FAQ – 2015 Pages From The Heart Contest

Why should I enter the Pages From The Heart Contest?

We highly encourage first round judges to provide feedback for every entry. The outstanding editors and agents who judge the final round can request full or partial manuscripts for further consideration. For example, the 2014 PFTH Contest finalists received 12 requests from final judges.

When do I submit my entry?

The contest is open for entries from June 1 – June 30, 2015.

What should I enter?

The first twenty-five (25) pages of your original, unpublished, and uncontracted novel-length (or projected novel-length) manuscript will be submitted electronically as an attachment to an email.

The twenty-five page limit does NOT include the contest cover sheet.

First place winners from the 2014 Pages From The Heart contest may not re-enter the same manuscript during the 2015 contest.

All other finalists my enter the same manuscript as they had in 2014.

What do you consider novel-length?

Novel-length is at least 40,000 words.

Can I enter a published manuscript?

No. All entries are unpublished. For the Published Division, the writer is contracted or published, but the entry itself must not be contracted or published.

I’m self-published. Which division should I enter?

Self-published authors are welcome to enter the Published Division.

Can I include a Prologue with my entry?

Yes, but the prologue will be included in your submission, which cannot exceed twenty-five pages. The prologue will be judged as part of the entry.

Can I include a Synopsis with my entry?

No. Pages From The Heart does not require a synopsis, and if you send one, the synopsis will be discarded before the entry is sent to your judges, whether or not it is part of your twenty-five page submission.

Can I see a copy of the First Round Scoresheet and Judging Guidelines?

Certainly!  Download here:

How will I know my entry arrived on time?

Please allow 24-hours for contest officials to email you to confirm receipt of your entry and payment through Paypal. If you do not hear from contest officials after 24-hours, contact: PFTHContest@fthrw.com.

Please Note: If you use an electronic check through PayPal, entry status is not final until the check clears, which may take several days.

Must I be a member of RWA in order to enter the Pages From The Heart Contest?

Yes, RWA membership is required to enter the Pages From The Heart Contest.

Can I enter more than one manuscript?

More than one manuscript can be entered in the same category or in different categories.

Can I enter the same manuscript in more than one category?

No, each manuscript can only be entered once. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit, but additional entries must be from different manuscripts.

What is the cost to enter the Pages From The Heart Contest?

Entry fee should be paid in US funds:
• $20 FTHRW members
• $25 RWA members
• $15 for subsequent entries

Must I pay for my entry fee through Paypal?

Yes. Pages From The Heart Contest only accepts entry fees through Paypal. After you fill out your entry form and press the “Submit” button, your browser will take you to Paypal.com. If it does not, contact: PFTHContest@fthrw.com.

Can I pay my entry fee by check?

All contestants must use PayPal to pay their entry fees. You may pay by electronic check through PayPal once you have a Paypal account, but it takes several days for your check to clear.

Do I have to paste the Cover Sheet at the beginning of my entry?

You will not have any points subtracted if you do not paste the Cover Sheet at the beginning of your entry, but we will ask that you submit a copy before the entry is passed on to the judges.

Please note that your entry will not be considered for the Hero Of Our Heart Award if the hero’s name is not provided.

The Cover Sheet is designed to provide judges with a great deal of information about your entry that will help them to critique/comment in the most objective manner possible. For example, if you use British/Australian/Canadian English punctuation and spelling rules, but you have not checked off that information, a judge may subtract points for not using American punctuation and spelling. Additionally, if a judge does not usually read, or dislikes, a certain genre, she might not understand the literary tropes expected of that genre crossover.

If we are aware that the entry fits into more than one genre, we can reassign the entry to judges who are more familiar with the expectations of those genres.

You may either paste the cover sheet to the beginning of your entry or attach it to your submission email as a separate file.

Entry should be 25 pages or less NOT including the cover sheet.

Download the file here:

What are the formatting rules I must follow?

A BONUS of up to five (5) points will be added to the final first-round score (after the lowest score is dropped) of every entry that follows these rules:
• Entry is a .doc file, has a cover sheet, and is twenty-five pages or less (before the cover sheet is added)
• Entry has one-inch margins, has first line of paragraphs indented, is double-space or is set to have exactly 25 lines per page
• Font is either Times New Roman 12 or 14 or Courier 12
• Header: Title / Division – Category / page number
• Author’s name does NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript and personal information is cleared from the file.

Divisions may be abbreviated as:

PA for Published Author
UA for Unpublished Author

Division/Category may be abbreviated as:

PA-ShortC and UA-ShortC for Short Contemporary
PA-LongC and UA-LongC for Long Contemporary
PA-Hist and UA-Hist for Historical
PA-Para and UA-Para for Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel
PA-Susp and UA-Susp for Romantic Suspense/Mystery
PA-YA and UA-YA for Young Adult
PA-Nov and UA-Nov for Novella

What happens if I don’t follow the formatting rules?

The author will gain one bonus point for each line item above that is formatted correctly. If none of these line items are complied with, the entry will have zero bonus points added to their final score.

If the entry earns less than 5 bonus points, contest officials will reformat the entry to comply with the rules.

Can I send a .docx file or .rtf file?

No. Some of our judges do not have the ability to open .docx files. We’ve found that in some of our judges’ Word programs, .rtf files lose the headers. Please send a .doc file.

How do I make my manuscript have 25 lines per page?

In Microsoft Word, on the Home tab ribbon, there is a section called Paragraph. Click on the little arrow in the bottom right corner. Set Spacing / Line Spacing to “Exactly“.  12 pt will automatically pop up – change it to 25 pt. (Or you can set your manuscript to double-spaced. See below.)

How do I make my manuscript double-spaced?

In Microsoft Word, on the Home tab ribbon, there is a section called Paragraph. Click on the little arrow in the bottom right corner. Set Spacing / Line Spacing to “Double“. (Or you can set your manuscript to exactly 25 lines per page. See above.)

How do I make the first line of every paragraph indent?

In Microsoft Word, on the Home tab ribbon, there is a section called Paragraph. Click on the little arrow in the bottom right corner. Set Indentation / Special to “First Line“. By will then automatically change to 0.5″. You can make this smaller if you prefer, but please have it indent by at least 0.2″ or your text will look like one long 25 page long paragraph.

How do I remove the identifying information from my entry?

If you save the document in Word 97-2003 format, you have the option at File | Options | Trust Center | Trust Center Settings | Privacy Options to “Remove personal information from file properties on save.” Save, giving the file a different name.

If you save in Word 2010/2013 or Office 365 format, then you have to use File | Info | Prepare for Sharing: Check for Issues | Inspect Document: Document Properties and Personal Information | Remove All. Save, giving the file a different name.

Mac Word 2011 users, see this link for directions: https://law.wm.edu/academics/whatabout/examsgradestranscripts/personalinfo/index.php

How do I make sure the title of my entry, category, and page number appear at the top of each page?

In the header, we ask that you type the manuscript title, division and category, and the page number in the header in the following format:

Title / Division-First Choice Category / Page number
ex: Ex. Fifty Shades of Lust / PA-ShortC / 1

Hint: Insert the page number first, then type the rest to the left of it.

Divisions may be abbreviated as:

PA for Published Author
UA for Unpublished Author

Division/Category may be abbreviated as:

PA-ShortC and UA-ShortC for Short Contemporary
PA-LongC and UA-LongC for Long Contemporary
PA-Hist and UA-Hist for Historical
PA-Para and UA-Para for Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel
PA-Susp and UA-Susp for Romantic Suspense/Mystery
PA-YA and UA-YA for Young Adult
PA-Nov and UA-Nov for Novella

For information about how to set up headers including page numbers, search Microsoft Support – be sure to include your version of Word (97, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 365, or Online) or Word for Mac in the search:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/support/?CTT=97

How do I submit my manuscript via email? What do I send?

  • Fill out and submit the online entry form listed on our rules page: http://fthrw.com/pages-from-the-heart-contest and press “Submit.”
  • Pay via PayPal and jot down the Transaction ID.
  • Format your manuscript entry according to the contest rules.
  • Paste the cover sheet at the beginning of your entry.
  • Save the file in .doc format (NOT docx.)

• Create an email. In the subject line, type:

PFTH Contest Entry – Title / Category
example: PFTH Contest Entry – Fifty Shades of Lust / PA-ShortC

• Attach the .doc file and send it to:

Published Author Division email addresses:

PA-Hist@fthrw.com
PA-LongCntp@fthrw.com
PA-Nov@fthrw.com
PA-Para@fthrw.com
PA-ShortCntp@fthrw.com
PA-Susp@fthrw.com
PA-YA@fthrw.com

Unpublished Division email addresses:

UA-Hist@fthrw.com
UA-LongCntp@fthrw.com
UA-Nov@fthrw.com
UA-Para@fthrw.com
UA-ShortCntp@fthrw.com
UA-Susp@fthrw.com
UA-YA@fthrw.com

ENTRY FORMS

Contemporary Short Novel Category Entry Form

Contemporary Long Novel Category Entry Form

Historical Novel Entry Form

Novella Entry Form

Paranormal / Fantasy / Futuristic / Time Travel Novel Entry Form

Romantic Suspense / Mystery Novel Entry Form

Young Adult Novel Entry Form

Will I hear from you again before the finalists are chosen?

FTHRW believes in keeping entrants up to date on what’s happening behind-the-scenes with the contest, but you have a choice.

After you enter the contest, you will receive an invitation to join the Contestant News yahoo loop. If you do not receive an invitation, please contact the Contest Coordinator: PFTHContest@fthrw.com.

This loop will be used for general, contest-wide information. Any information concerning your specific entry/ies will be communicated through private emails with contest officials.

It is up to you to join the Contestant News loop. If you choose not to join, after the confirmation of receipt of your entry, you will receive no other email until after the scores have been tallied. Before the results are posted to our website, you will receive three judged entries along with a notification about whether your entry is among the finalists.

Can I contact contest officials through the Contestant News loop?

No. The Contestant News loop is a “read only” loop. You can contact the Contest Coordinator at PFTHContest@fthrw.com. Your category coordinator will also email you with her contact information.

How do I thank my judges for their feedback?

All of our judges are volunteers and would love to hear from you! Please send any comments to your Category Coordinator at the email address she has provided to you. We will forward them appropriately.

To thank first round judges, in Subject line of the email, type THANK YOU JUDGE # Be sure to include your complete entry title on all correspondence. It is up to you whether you sign your name to the thank you note.

Second round thank you notes should follow a similar protocol, but use the judge’s name in the subject line instead of the judge number. It is recommended that you use your name on these emails, but again, it is not necessary.

What can I do if I disagree with the comments my judge(s) made?

The critiques/comments from the judges are their own opinions and are intended to help aspiring authors improve their skills by pinpointing problem areas and/or highlighting strengths. Please keep in mind that there is no way of preventing judges’ opinions from being at least partially subjective. Your judge(s) may not have ‘gotten’ your work. Is this a problem with the judge? Or have you, as a writer, failed to get your point across? Again, it’s a subjective call and, ultimately, only you as the author can decide whether or not their suggestions will improve your work. However, if you feel a judge has been overly harsh or critical, or if you feel a judge did not have the skills to do the job, we want to know about it. Send us an email to: PFTHContest@fthrw.com

How do I become a judge?

Fill out the Judge Application Form (please make sure you press “submit”.)

Still have a question?

Send it to us at: PFTHContest@fthrw.com. We want you to have a great experience and we will do our best to clarify the rules or answer your question.

Ready to enter?

Enter through our official contest page: http://fthrw.com/pages-from-the-heart-contest