As part of our ongoing mission of fostering the relationship between independent bookstores and the Romance community, we have joined with our friends at Sourcebooks Casablanca to create the Discover New Romance Award. We are seeking out the best in unpublished and self-published Romance as determined by a panel of independent booksellers. The winner of the contest will get bragging rights and an in-depth critique from a Sourcebooks acquisitions editor. All entries will receive a minimum of five critiques from a panel of independent booksellers.

Entries will open on January 4, 2021. The first round of judging is for a synopsis/pitch and 30 page writing sample. The top ten scores from the first round will be asked to submit a complete manuscript and the top score from this round will be read and critiqued by an acquisitions editor at Sourcebooks.

The details:

1. The contest opens for entries at midnight Eastern on January 4, 2021 and all entries must be received by 9pm Pacific on February 28, 2021.

2. All contestants must submit a synopsis/pitch and 30 page writing sample. We understand that 30 pages may be too much or not quite enough to get to the end of a chapter, so there is some flexibility in page count.

3. All entries MUST be in Word or Google Docs format. Any entries submitted in other formats will be asked to re-format and re-submit. If the work is submitted a second time in an unacceptable format, the entry will be disqualified.

4. Top ten scoring entries will be notified by May 15th and asked for full manuscripts. Full manuscripts are due no later than June 1. 

5. The second round winner will be contacted by August 15th and an official announcement will be made on Bookstore Romance Day on August 21.

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

If you have any questions, you can e-mail us.

Discover New Romance Award

Congratulations to Sarah T. Dubb, winner of the first Discover New Romance Award for her novel Love is Just a Game. We hope we’ll soon be able to announce that the book has been acquired for publication. In the meantime, you can learn more about Sarah on her website or give her a follow on Twitter

Stay tuned for information about the 2022 contest coming soon.

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