2020 Best Banter Contest – Canceled

After much deliberation between our contest committee and our chapter Board, we have unfortunately decided to cancel our 2020 contest due to the low number of entries. Many factors went into this decision and it was not an easy one.

We apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate the entries we did receive. Refunds via PayPal will be issued by our treasurer in a timely manner. 

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact our Contest Coordinator at mmrwabestbantercontest@gmail.com

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 Unpublished Contemporary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 Unpublished Historical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 Unpublished Otherworldly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Published and unpublished authors will be judged separately.

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.

2020 Final Round Judges

  • Leanne Morgena - Senior Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Unpublished Contemporary
  • Ally Robertson - Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Otherworldly, Published and Unpublished
  • Kaycee John - Editor, The Wild Rose Press - Published Contemporary, Published Historical
  • Julie Sturgeon - Editor - CEOEditor - Unpublished Historical
Questions? Email mmrwabestbantercontest@gmail.com