The Carolyn

The Carolyn Reader's Choice Awards for romance authors

The 2018 contest is now CLOSED to entries.

Payments ~ Entry Form ~ Judge Information ~ Score Sheet

PLEASE NOTE: Please make your payment first! The entry form asks for your Paypal transaction number. Thanks!


  • November 14, 2017 ~ contest open for registration and entries
  • November 14, 2017 through February 14, 2018 ~ receipt of entries
  • February 14, 2018 through March 21, 2018 ~ first round judging
  • March 28, 2018 through April 4, 2018 ~ finalists notified
    • Finalists will be notified via e-mail
  • April 6, 2018 ~ finalists officially announced
  • April 11, 2018 through May 2, 2018 ~ final round judging
    • Winners will be notified via e-mail
  • May 2, 2018 through May 4, 2018 ~ winners notified
  • May 4, 2018 ~ winners officially announced
  • July 2018 ~ ad appears on RT Daily Blog website


  • The Carolyn Readers Choice Award contest is open to all authors of traditional, e-published, and self-published books.
    • Only the author or the publisher may submit an entry.
    • Entries must represent the author's own original work.
  • No anthologies or story collections accepted. Individual shorts and anthology stories may be entered into one of the six categories. No anthology as a whole is eligible.
  • Authors or publishers may enter more than one book, but no more than two books per category.
  • Books may be entered in one category only.
  • Original copyright or first printing date must be between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.
  • Membership in Romance Writers of America® is NOT required.


Please note: categories will be capped at 30 entries; if a category does not receive at least 10 entries by the deadline, authors will be notified and entries transferred to the secondary category.

All lengths of stories will compete in these six categories. There are no additional categories.

  • Erotic Romance
  • Historical Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Contemporary Romance ~ This category is now full--we are no longer accepting contemporary entries.
  • Series Action Adventure Romance
  • Specialized Romance: Alternate Earth Histories, Dystopian, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


  • Early Bird entry fee: $20 per entry
    • available from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14
  • Regular entry fee: $25 per entry
    • available from Dec. 15 to Feb. 14
  • Requests for refunds (minus PayPal fees if applicable) will be considered on a case by case basis and will be discussed & determined by the NTRWA board.
  • Any cost associated with the distribution of the book to judges is the sole responsibility of the author or publisher.

The Prize

  • The winners of each of the six (6) categories will be featured on a banner ad on the RT Daily Blog page (collectively, not individually) for two weeks. The banner ad is a $550 value.
  • Each finalist and winner will receive an appropriate website icon.


  • Entries will be judged by romance readers certifying they are not members of any professional writing organization or associated with the publishing industry in any way other than as a reader.
  • Entries will be judged by five (5) judges in the preliminary round as well as in the final round.
  • The three (3) to four (4) entries (based on number of entries) with the highest score average in each category will continue to the final round, provided the average is in the upper 25%.
  • The entry with the highest score average in each category in the final round will be the winner for that category.

How to enter

  • Complete the entry form.
    • Each novel entered must have a separate entry form.
  • Pay the entry fee via PayPal.
    • Each entry must have a separate payment.
    • Please contact the contest coordinator if you do not wish to pay via Paypal.
    • Requests for refunds (minus PayPal fees if applicable) will be considered on a case by case basis and will be discussed & determined by the NTRWA board.
  • Submit your book.

Other Information

    • Only PDF copies of your entry will be accepted.
      • PDF version can be a finished PDF or a publisher approved Advanced Reader Copy.
      • The cover does not have to be included.
    • By sending an electronic copy, the author or publisher acknowledges that up to twelve (12) copies may be sent out between the first and final rounds.
    • While NTRWA requires judges to agree to NOT re-distribute or share electronic documents, NTRWA has no way to enforce this policy.
      • The author accepts this risk when sending an electronic document.
    • Books of each length will compete in the same categories. A good story is a good story.
    • Minimum length: 10K
    • Maximum length: 110K
    • Entry in NTRWA’s The Carolyn Readers Choice Award contest constitutes agreement by the author to conform to all contest rules, abide by the decision of the judges, and hold blameless NTRWA, The Carolyn Readers Choice Award contest coordinators and all judges.
    • In entering, the author agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the chapter, its officers, members, contest chair people, and all judges of the contest from liability for its/their actions arising from or relating to judging and handling of the entry and conducting, sponsoring and advertising the event.

If you have any questions, please contact the Carolyn Coordinator.