Best Banter Contest

Congratulations 2019 Best Banter Contest Winners!

Published Contemporary

  1. Sara Whitney - Flipped Heart
  2. Anna DePalo - One Perfect Date
  3. Jayne Denker - Husband Material

Unpublished Contemporary

  1. Margot Pierce - Heartline
  2. Lauren Accardo - Wild Love
  3. Meghan K. Stuart - Exist Again

Unpublished Otherworldly

  1. M.K. Stone - State of Never Being
  2. RR Taylor - Monster Crush
  3. Kathy Rich - Hunted

2019 Best Banter Contest is now closed.

Entry Period: August 1 - September 10 (midnight ET)

Six categories:

  1. Unpublished Contemporary
  2. Published Contemporary
  3. Unpublished Historical
  4. Published Historical
  5. Unpublished Otherworldly
  6. Published Otherworldly

(Otherworldly includes Paranormal,  Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel, and Steampunk)

Published and unpublished authors will be judged separately.

All entrants will receive a first-round critique with comments from published authors or RWA PRO members.

Finalists will have their work read and judged by a top industry agent or editor, and will receive a "Finalist" badge to display on their websites and social media pages.

Winners' names and entry titles will be listed in RWA's Romance Writers Report "Contest Winners" section. They'll also receive a "Winner" badge to display on their websites and social media pages.

What Is Banter?


  1. the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks."There was much singing and good-natured banter."


  1. talk or exchange remarks in a good-humored teasing way. 'The men bantered with the waitresses."

For the purposes of this contest, banter is the back-and-forth dialogue between two or more characters. It doesn't need to be between the hero and heroine; it can be a dialogue between secondary characters or a lead character with one or more secondary characters.


  • First-round judges are RWA general, PRO, and PAN members.
  • For any score given under three (3), judges are required to provide constructive feedback as to the reason for that score.
  • Final round judges are agents and editors.
  • Judges' decisions are final.

2019 Final Round Judges - The 2020 final judges will be announced soon. 

  • Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Unpublished Contemporary
  • Tara Gelsomino, One Track Literary Agency - Published Contemporary
  • Julie Sturgeon, CEO Editor - Unpublished Historical
  • Mary Altman, Senior Editor, Sourcebooks Casablanca - Published Historical
  • Kaycee John, Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Unpublished Otherworldly
  • Ally Robertson, Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Published Otherworldly

Questions? Email