Any RWA member or writer who would like to be a contest judge, please email judge-coordinator@romanceaustralia.com. You don’t need to be a published author or have lots of experience – it’s a great way to improve your own writing as well as help others.

First Kiss, Selling Synopsis, Ripping Start and Valerie Parv Award:

There are two rounds: preliminary and final. In the preliminary round, every entry is read three times by writer judges. The scores are averaged, after any formatting deduction is made, to reach a preliminary score. There is no discrepancy judging.

 

Every entry score is expressed as a percentage and tallied on the rankings sheet, which goes to all entrants.

The six highest-scoring entries will be the finalists, with the proviso that an entry scoring less than 85% cannot proceed to the final, so there may be fewer than six finalists. In the case of a tie for the last finalist placing, total X-factor score will be used as a tie-breaker; if the tie cannot be broken, additional finalists may be admitted at the final judge’s discretion. If only one entry qualifies for the final, it shall be declared the winner. If no entries qualify for the final, there shall be no winner or placegetters.

The final judge will read the finalist entries and decide on the placegetters. Final judges are editors or agents chosen for their interest in romantic fiction. For the Valerie Parv Award, the final judge is top romance and genre fiction author and mentor Valerie Parv AM.

Emerald Award:

The Emerald is made up of three rounds: first, second and final. Every entry is read three times in the 1st round by reader judges, and the scores averaged. The 15 highest-scoring entries in each section will progress to the 2nd round, providing their average score was at least 85%. There is no discrepancy judging. If no entries in a section qualify for the 2nd round, there shall be no winner and no placegetters in that section. If only one entry qualifies for the 2nd round in a section, that entry shall be declared the winner and the contest concluded.

A copy of the full manuscript are then requested from the 2nd round entrants, and each entry is read three times in the 2nd round. If there is a tie, the combined scores from the “Reader Enjoyability” and “Overall Impact” sections shall be the tie breaker.

The three highest-scoring entries in each section are the finalists, and are sent to their appropriate final judge for placing, provided they score at least 85% in the 2nd round. If no entries in a section qualify for the final, there shall be no winner and no placegetters in that section. Final judges are editors or agents chosen for their interest in romantic fiction.

The Emerald Award is judged by readers in the first two rounds. This competition is digital only which means the entries and scoresheets are electronic. If you would like to be a judge for this competition, please contact reader-judge-coordinator@romanceaustralia.com.

Little Gems Short Story Anthology:

There is one round for this contest. Every entry is read three times by experienced readers and writers. The scores are added and expressed as percentage of full marks to determine the placegetters. There is no final judge. The top-scoring 12 to 15 stories (the number will depend on page count) will also be invited to participate in the anthology.

Every entry score is expressed as a percentage and tallied on the rankings sheet, which goes to all entrants.

General:

Any entries whose authors have made the book commercially available (i.e. published it), or accepted a contract for publication, during the contest process (until the public announcement of finalists) must withdraw from the contest. Entrants can withdraw at any time but fees will only be refunded if the judging process has not begun.

Entries not meeting the formatting conditions will be returned to the entrant for correction. If a corrected copy is not received by the entry deadline, the entry will be allowed into the contest, but 5 points will be deducted from the entry’s total score for the formatting error. Please refer to the entry conditions for formatting conditions. Any entry that has received a formatting deduction will be ranked lower in the event of a tie for last place in the final.

Note: Members are not allowed to judge for a contest they have entered. Contest Managers may not enter or judge a contest they are managing, but may enter or judge for another contest.