The Vivian: FAQs

The 2023 VIVIAN contest has been postponed. Please check back at a later date for an FAQ for the 2024 VIVIAN contest.

How do I enter? 

On November 10, 2020, at 11 a.m. CT a link to the entry form will be on the RWA homepage and on The Vivian homepage.

Do I need to upload the PDF of my entry when I submit my entry form?

No. You will be emailed a link to upload your entry. The link will likely be emailed within about a week, but all entrants will receive an upload link by December 11, 2020.

What file format must my entry be in? 

All entrants must upload a PDF of their entry, but are encouraged to upload other formats such as .mobi or .epub. Published entries must include a copyright page. 

For MOST ANTICIPATED entries, we recommend your manuscript follow industry standard formatting: double-spaced with 10- or 12-point font, 1 to 1.5 inch margins, include the title and page number in header of each page. You can include your name on the header at your discretion, but please do not include any other identifying information such as email address/phone number.    

What does "Authorized by Publisher" mean and how do I prove that my entry is authorized by the publisher? 

This simply means that your publisher (if you are traditionally published) has given permission/knows that you'll be submitting a PDF of your book to be judged. It is on the author to obtain this permission. RWA requires no further proof of this than that the entry be uploaded.  

My work was part of an anthology, can I submit it on its own? 


How do I enter the Best First Published Book category? 

You will enter your book in the appropriate subgenre category, and there will be a place on the entry form to indicate that your entry is eligible for Best First Published Book. 

If I am eligible for Most Anticipated, do I enter my book in a specific subgenre category? 

No, you will enter your book into Most Anticipated. On the entry form, you will have the opportunity to indicate into which subgenre category the manuscript fits so that information can be used in judge matching. 

If an author shares a story, novella or novel on a free read platform, is that author considered published?

The author would not be considered published as long as they have not had a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more under any pen name commercially available before January 4, 2021. 

Per RWA Policy, "commercially available" is defined as "offered for sale to the general public and/or library market. A novel or novella offered solely free of charge is not considered to be commercially available."

If a novella or novel is available as a pre-order book is that novella or novel considered published?

The book cannot be offered for sale before January 4, 2021. After January 4, 2021, a book can be offered for pre-order, but cannot be released until after winners are announced if it is under consideration for the MOST ANTICIPATED.