Registration Opens: April 1, 2017 Registration Closes: June 11, 2017 Books to be Received by: June 14, 2017 Finalists Notified by: Early September, 2017 Winners Announced at the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference on October 14, 2017
Best First Book: any romance novel from a first-time author not previously published in book length romantic fiction, regardless of publishing medium.
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.
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: 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.
Historical Romance: Novels set prior to 1950. Includes Regency romances. 40,000 word minimum.
Novella: short pieces of romantic fiction between 20-40,000 words. (Trade magazines do not normally fall under the proper word count; however, if your novella does, the acceptability of such work will be the decision of the contest chairperson.)
Paranormal Romance: Any romance novel in which either time travel, futuristic, fantasy world or paranormal happenings are a major element of the plot. 40,000 word minimum.
Romantic Suspense: Any romance novel in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute a major part of the plot. 40,000 word minimum.
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.).