Hot Prospects Contest

Sponsor: Valley of the Sun Romance Writers

**Permission to forward**

Looking to sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction? Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.


“After finaling and winning the hot prospects romantic suspense category with my entry The Gilded Cuff, Lauren Plude from Grand Central made a three book offer for my series. I just wanted to extend my thanks and gratitude to your chapter for hosting the contest and bringing in such great final judges!  Thank you!” ~ Lauren Smith


Grand Prize Winner
The grand prize (TBD)

All finalists in each category will receive a certificate, a graphic for their website and an acknowledgement in the Romance Writers Report. Approximate date of winner notification is December 15th, 2017.

Those entries that do not final will be returned approximately October 30th, 2017 to help those who plan to enter RWA’s Golden Heart.


Price Per Entry
Valley of the Sun RW Members / $25
Non-Chapter Members / $30

Payment Options
– Checks and money Orders must be made out to VOS Hot Prospects Contest
– Paypal, confirmation number required, via:
– Cash

Valley of the Sun RW reserves the right to return all entries and fees if the minimum entry number for each category (5) is not received. Entrants will be contacted to see if they wish to place their entry in another category before entries are returned.


Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2017
E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2017


The Hot Prospects Contest is open to any Romance work uncontracted and unpublished at the time of entry.


Trained judges for preliminary round, Editors for final round.

Category Information
The same entry cannot be placed in more than one category.  Contestants may submit more than one entry in a category or enter multiple categories, but each entry must be accompanied by a separate Entry Form and Fee.

Single Title Contemporary:
Romantic novels released as individual titles, not usually part of a series. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

Romantic Suspense:
A suspense/mystery/thriller plot is integrated within a romantic novel. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

Romantic novels set in a time period prior to 1945.  Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

Futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal elements are integrated within the love story. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot. Projected word count: over 50,000 words.


Your synopsis should be between 3-5 pages.

Up to 25 pages of your manuscript.

Total Submission
Entry should be 30 pages max.  Entry or synopsis may be shorter, but neither may be longer than specified.


Each entry will be judged by two trained judges in the preliminary round. Judges are published and unpublished authors who have been through the chapter training for contest judging. The preliminary judges are encouraged make comments directly on the manuscripts or in the electronic files and each will provide a score sheet to be attached to the manuscript for return to the contestant.

The total number of points possible is 65. If the preliminary scores for any entry vary as much as a 26 point spread, the entry will be judged a third time and the lowest score (of the three) will be thrown out.

NOTE:  All judging is confidential. The Contest Coordinators will not reveal the names of the judges.


The top three finalists will be determined based on the average of the two preliminary scores for each entry and will be notified by October 31st, 2017. All finalists will have approximately 1 week to review judges’ critiques and make changes to her/his manuscript before it goes to the final-round judge.

The synopsis and the revised manuscript (or the original manuscript on file, if the entrant does not revise) will be sent to the editor judge.


Editors will read the top three manuscripts in each category to determine final placements, which will be returned to the contest coordinator via email. These entries will not be returned, as the editors traditionally do not make any notes on them. We have asked the editors to shred those finalist entries rather than return them.

Those entries that do not final will be returned approximately October 30th, 2017 to help those who plan to enter RWA’s Golden Heart.


Any entry failing to comply with the rules as stated herein will be disqualified and entry free forfeited. No fees will be refunded on the basis of disqualification or withdrawal. The Hot Prospects Contest Chair reserves the right to return any entry that does not comply with the contest rules.


General Information
Complete the entry form below. If submitting electronically, paste or attach the entry form to an e-mail and type author name(s) on the signature line.

Manuscript and Synopsis Format:
– 8.5 x 11 inch paper
– 1-inch margins all around
– Double spaced
– 12 pt. Courier/Courier New or Times New Roman font
– First page of prologue (if applicable) and of every chapter must begin one-third of the page
– Header information on every page should include category, title and page number only
– Author’s name and/or personal information must NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript or synopsis pages or the entry will be disqualified.

For hardcopy entries:
– 1 signed copy of ENTRY FORM
– 3 copies of SYNOPSIS up to 5 double-spaced pages.
– 3 copies of MANUSCRIPT, up to the first 25 double-spaced pages.
– Prologue, if included, will be counted in entry pages and total count cannot exceed 25.
– 1 CHECK payable to Valley of the Sun Romance Writers for $30.00 USD, or indication that payment was made via PAYPAL.

Mail to:
VOS Hot Prospects Contest PO Box 12012, Glendale, AZ 85308-2012

For Electronic Submissions:
– 1 copy of the ENTRY FORM (submission of an electronic entry form is considered the same as a signed hardcopy). Please include this in a separate file.
– 1 copy of SYNOPSIS (same rules as above). Can be a separate file or combined with manuscript entry.
– 1 copy of MANUSCRIPT (same rules as above). Can be a separate file combined with synopsis.
– 1 CHECK payable to Valley of the Sun Romance Writers may be mailed separately or indicate payment has been made via PAYPAL.
– Note: Entry will not be accepted if PayPal payment cannot be verified prior to cutoff date.
– All documents attached to an Electronic Submission must be in word format.
– Any document submitted in a format other than a Word doc will be returned to the contestant unopened.
– E-mail the complete entry to:


Permission to copy this form for entry purpose is granted to all RWA chapters and members.

Postage: We pay the return postage and your preliminary judging manuscripts of hardcopy entries will be returned to you along with your score sheets. Acknowledgement of entry will be sent via email. If you do not have an email address, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

Please click on the link  below for the entry form. The form is not fillable online so you will have to print it out and fill out it by hand and then send.

ENTRY FORM – word document

Note:  If you are having problems with the Entry Form link, please right click and open a new window.

TO PAY WITH PAYPAL, CLICK BELOW: (Be sure to specify author and entry name on PayPal transaction.)