2015 Melody of Love Writing Contest

 Sponsored by Music City Romance Writers


**Registration will open on August 1st, 2015**


MCRW Members  $22
RWA Members  $27
Non-members  $32

Early entry discount! $5.00 off entry fee if submitted by August 15, 2015


Monday, September 7, 2015 at 11:59pm CST


Author may be unpublished or published.

Manuscript being entered cannot have been published and cannot be currently contracted to be published via any means at any time, including self or subsidy publishing.

Manuscript should be a romance or romantic elements novel of 40,000 words or more.


Your entry must have the following three elements:

1) Payment via check or PayPal

2) A completed entry form

3) Your manuscript's first 25 (or fewer) pages of your manuscript, no synopsis, emailed to the coordinator as an attachment. We recommend but do not require that you omit prologues and end your partial at a cliffhanger, even if it means you don't send 25 whole pages. (Note: finalists may need to provide a short synopsis at the request of the final round judges.)

Send your entry to the contest coordinator Sophia Kimble at contest@mcrw.com by September 7, 2015.

While it is acceptable to submit the entry form and payment before you submit your pages, all three parts (pages, entry form, payment) must be received by September 7, 2015, or your entry will not be counted in the contest. Your entry fee will be reimbursed if this happens.

Contest limited to 75 total entries, in order of receipt of all three parts. The optional subgenres (Fiction w/Romantic Elements; Erotic; Inspirational) on the entry form are used only to determine the best judges for your work and do not affect scoring or final round editor assignment.

The entry form alone is insufficient to “reserve your spot” should the contest fill up; payment must be included as well.

Coordinator will send emails to confirm receipt of entries. Please allow 5 working days (ie, not weekends or holidays) before you ask the coordinator whether the entry has been received.


First 25 pages of your manuscript.

All entries must be electronic and in standard manuscript format:

  • 12 point standard font (TNR, Courier New)
  • Double-spaced
  • Indented paragraphs (ie not block style)
  • 1-inch margins
  • .rtf or .doc format

Pages should include a header with manuscript title, category and word count. Pages should also be numbered. Your name should not appear on the entry.


Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, New Adult, Young Adult



Mary Altman - Acquiring editor at Sourcebooks


Cindy Brannam - Acquiring editor at Soul Mate Publishing


Angela James - Acquiring editor at Carina Press

New Adult

Heidi Moore - Acquring editor at Samhain Publishing

Young Adult

Victoria Lowes - Agent at The Bent Agency


1st place: $50 and a certificate

2nd and 3rd place: Certificate

All finalists and winners will be announced on our website. All finalists will also be announced in the RWR, a monthly publication of Romance Writers of America.

An optional benefit for all finalists is a one year membership to MCRW. Due to RWA rules, this benefit can only apply to current members of RWA or members who join RWA within a couple months of finaling in the Melody of Love contest. We are not authorized to extend membership to anyone who is not a member of Romance Writers of America.


1) Three Judges per entry. The lowest score will be dropped, but will be used in case of a tie. All entries will be judged by at a combination of published/experienced/trained judges. All judges’ decisions are final.

2) Barring unforeseen circumstances, finalists will be announced mid October 2015. Finalists may be asked to provide a short synopsis. Finalists will be notified via e-mail and posted on the MCRW website. First round scores of finalists will be emailed as soon as possible.

3) Other scores will be released within 30 days after the finalists are announced. Winners will be announced shortly after all final round judges return their scores, hopefully late November 2015.


1) Entries received that are found to have been published by any means will be disqualified. No entry may be withdrawn after being submitted to the contest with one exception (see below). Entry fees from disqualified entrants will not be refunded. Entrants who finaled in our contest previously may enter again, but don’t re-enter the finaling manuscript. Membership status of entrants who claim RWA membership will be verified with RWA. For the purpose of this contest, published is defined as available for sale by any means or as a free download via retail sites such as Smashwords and Amazon. Entry fees will be refunded to entrants in any category that does not receive the minimum number of entries unless they request placement in another category. Any entries over the contest limit of 75, or those received after the due date, will be returned along with the entry fees.

2) Here is the one exception about withdrawing your entry. If you receive a contract for your submission or self-publish it before the contest deadline of September 7, 2015, you may withdraw your entry with proof of contract or publication and your fee will be returned.


  • Your chapter should be in .rtf or .doc format. Please do not send .docx files.
  • Important: Be aware that your name may be in the document properties as the document's creator because of software settings. If you don't know how to change it, the coordinator can delete this for you with your permission.
  • Do not paste the chapter into the body of the email.
  • Use a standard font and standard formatting, as described above.
  • Your entry will be test-opened upon receipt; if there are issues, you will be notified. If you do not respond to the notification before the contest deadline and work with the coordinator to rectify the issues, your manuscript may be disqualified. With your permission, the coordinator can standardize the format of the manuscript for you.

Questions? Contact Contest Coordinator Sophia Kimble at contest@mcrw.com