The Carolyn Readers Choice Award

Payments ~ Entry Form ~ Judge Info ~ Scoresheet

ENTRANT NOTE: Please make your payment first!

The entry form asks for your PayPal transaction number. Thanks!


  • November 18, 2023 contest open for registration and entries
  • November 18, 2023 through March 1, 2024 receipt of entries
  • March 1 - April 17 first round judging
  • April 18, 2024 finalists notified via email
  • April 19, 2024 finalists officially announced online
  • April 20 - May 20 final round judging
  • May 22, 2024 winners notified via email
  • May 23, 2024 winners officially announced online
  • July 28 - Aug 10 grand prize ad appearing online


  • Early Bird Fee, November 18, 2023 - December 16, 2023 ~ $30
  • Regular Fee, December 17, 2023 - February 17, 2024 ~ $35

  • Requests for refunds (minus PayPal fees if applicable) will be considered on a case by case basis and will be discussed & determined by the NTRW board.
  • Any cost associated with the distribution of the book to judges is the sole responsibility of the author or publisher.


  • 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, 2023 and December 31, 2023.
  • 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.

Romances featuring characters of all races, creeds, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities or with disabilities or containing spiritual/religious elements are welcome to enter. Please enter the category that best suits your entry overall.

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

  • Erotic Romance
  • LGBTQ+ Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Historical Romance
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Specialized Romance: Alternate Earth Histories, Dystopian, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


  • The winner of each of the six (6) categories will receive a cash prize of $50. (The prize will be paid via PayPal.)
  • The winner of each of the six (6) categories will have their book advertised on Facebook or other venue (collectively, not individually) for two weeks.
  • Each finalist and winner will receive an appropriate website medallion.


  • 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 four (4) judges in the preliminary round.
  • Entries receiving the top five (5) highest scores will proceed to the final round.
  • Final round books will be judged by up to three (3) judges. *

* Final round judging is conditioned on having enough judges available. In the event that we don’t have enough judges the winners will be the top scores from the first round.

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 and determined by the NTRW board.
  • Submit your book.

Other Info:


  • 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, but it’s recommended that you do.
    • Minimum 10-point font size.
  • 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 NTRW requires judges to agree to NOT re-distribute or share electronic documents, NTRW has no way to enforce this policy.
    • The author accepts this risk when sending an electronic document.


  • Books of any length will compete against one another in any given category. A good story is a good story.
    • Minimum length: 10K
    • Maximum length: 110K


Entry in NTRW’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 NTRW, 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 Coordinators.