Folio Literary Agency. More TBA. Grand prize winner announced at conference in March 2016. Winner receives $300 and trophy. Results publicized on website, loops, and in the RWR.
Southwest Florida Romance Writers of America The Joyce Henderson Contest Romance Unpublished or not published in last 5 yrs. Entry must be uncontracted and unpublished. Need not be RWA member. 11:59 PM ET Oct 1, 2015; winners announced ~Dec 15. first 20 pp and synopsis (1 pp max). Synopsis will not be judged. $25 via PayPal electronic entry 1st Round: 2 judges, at least one published. Final judges: Contemp incl. Women’s Fiction (Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency); HR (Isabel Farhi, Penguin / Random House Publishing); Para / Sci-Fi / Fantasy (Susan Brower, Natasha Kern Literary Agency); YA (Lee Lawless, Tor / Forge Publishing); RS (Junessa Viloria, Random House Publishing) 1st place in each category wins $50 and Certificate. 2nd place wins $20 and Certificate. 3rd place wins Certificate. Winners announced in RWR.
West Houston Romance Writers of America The Emily Romance unpublished / not published in category entered in past 3 yrs. Entries capped at 200. Traditional, epubbed, indie-published are eligible. Oct 4, 2015; finalists announced Dec 20; winners announced Feb 13, 2016 1st 5,600 words, max in TNR or Courier, 12 or 14 point size $25 WHRWA members, $35 all others online 3 judges for 1st round, lowest score dropped. Finalists judged by 2 experts (agent, editor). 3 finalists per category. Long Contemp (Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management; Tara Gavin, Kensington Books); Short Contemp (Jess Dallow, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.; Elle Keck, HarperCollins / Avon); FFP (Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates; Allison Carroll, HQN, Harlequin Enterprises); HR (Marisa Corvisiero, Corvisiero Literary Agency; Tara Gelsomino, Crimson Romance); RS (Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.; Kristin Sevick, Tor / Forge (Macmillan)); YA (Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency; Alex Sehulster, St. Martin's Press) 1st Place: EMILY brooch, all other finalists: certificate. Best of the Best receives $100.
Windy City Romance Writers of America Four Seasons Award Romance Unpublished or not published in past 3 yrs in novel-length fiction in any format in category entered. Windy City members not eligible. e-deadline midnight Oct 10, 2015; finalists notified by Nov 10; winners announced Dec 20. 1st 25 pp of ms in RTF. $25 RWA member, $30 non-RWA member, via PayPal online submission 1st round: 3 judges with at least one a published member of Windy City RWA; lowest score dropped. Four finalists per category. Final judges HR (Nicole Fischer, Avon; Agent TBA); ST (Michelle Meade, MIRA; Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services); F / F / Para (Deborah Nemeth, Carina Press; Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency); YA (Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge; Marisa A. Corvisiero, Corvisiero Agency); Inspirational (Elizabeth Mazer, Harlequin Love Inspired; Lane Heymont, Seymour Agency); RS (Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington; Victoria Lowes, The Bent Agency); NA (Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing; Veronica Park, Corvisiero Agency) Top prize: Top THREE entries to receive ONE critique by a Golden Heart Nominee, RITA Nominee, and / or a Best-selling Author.Winners will receive a Windy City Four Seasons Plaque and will be announced in the Romance Writers Report. All finalists receive certificates.
The Los Angeles Review Wild Light Contest Poetry Open to anyone. Entry must be previously unpublished Oct 1, 2015; winner announced early 2016 Up to three poems of up to 200 lines each $25 Online Submittable form Amy Uyematsu is the final judge. A prize of $1,000 and publication in The Los Angeles Review for an exceptional poem.
Highfield Press "Picture Worth 1000 Words” Autumn 2015 Essay Contest Essay Entry must be unpublished Oct 15, 2015; winner announced ~Dec 30. 500-1,000 words inspired by the theme "Autumn Leaves" and the photo on the contest page. $20 Online form Can be personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commentary travel piece, historical account, bibliography, or short story. Judge(s) is Highfield Press. $1,000 Grand Prize and online publication. Two runners up receive Highfield Press gifts.
Miami University Press Miami University Novella Prize Novella Unpublished entry Oct 15, 2015; winner announced in early 2016 18,000 - 40,000 wds $25 Online through Submittable Margaret Luongo, Associate Professor of English, Miami University $750 against royalties, a standard contract, publication and 10 copies of book
Nat. Brut Nat. Brut Flash Fiction Contest Fiction Anyone, entry must be previously unpublished Nov 1, 2015; winners announced Dec 1 Flash fiction, under 1000 words $15 Online through Submittable Judge: Author Amy Hempel, recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Rea Award for the Short Story Top 3 entries will receive $100 and publication in Nat. Brut
Less than 100 words Less than 100 words All genres Anyone 18 yrs or older Nov 27 , 2015; winner announced ~Nov 30 (Note: this contest runs weekly, with submission deadline every Friday) A story in less than 100 words, incorporating the prompt given £0.99 Online form Judges: Less than 100 Words team £20 for winner Also prize for runner up
The Los Angeles Review Ekphrasis Submissions for The Los Angeles Review Story, poetry, essay related to art or a work of art Open to anyone Dec 1, 2015; winner announced early 2016 3-5 poems; short fiction (1,000 wds max); longer fiction (4,000 words max); nonfiction (1,000 - 4,000 words) or nonfiction flash $3 Online Submittable form or via US mail Categories: poetry, fiction, nonfiction A chance to appear in Vol. 20 of The Los Angeles Review
Highfield Press "Picture Worth 1000 Words” Winter 2015 Essay Contest Essay Entry must be unpublished Jan 15, 2016; winner announcement ~Feb 28, 2016 500-1,000 words inspired by the theme "Indigo Winter" and the photo on the contest page. $20 Online form Can be personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, commentary travel piece, historical account, bibliography, or short story. Judge(s) is Highfield Press. $1,000 Grand Prize and online publication. Two runners up receive Highfield Press gifts.
Less than 100 words Less than 100 words All genres Anyone 18 yrs or older February 26 , 2016; winner announced ~Feb 29 (Note: this contest runs weekly, with submission deadline every Friday) A story in less than 100 words, incorporating the prompt given £0.99 Online form Judges: Less than 100 Words team £20 for winner Also prize for runner up