Contest Rules & Submission Guidelines

Contest Rules

  1. Entries will be accepted between August 1 – September 10, 2022. No entry will be accepted prior to August 1, 2022. 
  2. Entries must be adult romantic fiction novels or novellas. Children’s books are not accepted.
  3. Entrants may submit no more than two (2) entries per category; however, a fee is required for each entry ($20 USD per entry for non-MMRWA members/$15 USD for second entry; $15 USD per entry for MMRWA members/$10 USD for second entry). 
  4. RWA membership is NOT required to enter the contest.
  5. Past Best Banter contest entries may not be resubmitted, regardless of category. 
  6. Each entry is limited to a maximum of 1500 words. 
  7. A 250-word lead-in summary of the scene is permitted. This summary will not be judged and does not count toward the 1500-word limit. 
  8. Entry must contain dialogue.
  9. One scene per entry.
  10. After paying your entry fee(s) via PayPal, complete the entry form. 
  11. All electronic submissions should be sent as an attachment via the instructions on the website registration form. The subject line should include "Best Banter Contest Entry - [Entry Category]".
  12. Submission must be sent at the time of entry. Failure to submit an entry at that time will result in forfeiture of the entry fee.
  13. The top three (3) finalists in each category are determined by averaging each entry’s scores and the highest-scoring submissions advance to the next round. In the event of a tie during first-round judging, a fourth judge will be brought in to break the tie. All judging is confidential.
  14. The contest coordinators and committee reserve the right to close any category with fewer than five (5) entries. Payments will be refunded. 
  15. Author eligibility:
    • Unpublished
      • The author has never been traditional, self, or hybrid published.
      • The author's work-in-progress has not and will not be contracted, previously published, printed, and/or either partially or fully posted in any form or format visible to the public or made available for distribution for publication before the contest deadline at midnight on September 10, 2022.
    • Previously Published
      • Traditional, self, or hybrid published authors may submit works-in-progress only; no published work will be accepted.
  16. Entries that violate our Anti-Discrimination Policy (found on our Submission Form page) will not be accepted.
  17. The MMRWA Board of Directors will resolve any disputes that may arise; its decision will be final.
  18. No questions will be answered 24 hours prior to the close of the contest.

Submission Guidelines

  1. 12-pt. font (only Courier, Times News Roman, or Arial are accepted).
  2. The document should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins.
  3. Microsoft Word document or RTF format accepted.
  4. Each entry is limited to a maximum of 1500 words. 
  5. A 250-word lead-in summary of the scene is permitted. This summary will not be judged and does not count toward the 1500-word limit. 
  6. The author’s name or personal information may not appear anywhere on the submission. 
  7. The author must complete each step of the entry process at the same time, i.e. submit work at the time of entry.
  8. Submission must be an attachment to the entry, and not in the body of the email.
  9. The first line of the submission should contain the name of the category entered. For example, Published - Fred scoffed at Nancy, “Do you really think that little of me?”...
  10. All entries and payments must be received by midnight on September 10, 2022 (EDT).
  11. Failure to adhere to the above contest rules and guidelines may disqualify the entry without a refund.