This award is the only one of its kind in Australia, designed to mirror the submission process. Initially, you enter 10,000 words to be judged by romance readers. If your entry makes it to the second round, you will be asked to submit the full novel. Three finalists will go to the final judge for placings.

Current and previous winners can be seen here.

The Emerald Award has two major points of difference from the other RWA contests.

Firstly, it is judged by keen romance readers, not writers. This gives an indication of the marketability of your story but won’t necessarily provide the sort of feedback that helps improve your writing technique.

Secondly, you must have a completed manuscript should your story make it to round 2. The turnaround time between rounds 1 and 2 is one week (5 working days) so there is no time to finish your book then.

Opens: 5 September 2022 – 1700 Sydney time
Closes: 3 October 2022 – 1700 Sydney time

Eligibility: RWA members only. Categories: Aspiring, or Emerging with no works 10K+ commercially available.

(If you are an Established member, or Emerging with works commercially available, you can enter the The Sapphire)

Entry: The first 10,000 words of your unpublished/uncontracted romance or romantic elements manuscript (10K+). Entries are by upload into an online form. Entrants who reach the second round will need to submit their full manuscript.

Entry fee: $49.00 incl GST per entry. (A maximum of two entries are permitted per entrant)

Final judge: TBA

Questions? Contact the contest coordinator, Marg Key

Terms & Conditions

Sample scoresheet

Formatting sample

You must be logged in as a member to purchase entry to this contest

This contest will open at 1700 sydney time,  Monday 5 September 2022