2014 Melody of Love Contest Is Accepting Submissions July 1, 2014- September 7, 2014:

Get Your Book in Front of an Editor/Agent! 


RWA chapter, Music City Romance Writers, will be taking submissions for our annual Melody of Love Contest. This is a FABULOUS way to get your work in an editor’s/agent’s hands (and we have great Final Judges). Submission requires the first 25 pages.

I’m lucky enough to be the Contest Coordinator this year and want to encourage writers to give it a shot and enter. You don’t have to be an MCRW member or even an RWA member to enter, as the contest is open to anyone with a manuscript in the categories of Contemporary romance, Paranormal romance, Historical romance, New Adult, and Young Adult.

Final Round Judges:


Danielle Burby– Agent at HSG Literary Agency

Angela James- Acquiring editor at Carina Press


Victoria Lowes- Agent at The Bent Agency

Brenda Chin– Acquiring editor at ImaJinn Books

Cindy Brannam– Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing


Heidi Moore- Acquiring editor at Samhain Publishing

Janet Clementz– Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing

New Adult:

Eric Ruben– Agent at Eric Ruben Literary Agency

Mary Altman- Acquiring editor at Sourcebooks

Young Adult:

Mandy Hubbard Agent at D4EO Literary Agency

Lauri WellingtonAcquiring editor at Black Opal Books


It’s important to remember that the contest is limited to 75 entries. It is acceptable to submit the entry form and payment BEFORE you submit your pages in order to guarantee your spot. However, all three parts (first 25 pages, entry form, payment) must be received by Sept. 7, 2014. We begin taking entries July 1, 2014 with the final deadline set for September 7, 2014. So take a look at the info below and if you want to enter, visit RWA’s website for links to the official entry form.

Entry Fees and Eligibility:

* Entry fee for MCRW Members: $22

* Entry fee for RWA Members: $27

* Entry fee for non-RWA Members: $32

* All entries must be received by Saturday 11:59 PM EST, September 7, 2014

* Author can be unpublished or published

* Manuscript being entered cannot have been published and cannot be currently contracted to be published via any means at any time, including self or subsidy publishing.

* Manuscript should be a romance or romantic elements novel of 40,000 words or more.

*Entry form and details on RWA website



* Questions? Contact Contest Coordinator Sophia Kimble: contest@mcrw.com



Your entry must have the following three elements:

1) Payment Via check or PayPal.

2) A completed entry form.

3) Your manuscript’s first 25 (or fewer) pages, no synopsis, emailed to the coordinator as an attachment. We recommend but do not require that you omit prologues and end your partial at a cliffhanger, even if it means you don’t send 25 whole pages. (Note: finalists may need to provide a short synopsis at the request of the final round judges.)

Send your entry to contest coordinator Sophia Kimble at: contest@mcrw.com by September 7, 2014.

Entry Form


Entry Specifics:

1) All entries must be electronic and in standard manuscript format:

  • 12 point standard font (TNR, Courier New)
  • double-spaced
  • indented paragraphs (ie not block style)
  • 1-inch margins
  • .rtf or .doc format

2) Pages should include a header with manuscript title, category and word count. Pages should also be numbered. Your name should not appear on the entry.

3) Coordinator will send emails to confirm receipt of entries. Please allow 5 working days (ie, not weekends or holidays) before you ask the coordinator whether the entry has been received.

  • Email address for questions is contest@mcrw.com and the contest coordinator is Sophia Kimble.

4) Contest limited to 75 total entries, in order of receipt of all three parts. The optional subgenres (Fiction w/Romantic Elements; Erotic; Inspirational) on the entry form are used only to determine the best judges for your work and do not affect scoring or final round editor assignment.

5) While it is acceptable to submit the entry form and payment before you submit your pages, all three parts (pages, entry form, payment) must be received by September 7, 2014, or your entry will not be counted in the contest. Your entry fee will be reimbursed if this happens. The entry form alone is insufficient to “reserve your spot” should the contest fill up; payment must be included as well.

6) Score sheets will be emailed to contestants.


Document Formatting Tidbits:

* Your chapter should be in .rtf or .doc format. Please do not send .docx files.

* Important: Be aware that your name may be in the document properties as the document’s creator because of software settings. If you don’t know how to change it, the coordinator can delete this for you with your permission.

* Do not paste the chapter into the body of the email.

* Use a standard font and standard formatting, as described above.

* Your entry will be test-opened upon receipt; if there are issues, you will be notified. If you do not respond to the notification before the contest deadline and work with the coordinator to rectify the issues, your manuscript may be disqualified. With your permission, the coordinator can standardize the format of the manuscript for you.


Judging Specifics

1) Three Judges per entry. The lowest score will be dropped, but will be used in case of a tie. All entries will be judged by at least one published author, the other two judges will be a combination of published/RWA PRO/trained judges. All judges’ decisions are final.

2) Barring unforeseen circumstances, finalists will be announced mid October 2014. Finalists may be asked to provide a short synopsis. Finalists will be notified via e-mail and posted on the MCRW website. First round scores of finalists will be emailed as soon as possible; finalists may submit a revised draft electronically before it is forwarded to the final round judges in early November, with a deadline to be specified at that time.

3) Other scores will be released within 30 days after the finalists are announced. Winners will be announced shortly after all final round judges return their scores, hopefully mid-December 2014.



1st place: $50, and a  certificate

2nd and 3rd place: Certificate

An optional benefit for all finalists is a one year membership to MCRW. Due to RWA rules, this benefit can only apply to current members of RWA or members who join RWA within a couple months of finaling in the Melody of Love contest. We are not authorized to extend membership to anyone who is not a member of Romance Writers of America.

All finalists and winners will be announced on our website.

All finalists will also be published in the Romance Writers of America’s monthly publication, the RWR.

Fine print:

1) Entries received that are found to have been published by any means will be disqualified. No entry may be withdrawn after being submitted to the contest with one exception (see below). Entry fees from disqualified entrants will not be refunded. Entrants who finaled in our contest previously may enter again, but don’t re-enter the finaling manuscript. Membership status of entrants who claim RWA membership will be verified with RWA. For the purpose of this contest, published is defined as available for sale by any means or as a free download via retail sites such as Smashwords and Amazon. Entry fees will be refunded to entrants in any category that does not receive the minimum number of entries unless they request placement in another category. Any entries over the contest limit of 75, or those received after the due date, will be returned along with the entry fees.

2) Here is the one exception about withdrawing your entry. If you receive a contract for your submission or self-publish it before the contest deadline of September 7, 2014, you may withdraw your entry with proof of contract or publication and your fee will be returned.

 ***permission to forward and share granted and encouraged***







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