2013 Melody of Love Contest Now Accepting Submissions: Get Your Book in Front of an Editor/Agent! #MOL

RWA chapter, Music City Romance Writers, is now officially 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 romace, Paranormal romance, Historical romance and Young Adult. There are also sub-genres for those works that contain romantic elements but the romance is not the main plot line, Inspirational and New Adult! Which I’m excited about 🙂 NA will be under our Contemporary category.

You have time to polish a manuscript before you have to submit, though 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 recieved by Sept. 7, 2013. We begin taking entries today, July 1, with the final deadline set for September 7. So take a look at the info below and if you want to enter, visit MCRW’s website for links to the official entry form. 


Final Round Judges:
CONTEMPORARY judged by Agent Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency
  • NEW ADULT ENTRIES ALSO ACCEPTED IN THIS CATEGORY!

HISTORICAL judged by Editor Kerri Buckley of Carina Press
PARANORMAL judged by Editor Candace Havens of Entangled Publishing
YOUNG ADULT judged by Editor Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing
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, September 7, 2013
* Author can be unpublished or published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.
* Questions? Contact Contest Coordinator Charissa Weaks: contest@mcrw.com
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Submission:
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 Charissa Weaks at:contest@mcrw.com by September 7, 2013.
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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 Charissa Weaks.
4) Contest limited to 75total 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, 2013, 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. You will be asked on the entry form if judges may employ Microsoft Word’s “Comments” feature on your manuscript. Agreement is not required. If you are assigned a judge who prefers to print her entries out, MCRW will cover the cost of postage to return the paper copies via USPS.
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Document Formatting Tidbits:
* Your chapter should be in .rtfor .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.
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Judging Specifics
1) First round judged by trained judges. Final round judged by editors and agents. All judges’ decisions are final.
2) Barring unforeseen circumstances, finalists will be announced mid October 2013. Finalists may be asked to provide a short synopsis. Finalists will be notified via e-mail and posted on the MCRW website, http://www.mcrw.com. First round scores of finalists will be mailed or 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 2013. Winners in each category receive: 1st place, $50, certificate, and special prize;  2nd and 3rd place, certificate and special prize. Finalists and winners will be announced on our website.
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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, 2013, you may withdraw your entry with proof of contract or publication and your fee will be returned.

3)Prizes: An optional benefit for 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 RWA National.

All finalists will also be published in the RWR.

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