2016 Marlene Contest – deadline extended

The 2016 Marlene Awards

Presented by the

Washington Romance Writers

Emotion, tension, drama. Does your book have what it takes to be the next bestselling romance?

The Marlene Awards is a contest for unpublished manuscripts sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America.  Every entry is evaluated by at least three judges.  Finalists are ranked by publishing professionals.  The grand prize winner in each category receives a detailed critique from a published author.

Category descriptions and this year’s list of judges and prize critiquers is as follows.

Contemporary Series Romance
Series romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Final Round Judge: Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Critique Author: Robin Covington
Coordinator: Kerri Carpenter

Contemporary Single Title Romance
Romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship, released as individual titles, not as part of a series. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Final Round Judge: Esi Sogah, Kensington
Critique Author: Kimberly Kincaid
Coordinator: Kimberly Kincaid

Erotic Romance
A romance novel where the sexuality goes beyond that of most romance novels and may use sexually explicit language and include polyamorous relationships. The romance plays a significant part in the story and the resolution is emotionally satisfying and may include a “happily for now” ending. The novel may be in contemporary, historical or paranormal settings.

Final Round Judge: Rhonda Helms, Carina Press
Critique Author: Lavinia Kent
Coordinator: Jacqueline Graf

Historical Romance
Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945, and taking place in any location. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Final Round Judge: Madeleine Colavita, Forever Romance
Critique Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Coordinator: Kelly Maher

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
A work of fiction in which a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries. Novels of any tone or style, set in any place or time are eligible for this category. A romance must be an integral part of the plot or subplot, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Final Round Judge: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Critique Author: Tracy Brogan
Coordinator: Delancey Stewart

Paranormal Romance
Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are an integral part of the plot. In this category, a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element is blended with the love story, which is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.  (Note: Steampunk, Diesel Punk and other non-magical alternate worlds qualify as fantasy elements. The determining factor in categorizing a romance as a Paranormal, as opposed to a fantasy or science fiction story with romantic elements, is the romance is the main focus of the story.)

Final Round Judge: Latoya Smith, Samhain Publishing
Critique Author: Mindy Klasky
Coordinator: Carlene Love Flores

Romantic Suspense
Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. The romance plays a significant part in the story and the resolution is emotionally satisfying and may include a “happily for now” ending.

Final Round Judge: TBD
Critique Author: Cristin Harber
Coordinator: Avery Flynn

Young Adult Romance
Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers. In this category, the love story is an important element of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Final Round Judge: Wendy Loggia, Delacorte Press, Random House
Critique Author: Lea Nolen
Coordinator: Meredith Bond

Washington Romance Writers has been offering the Marlene Contest (named in fond remembrance of Marlene Montano) since 1996.

You can find out more and enter here: http://wrwdc.com/marlene -contest-2/entry-rules-and- submission-link/

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