The Vivian Contest Categories


General Category Requirements

  • All entries must contain a central love story and the resolution of the romance must be emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

  • Word count is determined based on computer word count. A plus or minus two percent of the total word count is permissible.

  • With the exception of Erotic Romance, all categories may have varying levels of sensuality.

  • Entries to categories without a length designation must be 20,000 words or more.

Category Descriptions

Best First Published Book

A work entered in another contest category with the exception of “Most Anticipated.” To be eligible, the author (or authors in the case of a writing team) shall not have had any other novel or novella previously commercially available in any format.

Contemporary Romance – Long

Works that are set no more than 50 years prior to the contest date to the present that are 80,000 or more words in length.

Contemporary Romance – Mid

Works that are set no more than 50 years prior to the contest date to the present that are between 50,000 and 80,000 words in length.

Contemporary Romance – Short

Works that are set no more than 50 years prior to the contest date to the present that are between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.

Erotic Romance

Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.). Entries

Historical Romance – Long

Works that are set at least 50 years prior to the contest date that are 80,000 or more words in length.

Historical Romance – Mid

Works that are set at least 50 years prior to the contest date that are between 50,000 and 80,000 words in length.

Historical Romance – Short

Works that are set at least 50 years prior to the contest date that are between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

Works in which themes or elements other than the romance are integral to the story even though a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic resolution to the romance are still present. This category is intended for romances that do not fit neatly into any other category due to their mainstream fiction nature but where the central romance could not be removed without damaging the storyline.

Most Anticipated Romance

Original works of Romance Fiction that meet the stated entry requirements and are submitted by entrants who meet the eligibility requirements for this category. Entries in this category may be of any romance subgenre as defined by the Category Descriptions. 

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Works in which spiritual beliefs are an inherent part of the love story, character growth or relationship development, and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may be set in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system of any culture.

Romantic Suspense – Long

Works in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot that are 80,000 or more words in length.

Romantic Suspense – Mid

Works in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot that are between 50,000 and 80,000 words in length.

Romantic Suspense – Short

Works in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot that are between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.

Speculative Romance – Long

Works in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot that are 80,000 or more words in length.

Speculative Romance – Mid

Works in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot that are between 50,000 and 80,000 words in length.

Speculative Romance – Short

Works in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot that are between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.

Young Adult Romance

Works in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.