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    RITA
     

    2016 RITA Category Descriptions and Judging Guidelines

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

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

    Contemporary Romance: Long

    Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are 84,000 or more words.


    Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

    Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are between 56,000 and 84,000 words in length.


    Contemporary Romance: Short

    Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and that are between 40,000 and 56,000 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.)


    Historical Romance: Long

    Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are longer than 89,000 words.

    Historical Romance: Short

    Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are between 40,000 and 89,000 words.


    Inspirational Romance

    Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.


    Paranormal Romance

    Novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.


    Romance Novella

    Novellas that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.


    Romantic Suspense

    Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.


    Young Adult Romance

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


    Best First Book

    A Novel entered in another contest category. 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.