Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest!

Just over 4 weeks to enter!

2014 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest
Which RWA® chapter contest offers their finalists 2 acquiring editor judges?
Which contest resulted in 10 entrants getting requests from editors judges to see their full manuscripts in 2013?
The Indiana Romance Writers of America’s IGO!!!
We welcome you to the 24th anniversary of Indiana’s Golden Opportunity (IGO), one of the premier chapter contests in RWA®. The Indiana chapter of Romance Writers of America (IRWA) has a well-deserved reputation for offering detailed constructive comments to our entrants from published authors and trained judges. Designed to identify the fundamentals of storytelling and grammar, our four-page category-specific score sheets will assist entrants by defining the elements in their manuscript that requires more attention. Our goal is to assist IGO entrants with constructive feedback to help them polish their manuscripts. Many past winners have successfully gone on to catch an editor’s eye and/or final in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. IGO attracts some of the most respected names in the industry as category and final judges.
  • In keeping with the ever-changing publishing industry, IGO will offer two (2) acquiring editor judges for each category -- one (1) traditional print and one (1) e-pub when possible.
  • Updated rules, categories, and score sheets
  • In 2013 – TEN finalists received requests from our fabulous editor judges to see their full manuscripts!  
Please review the category definitions carefully. Manuscripts entered in the wrong category may be disqualified
Please note that categories may have varying heat levels. All entries should have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic resolution to the romance.
  • Contemporary Romance – Romance manuscripts that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and have a contemporary setting.
  • Erotic Romance – Romance manuscripts in which the sexual relationship plays an integral part of the romantic relationship and the sex scenes are explicit in both description and language.
  • Historical Romance – Romance manuscripts set in any historical time period.
  • Inspirational Romance – Romance manuscripts in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the romantic relationship.
  • Paranormal Romance – Romance manuscripts in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are a key part of the plot
  • Romantic Suspense – Romance manuscripts in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
  • Young Adult Romance – Romance manuscripts geared toward young adult readers.
Contemporary Romance                                                                                  
     Traditional Print Editor                  Latoya Smith                       Associate Editor Grand Central Publishing
     E-Pub Editor                                Heather Howland                 Senior Editor Entangled Publishing
Erotic Romance                                                                                  
     Traditional Print Editor                  Allison Janice                      Editorial Assistant Berkley Publishing
     E-Pub Editor                               Michele Paulin                     Editorial Director Resplendence Publishing   
Historical Romance                                                                                           
     Traditional Print Editor                  Laura Fazio                          Asst. Editor NAL at Penguin
     E-Pub Editor                               Erin Molta                             Senior Editor Entangled Publishing
Inspirational Romance                                                                     
     Traditional Print Editor                  Shana Asaro                         Associate Editor Harlequin Love Inspired
     Traditional Print Editor                  Becky Philpott                      Associate Acquisitions Editor HarperCollins Christian Publishing
 Paranormal Romance                                                                                       
     Traditional Print Editor                  Kristine Swartz                     Editorial Assistant Berkley Publishing
     E-Pub Editor                               Mallory Braus                        Editor Carina Press
Romantic Suspense                                                                                           
     Traditional Print Editor                  Patience Bloom                   Senior Editor Harlequin Books
     E-Pub Editor                               Deb Nemeth                         Developmental Editor Carina Press
Young Adult Romance                                                                     
     Traditional Print Editor                  Lauren Smulski                    Editorial Assistant Harlequin
     E-Pub Editor                               Stephanie Taylor                   Owner & Editor in Chief Astraea Press
First place winners in each of the seven categories will continue to the Best-of-the-Best round.
Best of the Best                                            Katherine Pelz                                 Assistant Editor Berkley Publishing Group                
AWARDS: Category winners – First place entry will receive $50 and a certificate
                    Best of the Best – Winner will receive a special keepsake award for more information. 
The Indiana Golden Opportunity contest is open to any unpublished author in novel- or novella-length fiction by a non-vanity/subsidy publisher. Published authors who have not been contracted for publication (by RWA publishing standards) in the past three (3) years are also eligible to enter.
The IGO will be following RWA’s Policy and Procedure Manual (March 2011) 1.40, regarding vanity/subsidy publishing.  Subsidy/Vanity is defined as: “Subsidy” or “Vanity” publishing means the production of books in which the author participates in the costs of production or distribution in any manner, including assessment of fees or other costs for editing and/or distribution. This definition includes publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties, including payment of paper, printing, binding, production, sales or marketing costs; publishing programs whose authors exclusively promote and/or sell their own books; and publishers whose business model and methods of publishing are primarily directed toward sales to the author, his/her relatives and associates.
Note: Members of the Indiana Romance Writers of America are not eligible to enter.

Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest Rules
IGO is 100% electronic. IRWA reserves the right to limit each category to the first thirty (30) paid entries. A category may be dropped if fewer than ten (10) entries are received. Entrants will be contacted about withdrawing from the contest (fee returned) or they may choose an alternate category.
ENTRY FEE: $35.00 (by check or Paypal)
Each entry shall be no longer than fifty-five (55) pages. Entries are comprised of the first pages of the manuscript (including prologue if one is used), and the synopsis. The synopsis may be no longer than ten (10) pages. For example: With a seven (7) page synopsis, the first forty-eight (48) pages of the manuscript should be submitted, for a total of fifty-five (55) pages.
Use a header that includes the contest category, title, and page number on each page, including the synopsis. To ensure anonymity, author name must not appear on any page, or the entry may be disqualified.
Manuscripts will adhere to industry standards:
·         1” margins
·         All entry pages double-spaced (including the synopsis)
·         Times New Roman or Courier font
·         12-point typeface
·         .doc format only
·         Synopsis should follow manuscript portion of entry
More than one manuscript may be entered, but each entry requires a separate entry form, payment, and document file. Name the file: Category-Short Title.doc. Example: Historical-Desperado.doc
Note:  A previously entered manuscript that has been revised may be submitted if it did not place in a prior IGO Contest.
1.      Compile manuscript pages and synopsis into a single document that conforms to the contest regulations in the Format section.
·         Place the synopsis at the end of the entry.
·         The combined document should total no more than fifty-five (55) pages.
·         Save the document as a .doc file with this file name: Category-Short Title.doc Example: Historical-Desperado.doc
·         All manuscripts must be novel length (as defined by RWA), having an anticipated final word count of 40K or more.
2.      Please note that all required sections of the IGO Entry Form must be completed in order for the form to be sent to the contest coordinator.  This includes payment information.
3.      Two (2) payment options are available.
·         PayPal—To ensure proper matching of the payment to the entry, please include the name on the entry form and the title of the entry on PayPal’s description line and add the transaction ID to the IGO Entry Form.
·         Check—Make checks payable to Indiana Romance Writers and mail to: IRWA Chapter #15, P.O. Box 126, Fishers, IN  46038
Allow ample time for payment by check to arrive by the deadline. All fees must be paid US dollars. If entering from outside the US, please use the PayPal option.
4.      All correspondence will be done through e-mail. Score sheets and judged entries will be returned to the entrants as .doc files.
5.      Contact the Category Coordinator with questions.
Two (2) trained judges will judge each entry in the first round. IRWA requires that all IGO judges undergo chapter-hosted training.
Manuscripts entered in the wrong category may be disqualified. Please review the category definitions before submission.
Following standard publishing industry practices, IGO uses only Track Changes for comments within the entry.
In the case of a seventy-five (75) point disparity between first-round scores, the entry will be sent to a discrepancy judge. The two (2) closest scores will be used for scoring purposes. All three (3) judged entries and score sheets will be returned to the entrant.
The top three (3) scoring entries in each category will be sent to the two (2) acquiring editors for final ranking. If a tie results in a category during round 1, the synopsis scores will be used to determine the 3 category finalists. 
The editors will rank the category finalists with the lowest score winning.  If a tie results with the editor rankings, winner will be determined by highest first round score.
The first place winner in each category will move on to the Best-of-the-Best editor to determine the overall winner.
·         Contemporary Romance
·         Erotic Romance
·         Historical Romance
·         Inspirational Romance
·         Paranormal Romance
·         Romantic Suspense
·         Young Adult Romance
·         Finalists will be notified on or about September 9, 2014.
·         Non-finalist entries will be returned on or about September 20, 2014.
·         Category winners will be announced on or about October 13, 2014.
·         Best of the Best will be announced on or about November 17, 2014.
Notification dates are tentative. We always try to get finalist and winning results back before the deadline, but we cannot guarantee it.
E-mail questions to the appropriate category coordinator or the IGO Contest Chair, Lynne Greeley at
Category                                                                    E-mail Address
Contemporary Romance                                     
Erotic Romance                                                  
Historical Romance                                              
Inspirational Romance                                       
Paranormal Romance                                           
Romantic Suspense                                           
Young Adult Romance                                            

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