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2013 Golden Claddagh Contest
Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh! Don’t let our chapter name dissuade you; your entry does not have to be Celtic based to enter. We have four categories for unpublished manuscripts: Historical, FF&P, Contemporary, and Young Adult.
Our contest opens on April 1st with a final due date of May 1st, 2013. Finalists will be notified by June 15th, 2013 and winners announced at the Celtic Hearts AGM at RWA Nationals in Atlanta. All finalists will be invited to the AGM, if they are able to attend.
The competition is open to RWA members and non-members.
The Golden Claddagh Contest is open to published and non-published authors but the submitted work must never have been published in any format. The entry must be either a full-length novel (greater than 40,000 words) or a novella (no less than 20,000 words and no more than 40,000 words). Short stories and novelettes are not accepted. Please mark your entry in the header as a novel or a novella, with word count.
By submitting your entry, you agree to have a completed manuscript by the time the final round is complete. The entrant must retain all rights to the entry and may not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline. If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the Golden Claddagh Contest, you must notify the contest coordinator immediately. Your submission will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note:
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • For a small additional fee ($5 for CHRW members, $10 for non-members), you may enter the same manuscript in more than one category. Please mark on your entry form every category you want to enter, and remit the proper payment.
  • Entry fee per entry: $15.00 CHRW member and $25.00 non-member.
Entrants may submit no more than the first 20 pages of their manuscript and a synopsis of not more than 5 pages at the end of the entry, for a total of 25 pages maximum. All entries are electronic.
Entry fee is $15 for CHRW members and $25 for non-members.
Entries should be submitted to:
Historical Category
Contemporary Category
Young Adult Category
FF&P Category
Pay by Check 
Please copy or print this form and include with your payment: Contest Entry Form
Mail to:
Rebecca Lynn
PO Box 445
Bozeman, MT 59771

Pay by Paypal
If paying via Paypal, please click here: Contest Entry Form
You will have the option at the end of the form
to choose Paypal
All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.
CONTEMPORARY: Long & Short Contemporary / Romantic Suspense / Strong Romantic Elements: Includes single title, romantic suspense, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine. You must identify the theme (i.e. short contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic elements, women’s fiction, etc.) in the header of your entry to help acclimate the judges.
FF&P: Future, Fantasy & Paranormal / Steampunk / Alternative History: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel). You must identify the theme (i.e. futuristic, alternate history, Steampunk, etc.) in the header of your entry to help acclimate the judges.
HISTORICAL / Celtic: Romance novel (need not be Celtic specifically, but please mark if it is Celtic) set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry. For entries identified as Celtic, a time period, Celtic theme, and setting must be identified in your entry: (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, Bretons, Isle of Man).
YA: Young Adult / Middle Grade / New Adult: Romance novels or novellas in which young adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. Main focus is still on the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine. You must identify the theme (i.e. YA, MG, NA) in the header of your entry.
Contemporary – Julie Mianecki of Penguin Books, Chelsey Emmelhainz of Harper Collins Publishing
FF&P – Alissa Davis of Carina Press and Laurie McLean of Foreward Literary Agency
Historical – Meredith Giordan of Carina Press and Susie Townsend of New Leaf Literary Agency
Young Adult – Aubrey Poole of Sourcebooks and Becky Vinter of Fine Print Literary Agency
Your entry must have the following:
  • The fully completed entry form (that will include the author’s name, address, phone, and email). Do not include the entry form in the same attachment as your manuscript and synopsis. The manuscript and synopsis will be attached as one document.
  • The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed twenty (20) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins (on top, bottom, left side, and right side)
  • double-spaced
  • paragraph indentations of .5 inches in Times New Roman 12 pt. or Arial 11 pt. font.
  • Header must include: title of the manuscript, category (with specific genre) submitted to, word count (novel or novella, when complete), and any erotic content (if your manuscript is erotic, mark it “EROTIC”, and if there are M/M, F/F, ménage, or BDSM elements, please mark those as well).
  • Saved as a .doc or .rtf file.

We will not accept entries that do not meet this requirement or that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ANYWHERE ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
The synopsis must be included with the same file attachment as the manuscript, must follow the same format as the entry (see above), and may not exceed five (5) pages. Do not send the synopsis in a separate attachment. It should start and end as though it were separate from your manuscript. Any entry that contains a single spaced synopsis and/or begins or ends on the same page as the manuscript will be corrected by the category coordinator prior to the first round of judging. If this results in greater than five pages of double-spaced, properly formatted synopsis, anything over the five page mark will be eliminated and considered your official entry. The synopsis will be scored in the first round but not in the final round. The heading must include the title of the manuscript, length of the completed work, the category, and the theme. The author’s name may not appear anywhere on either the manuscript or the synopsis.

ANY MANUSCRIPT OR SYNOPSIS THAT DOES NOT FOLLOW THE RULES SET DOWN HERE MAY BE REFUSED OR REFORMATTED. The category coordinator will reformat the work to meet the guidelines set down in these instructions. If this results in a submission of greater than 20 pages of manuscript or greater than five pages of synopsis, the extra pages of either or both (manuscript and synopsis) will be cut in order to meet the contest rules. Our deadline is firm. Manuscripts must be received by the appropriate category coordinator by MIDNIGHT (EST) on May 1, 2013 in order to be considered viable.
At the end of the first round, the top three scoring entries in each category will receive a reading and critique (not a line edit) from top agents and/or editors.
FIRST PLACE entries will receive a cash prize.
For questions please contact the contest chair at:


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