Please note: all heat levels and LGBTQIA leads are accepted across all categories. RCRW embraces diversity across all categories.

Contemporary Series Romance: Romances that target series romance publishers (Harlequin, Silhouette, Entangled category lines) and focus primarily on the romantic relationship. The finished manuscript should meet the target line’s specific requirements for length, sensuality, and subject matter.

Contemporary Single Title Romance: Romance novels set after 1945 that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and are released as individual titles.

Historical Romance: Romance novels set in time periods prior to 1945. Manuscripts targeting both single title historical publishers and series publishers (e.g., Harlequin Historical, Entangled Scandalous) should be entered into this category.

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: A work of fiction in which a romance plays a strong role in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries (e.g., Women’s Fiction or Chick Lit, could also be Urban Fantasy). In this category, the protagonists may not meet as soon as in traditional romances. Happily-ever-after (HEA) not required by the end of the novel.

Paranormal Romance: Romances with paranormal, fantasy, futuristic, and supernatural elements, including steampunk and its subgenres. Entries targeting paranormal series romance lines may be entered in either this category or the contemporary series romance, but not both.

Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. Entries targeting series romance lines that include suspense elements (e.g., Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Intrigue) may be entered in either this category or the contemporary series romance, but not both.

Young Adult / New Adult Romance: Romance novels or novels with strong romantic elements where the protagonists are new adults, young adults, or teens. Entries targeting both single title new / young adult publishers and series lines with a new / young adult audience should be entered in this category.