RWA’s 2015 Golden Heart Competition

Every Year RWA (Romance Writers of America) puts on about 12 contests but their two major contests (in my opinion) are, the RITA and the Golden Heart.

The RITA is a contest open to RWA members who have published a manuscript for the year. Check out this list of previous winners 2014 and 2013.

The Golden Heart is a contest open to RWA members who have a completed manuscript but have not yet published it. Check out the list of previous winners 2014 and 2013

Why am I writing about the Golden Heart?

Because, I’ve decided to take the leap and listen to all the advice lovingly given to me (thanks everyone) and enter my MS in the 2015 competition.

This is not an easy decision for me because I have never written an MS from start to finish before this one and I have yet to enter it into any competitions or have it professionally critiqued.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I’m afraid it’s crap and that I’ll get laughed at. But I guess all first time authors feel that way.

I know we all have to start somewhere so with that in mind I’ve decided to commit to this personal goal. Part of my “committing” is to let you all know so that you can help keep me accountable otherwise I would just let the deadline slip on by without taking the chance.

Let’s take a moment to learn more about the Golden Heart Award. 

According to the RWA website, The Golden Heart receives around 1,200 MS each year.

In order to qualify for this contest you need to:

  • Be an active member in RWA
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a completed MS that is over 20,000 words for a Novella and 40,000 for a Novel
  • Have a synopsis ready for submission
  • Not have the MS published traditionally or self published.

Submission  for the 2015 contest open up on December 2, 2014 and close Janurary 12, 2015.

The cost to enter the contest is $30.

You have 8 categories to choose from:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Erotic Romance
  • Inspirational Romance
  • Historical Romance
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Short Contemporary Romance
  • Young Adult Romance

(I will be entering into the Romantic Suspense Category)

In the preliminary round the MS’s are read by fellow RWA members.

Entries that meet the first round qualifications will move to the final round.

The Finalists will be mention on the RWA website and Twitter accounts on March 26, 2015.

The top 10% of each category will advance to the final round.

The final round will be judged by 3 editors from Romance Publishing Houses.

*Many Golden Heart Finalists actually go on to sell their MS because of their exposure in this contest.*

The winners are announced at the yearly RWA conference and receive a Golden Heart necklace.

Click here to watch the 2013 Presentation of the Golden Heart. (I was surprised at how formal this is!)

2015 Golden Heart Winners will be annouced at the RWA conference in New York, New York (July 22-25).

If you think the Golden Heart sounds like a contest you don’t want to miss but are not an RWA member then Sign up!

If you are on the fence about whether or not an RWA membership is worth it or you just want to know more about it read my article about the organization and my honest opinion of what it’s like being a memeber.


Published by Darla G. Denton, Writer

I am a Contemporary Romance Writer for Curvy women and the men who love them.

2 thoughts on “RWA’s 2015 Golden Heart Competition

  1. I think it’s awesome you are entering! And, yes, it’s like sending your child out into the world when you first let someone read your stuff. But, one thing to keep in mind, while if you final you get a lot out of the GH, if you are looking for feedback, the only thing you will get are the single digit scores from each of the five judges. You won’t know what they liked, didn’t like, etc. I highly recommend chapter contests for that. The NTRWA Great Expectations contest is coming soon. Its a good one. And, even though the GH is prestigious, I landed an agent through a chapter contest, The Unpublished Beacon, so besides great feedback, you can make headway in the publishing industries through them as well.

    Good luck with everything!!


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