HOLT Medallion Rules
Entries will be accepted from December 1, 2017 through January 16, 2018.
Finalists will be announced in May, 2018
Winners and Merit recipients will be announced in June, 2018
Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report magazine
Contest Rules for 2018
- Entries must be a single work of romance fiction, with an original copyright date (not a release date) of January-December 2017, regardless of format (e-book or print).
- A book with a copyright date of 2017 but with a print or e-book release date of 2017 IS eligible for this year’s contest.
- A book with a copyright date of 2016 but with a print or e-book release date of 2017 IS NOT eligible for this year’s contest.
- A re-issue or re-release (including a rewrite to change the heat level) with an original copyright date other than 2017 IS NOT eligible for this contest.
- All entry forms must be submitted and entry fees paid prior to shipment of books. Once you have submitted your entry form and payment, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from the HOLT Contest Coordinator with instructions for shipping and/or e-mailing your books to the appropriate contest coordinator.
- Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report magazine.
- Author does not need to be a member of RWA® and the publisher need not be listed as RWA® eligible. Self-published books are eligible.
- Entries are limited to the first 50 submitted in each category (not including Best First Book and Best Book by a Virginia Author). Once the 50 entry limit is reached in a category, that category will be closed to further entries. Notice of when a category is full will be indicated on the website under the category listings below and the category selection will no longer be available on the entry form.
- Once a category is filled, a book MAY NOT be entered in an alternate category (i.e. A Short Inspirational may not be entered in the Short Contemporary category.)
- The Contest Committee reserves the right to add or drop categories, depending on the number of entries received.
- The Contest Committee reserves the right to place a book in a different category from which it was entered.
- The Contest Committee reserves the right to disqualify any entry, if rules are not fully met.
- Entry in the HOLT Medallion contest constitutes agreement by the author to conform to all contest rules, abide by the decision of the judges, and hold blameless Virginia Romance Writers, the HOLT Medallion Contest Coordinators, and all judges.
- Please note: While we do our best to maintain confidentiality, the HOLT Medallion is a reader judged contest. VRW cannot be held responsible if judges do not adhere to the rules. All judges beginning in the fall of 2017, will be asked to sign a confidentiality form. Any judge who violates confidentiality will be banned from judging future contests sponsored by Virginia Romance Writers.
- VRW members in good standing (as of July 1, 2017) may enter one (1) book in one (1) category, free of charge. Normal fees apply to additional entries.
- Registration, payment and books must be received at the category coordinator’s address on or before January 16, 2018 (9:00 PM EST).
- Once an entry is accepted to the contest, there will be no refund.
- Books will not be returned.
- A complete entry form must be submitted for each book entered. Photocopied entry forms are acceptable.
- Entry fee is $30 per book/category. Payment can be made via check, money order, or PAYPAL. Make checks payable to VRW.
- E-mail will be used to send confirmation of receipt of entry. If you do not have e-mail, enclose a #10 SASE for contest committee use to confirm receipt of your entry.
- Judges are romance readers. Each book will be scored by at least 3 judges.
- Single round judging will establish top five entries in each category. Entry with highest score will be named as category winner; next four placing entries (in no specific order) will be named an Award of Merit finalist.
- Scores will not be disclosed.
- Winners will receive a certificate and a pewter HOLT Medallion. Award of Merit finalists each will receive a certificate.
After entry form and payment is received, the entrant will be contacted by the HOLT Coordinator within one business day with instructions for shipping and/or e-mailing of books to the appropriate contest coordinator.
- Author must enclose four (4) copies of each book entered. Please autograph your books – this means a great deal to our reader-judges.
- Priority Mail or courier-type shipping of entries is recommended, but not required. A package tracking number is highly recommended. DO NOT send the package signature required.
- E-books may be e-mailed as attachments to the HOLT Coordinator. All e-books must be provided in Kindle and ePub formats (non-DRM). Do not e-mail e-books until you have been contacted by the HOLT Coordinator and asked to do so.
- E-book entries are limited to the first 200 e-book entries accepted, after which only print books will be accepted. Notice of when the e-book limit has been reached will be indicated on the website here and the e-book format selection will no longer be available on the entry form.
- E-books are encouraged for international entries. Print books may be shipped directly to the contest coordinator from either the publisher or an on-line book seller (such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble, etc.) to save shipping time and costs. These books do not need to be autographed.
Romance set in any period prior to and including World War II (1945).
Mainstream/Single Title Contemporary
Contemporary romance of approximately 90,000+ words; not series/category type.
Contemporary romance of 65,000 words or more. Includes series/category type.
Contemporary romance of 40,000-65,000 words. Includes series/category type.
Romance in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal/supernatural happenings are a major element of the plot. Includes single-title releases or books published within established series/category romance lines, and may represent any sub-genre listed herein.
Romance in which the suspense is a major element of the plot. Includes all sub-genres.
Romance featuring intense sexuality. May include graphic content and/or explicit language, regardless of sub-genre. Includes romantica and erotica. May be set in any place or era.
Romantic novels of 65,000+ words, in which one or more characters’ religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the developing relationship, not merely a minor element or subplot. May be set in any place or era.
Romantic novels between 40,000-65,000 words, in which one or more characters’ religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the developing relationship, not merely a minor element or subplot. May be set in any place or era.
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Novels in which the romance plays a part in the book but is not the main focus of the novel. There may or may not be a traditional happily ever after ending. (ex. urban fantasy, women’s fiction, historical fiction, etc.). Includes all sub-genres. May be set in any place or era.
Short romances of less than 40,000 words. May be included in an anthology with different authors whose stories will not be judged. Includes all sub-genres. May be set in any place or era.
Books entered in categories 1-11 may also be entered in the Bonus Categories: Best First Book and/or Best Book by a Virginia Author. No book may be entered in more than three (3) categories, with the Bonus Categories being the 2nd and/or 3rd category.
Best First Book
Includes entries from all categories listed herein, representing an author’s first published book in either print or electronic format. This also applies to all members of a collaborative writing team (i.e. this must be the first book for all co-authors). The book must also be entered in another category. The scores from that category will be used to determine the winner and merit recipients in the Best First Book category. There is a $5 additional fee to have a book considered for Best First Book.
Best Book by a Virginia Author
Author must be a current, full-time resident of Virginia. The book must also be entered in another category. The scores from that category will be used to determine the winner and merit recipients in the Best Book by a Virginia Author category. There is no additional fee to have a book considered for Best Book by a Virginia Author.
Questions? E-mail any questions to HOLTMedallion@gmail.com