Pages From The Heart Contest


Submission period has closed

(June 1 – June 30, 2015)



Electronic entry will be no more than the first 25 pages of your original, unpublished, and uncontracted work-in-progress or completed manuscript. The twenty-five page limit does NOT include the contest cover sheet.



Published Author: the writer is contracted or published, but the entry itself must not be contracted or published as of June 30, 2015. Self-published authors are welcome. The manuscript must be your original work.

Unpublished Author: the writer has not accepted a publishing offer for, or self-published, a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more (by the contest entry deadline). The manuscript must be your original work.
Pages From The Heart Contest is open to RWA Members only.


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 may enter the same manuscript as they had in 2014.


Contest Categories

Contemporary Novel – SHORT: (category romance, includes Novel with Strong Romantic Elements) Romantic novels, which may also include sensuality that may or may not be intense. Manuscript is set from 1950 to the present with a projected length between 40,000 and 65,000 words.

Contemporary Novel – LONG: (single-title romance, includes Novel with Strong Romantic Elements) Romantic novels, which may also include sensuality that may or may not be intense. Manuscript is set from 1950 to the present with a projected length of more than 65,000 words.

Historical Novel: Manuscript is set in any historical time period before 1950, has a strong romantic element throughout, and a projected length of more than 40,000 words.

Novella: Romantic novellas, which may also include sensuality that may or may not be intense. All genres are included in this category. “Novella” means a work of fiction with a projected length of 20,000-40,000 words.

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel Novel: Romantic novels featuring paranormal happenings, a fantasy world, the future, or time travel as an integral part of the plot. Manuscript has a projected length of more than 40,000 words.

Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Romantic novels featuring suspense or mystery as an integral part of the plot. Manuscript has a projected length of more than 40,000 words.

Young Adult Novel: Novels with a romantic element aimed at teen and young adult readers. Manuscript has a projected length of more than 40,000 words.


FTHRW reserves the right to cancel a category if an insufficient
number of entries are received, and to limit the number of entries to 140.


Contemporary-Short and Contemporary-Long may be combined if the number
of entries is insufficient for one of these categories.



First Round: Three Judges per entry. The lowest score will be dropped, but will be used in case of a tie.

Second Round: Ranking completed by professionals in the publishing industry who actively acquire in the categories they’re judging. A comment section will be available for judge feedback, though it is not required.


FTHRW reserves the right to change a final judge if the initial judge must bow out.


Second Round Judges

Published Division:

Long Contemporary: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks

Short Contemporary: Closed due to lack of submissions

Historical: Katherine Pelz, Berkley Publishing Group

Novella: Dana Hamilton, Hachette Book Group

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Deborah Gilbert, Soul Mate Publishing

Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Esi Sogah, Kensington Books

Young Adult: Alice Jerman, Harper Teen


Unpublished Division:

Long Contemporary: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Short Contemporary: Mercedes Fernandez, Kensington Books

Historical: Alexandra Sehulster, St. Martin’s Press

Novella: Susan Grimshaw, Penguin-Random House

Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time Travel: Kristine Swartz, Berkley Publishing Group

Romantic Suspense/Mystery: Patience Bloom, Harlequin

Young Adult: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency


Hero Of Our Heart Award:
Courtney Miller-Callihan, Greenburger Associates (Literary Agency)

Elle Keck, HarperCollins



All prizes are for all categories in both unpublished and published authors’ divisions.

First Place: critique of your submission by an independent professional editor, Lynn Crandall Editing Services + name in contest winners section of the RWA Report + website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate.

Second Place: 1 Year Free Membership to FTH + name in contest winners section of the RWA Report + website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate.

Third Place: name in contest winners section of the RWA Report + website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate.

Honorable Mention receives a website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate.

Hero of Our Heart Prize: Top four entries in this special “judges’ choice” category will be ranked by an agent or editor. Finalists do not have to final in the Category contest. First place receives 1 Year Free Membership to FTHRW + name in contest winners section of the RWA Report + and a website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate. Second through fourth place will receive a website/avatar graphic + printable e-certificate.


– All finalists’ and winners’ names will be listed on the FTHRW website with a link to one social media contact of the writer’s choice.

– All entrants will receive the score sheets from each judge along with their judged submission, including the dropped score. Judges are encouraged to give additional feedback comments at their discretion.

– First-Round Judging Score Sheet as well as Judging Guidelines are available below so potential entrants can see what’s being evaluated.

– We stay connected to you every step of the way through our Contest News yahoo loop. You will be updated when the contest closes, when Judges have received entries, when Judges have started returning entries, etc.

– Upon exiting the contest, we will encourage feedback from contestants, judges, and other volunteers. We want to provide a contest that YOU want to be a part of!


Important Dates

June 1st: Contest open for submissions

June 30th: Deadline for submissions

September 1: Finalists announced

September 6: Finalists’ polished entries due (or original entry will be sent to 2nd round judge)

November 2: Winners announced



Entry fee: $25 RWA members and $20 for FTHRW members (US funds paid through paypal on entry form.)

Multiple entries: $15 for subsequent entries (US funds paid through paypal on entry form.) Please note that each manuscript can only be entered once. Additional entries must be from different manuscripts. More than one manuscript can be entered in the same category, or in different categories.



Fill out and attach a contest Cover Sheet at the beginning of your entry. 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. The Cover Sheet also indicates your choice of whether you would like your entry to be considered for the Hero of Our Heart Award. If the Cover Sheet is not filled out, your entry’s hero will not be entered for this award.

If you choose to past the cover sheet at the beginning of the manuscript, we recommend you format before you paste the cover sheet at the beginning (it will add one page.) If the manuscript is formatted after you paste the cover sheet, it will add more than one page to your manuscript.

Instead, you may send in the cover sheet as a separate file. Please attach the cover sheet file to the same email you use to attach the entry.


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


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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-spaced 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.


The entry 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.


Please see our FAQ page for guidelines on how to format using some versions of Microsoft Word.


How to Submit:

There is a three-step submission:


1. Download the Cover Sheet, fill it out, and either paste it before your submission or attach it to your submission email as a separate file.

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2. Submit electronic entry form beginning June 1. No entries will be accepted after midnight, June 30, 2015, Pacific Time.


Please fill out one form for each entry. See links to forms below.

For second and third entries, etc., choose the “Additional Entry” option in the paypal drop down menu.


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


3. The entry MUST be emailed as an attachment to the following address immediately following submission.

Either paste cover sheet to the beginning of your entry or attach it as a second file to the same email.

Please use the following subject line:

FTH Contest Entry – Title / Category

example: PFTH Contest Entry – Fifty Shades of Lust / PA-Hist


Email to the following address:

Published Author Division

Unpublished Division


Would you like to become a Judge?


Judge Application Form



Click Here! Frequently Asked Questions


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Please note: All judges decisions are not the responsibility of the contest coordinators. All decisions are final. Errors or omissions stand.


Disclaimer: The rules on this web page as of June 4, 2015, override any previous rules.


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