Hook ’em in 5! FAQ

1. Why should I enter the Hook ’em in 5! Contest?

Why not? You have nothing to lose. The prize is  nice, Plus, final round editors and agents often request full or partial manuscripts for further consideration.

2. When do I submit my entry?

The contest is open for entries JUNE 1st, 2024.   NOTE: Only 30 entries will be accepted. Better to enter early than late.

3. Can I enter a contracted to be published manuscript or published manuscript?

No. All entries must be unpublished and cannot have appeared, either fully or partially, in any format available to be seen by the general public. Additionally, manuscripts can’t be contracted or scheduled.

4. I’m self-published. Can I still enter?

Yes. As long as your entry  has never been published. Ever.

5. Can I include a Prologue with my entry?

It’s up to you, but your prologue will be included in your total word count, which cannot exceed 1,500 words. The prologue will be judged as part of the entry.

6. Do I need to include a Synopsis with my entry?


7. What is the judging process?

Looking at storytelling quality, not by genre or content. 

Topics include: opening/hook, characterization, setting, dialogue, conflict, and presentation.

Judging is decided by the level the entry has met the criteria.

5 =  strongly agree

4 =  somewhat agree

3 =  neither agree nor disagree

2 =  somewhat disagree

1 =  strongly disagree

Judges will not be editing. Comments may be added, but not required, in the comment section.

8. Must I be a member of FTHRW in order to enter the Hook ’em in 5! Contest?

No. The contest is open to all writers over 18 years of age.

9. Can I enter more than one manuscript?

.No. Only one entry per person.

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

No. A manuscript can only be entered once. 

11. Why are you not judging by categories?

We have posted all acceptable genres under romance that will be used only for the final round judges.

12. What is the cost to enter the Hook ’em in 5! Contest?

Entry fee should be paid in US funds:
•  $25. NON-FTHRW 
$ 20. FTHRW members

13. Must I pay for my entry fee through PayPal?

Yes. Hook ’em in 5! Contest only accepts entry fees through PayPal. After you fill out your entry form, attach the cover sheet and entry where indicated,  press the “Submit” button, your browser will take you to PayPal.com. If it does not, contact: Hook ’em in 5!

14. Can I pay my entry fee by check?

No. 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.

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


15. What are the formatting rules I must follow?

Please re-read the entry rules. Your entry will be disqualified and entry fee forfeited if you don’t follow the formatting rules.

16. What file types can I use?

Acceptable file types are: .PDF, .Docx, .Doc, .RTF.

17. Remember to remove the identifying information from entry.

Just make sure your name is nowhere on the entry.

18. Make sure the title of entry and page number appear at the top of each page.

It has to be in your header.  (Check format requirements.)

19. How do I submit my entry via email? What do I send?

  • Fill out the Cover Sheet and save it.
  • Fill out the Entry Form.
  • Attach to the Entry Form, the Cover Sheet and the First 5 Pages of your Manuscript.
  • Submit the Entry Form, it will take you to PayPal
  •  Pay via PayPal and jot down the Transaction ID.

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

The comments from the judges are their own opinions. Please keep in mind that there is no way of preventing judges’ opinions from being at least partially subjective. Only you as the author can decide whether or not their suggestions will improve your work. Please note: all judges decisions are not the responsibility of the contest coordinators or FTHRW. All decisions are final. All errors and omissions stands.

21. How do I become a judge?

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

22. Still have a question?

Send to: ContestChair@fthrw.com