Golden Rose Contest

2017 Golden Rose Contest is now open for entries! 

Early bird rates apply through March 31st

Contest Rules

The Golden Rose is a contest sponsored by RCRW for unpublished and non-PAN eligible (with the RWA Organization) authors and limited to current members of RWA. It offers the opportunity to obtain high quality feedback and, for finalists, the chance to get your work in front of a publishing industry editor. It is one of the few contests allowing a higher word submission count which provides our entrants with the greatest opportunity for feedback. In addition, many of our finalists receive requests from the final judges and many of those have gone on to be published.

The purpose of the Rose City Romance Writers Golden Rose Contest is to encourage, recognize, and reward the mastery of writing romantic fiction. For the purposes of this contest a work of fiction is defined as a novel that is made commercially available to the public.
Every writer who enters comes away a winner:

  • All entrants receive three comprehensive score sheets from the first round Judges. Judges are encouraged to make detailed comments explaining their scores.
  • Higher word count of 10,000 words provides entrants with not only detailed editing but story line judging as well.
  • The contest is limited to the first 120 entries.
  • Entries are submitted on-line.
  • Early Bird entries must be received by 11:59pm PST on March 31st. The Golden Rose Contest closes to all entries at 11:59pm PST April 30th. Entry fees and manuscripts received after that date will not be accepted.
  • If entry is accepted for publication on or before April 30th, the contest coordinator must be notified and entry withdrawn. No refund will be offered if the contest entry deadline of April 30th has passed. Should a refund be issued, PayPal fees will be deducted from the fees submitted – if applicable.
  • Fees can be paid through PayPal or via check made out to Rose City Romance Writers and mailed to Rose City Romance Writers, Golden Rose Contest, PO Box 1272, Lake Oswego, OR 97035 (If you do pay by check, please put your pen name and title on the check memo line.)
  • RCRW reserves the right to combine categories if fewer than seven entries are accepted.
  • Score sheets will be returned to entrants in mid to late August – in plenty of time to revise manuscripts before the Golden Heart entry deadline.
  • Category finalists will have one week after notification to revise their entries before they are forwarded to the final round judges.
  • Finalists will need to supply a 500 word synopsis for the final judging.
  • Finalists in each category receive an award certificate and gold rose lapel pin.
  • The highest scored manuscript in the first round judging is awarded overall winner of the Golden Rose Contest and receives a $100 gift certificate.


Prizes for the Current Golden Rose Contest:

  • Finalists: certificate with ranking, website finalist banner, and gold rose lapel pin.
  • Overall winner: certificate, website winner banner, gold rose lapel pin, and $100 gift certificate (the overall winner will also receive their finalist certificate with ranking).
  • One-year RCRW membership* for the overall winner and first place winners in each category.

* Please note: The RCRW membership prize does not include RWA national membership fees. Only one RCRW membership per person, regardless of multiple wins. This prize is nontransferable and has no cash value.


Early Bird Entries: March 15th – 31st
RCRW Members $25
RWA Members $30

Regular Entries: April 1st – 30th
RCRW Members $30
RWA Members $35

Refund Policy

  • Once the contest has officially closed to entries on April 30th no refunds will be issued.
  • Refunds will only be issued for submitted manuscripts that become contracted prior to contest entry closure.
  • Should a refund be issued PayPal fees will be deducted from the fees submitted – if applicable.

Important Dates

Deadline Description Date
Early Bird Entries Opens  March 15th
Early Bird Entries Close & Deadline for procurement of First Round Judges  March 31st
Regular Entries Open  April 1st
Regular Entries Close April 30th
Announcement of Winners / Finalists August 31st