Desert Rose RWA is proud to present the 2018 Diamonds in the Desert Contest! Our multi-page scoresheet provides feedback on those crucial opening pages, with category-specific sections to offer the best bang for your buck.
How Do I Enter?
After reading the rest of the rules/requirements, you can enter here. The link will open in a new window and take you to the RWA website to register.
Who Can Submit?
Diamonds in the Desert is open to all unpublished and published authors.
No member of the Diamonds in the Desert Committee is eligible to enter.
What Can be Submitted?
A pitch blurb and the first 25 pages of any unpublished work of romantic fiction. Works should have a total length of at least 40,000 words and should not be under contract as of the contest deadline of March 16, 2018.
Note: Self-published work is published and, thus, is not eligible for entry in the Diamonds in the Desert Contest. If your entry comes under contract by the contest deadline, you must notify the Contest Coordinator; your entry will be returned and your entry fee refunded.
|Desert Rose members||$20|
2018 Diamonds in the Desert Contest Schedule
February 1, 2018 – Contest opens for submissions
March 16, 2018 – Contest closes for submissions at 11:59pm MST; all entries and payments must be received by this time
April 30, 2018 – Finalists notified
June 15, 2018 – Winners notified
June 18, 2018 – Full list of Winners and Finalists posted to the Diamonds in the Desert Contest page
2018 Diamonds in the Desert Contest Rules
- All entries MUST contain romantic elements
- Entries must be submitted electronically as .doc or .docx files. All entry elements must be contained within one document.
- An entry shall consist of a pitch blurb followed by no more than the first 25 pages of your manuscript. The pitch blurb should be on a page by itself.
- Finalists will be asked to provide a 1-2 page synopsis to accompany their entry into the final round. The synopsis should start on a new page at the end of the manuscript pages.
- The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the entry.
- Entrants may submit as many entries as they wish.
- A separate entry fee must accompany each entry.
- A category must receive at least 5 entries to be viable. If a category does not receive enough entries to be viable, entrants will be offered the opportunity to move their entries to an alternate category or receive a refund.
- Judges are not eligible to judge any category in which they are entered.
- Any entry that violates the above rules will be disqualified.
- Any entry deemed by the Desert Rose Executive Board to have been plagiarized in part or in whole will be disqualified.
- Any entry containing abuse, rape, bestiality, pedophilia, or other illegal, non-consensual or objectionable practices will be disqualified for content at the discretion of the Desert Rose Executive Board.
- No refund shall be provided for any disqualified entries.
When formatting your entry for submission, please adhere to industry standards:
- 1” margins
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- title and category on top left of page, page number on top right of page
- each chapter should start on a new page, 1/3 of the way down the page
- no illustrations, author bio or photo, vocabulary lists, or footnotes
2018 Diamonds in the Desert Contest Categories
Contemporary Series: Manuscripts that are set from 1950 to the present that have a total length of less than 65,000 words.
Single Title Contemporary: Manuscripts that are set from 1950 to the present that have a total length of 65,000 words or greater.
Historical: Manuscripts that are set prior to 1950.
Paranormal/Fantasy: Manuscripts that take place in fantasy worlds and/or in which paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.
Romantic Suspense: Manuscripts in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements are an integral part of the plot.
Science Fiction/Futuristic: Manuscripts that take place in futuristic worlds and/or in which science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.
Young Adult/New Adult: Manuscripts in which young adult or new adult life is an integral part of the plot. Main characters tend to be between the ages of 14 and 18 for Young Adult and between 18 and 25 for New Adult.
All categories are open to any heat level.
We accept LGBT entries in all categories.
- All entries will be reviewed by three (3) experienced judges in the preliminary round. The lowest of these scores will be dropped and the two remaining scores will be averaged to calculate the final score for the preliminary round.
- The three manuscripts per category with the highest scores will advance to the final round.
- Finalist entries will be reviewed by an agent and an editor.
- Desert Rose cannot guarantee commentary on every entry, but we strongly encourage our preliminary-round judges to provide positive, constructive feedback both on the scoresheet and within the entry itself. However, judges will remain anonymous.
No member of the Diamonds in the Desert Committee is eligible to judge.
|Contemporary Series||Latoya Smith, Agent, Lori Perkins Agency|
|Michelle Klayman, Editor, President, CEO Borough Publishing Group|
|Single Title Contemporary||Suzie Townsend, Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media Inc.|
|Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief, The Wild Rose Press|
|Historical||Sarah Younger, Agent, Nancy Yost Literary Agency|
|Jennie Conway, Editorial Assistant, St. Martin’s Press|
|Paranormal/ Fantasy||Kate Richards, Decadent Publishing|
|Melissa Singer, Senior Editor, Tor|
|Romantic Suspense||Stacey Donaghy, Primary Agent and Founder, Donaghy Literary Group|
|Gail Delaney, Editor-in-Chief, Desert Breeze Publishing|
|Sci Fi/ Futuristic||Brittany Lavery, Assistant Editor, HQN|
|Lance Taubold, Editor, 13Thirty Books|
|Young Adult/ New Adult||Laura Bradford, Agent, Bradford Literary Group|
|Annie Berger, Editor, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Sourcebooks Fire|
Ready to Enter?
Click here. The link will open in a new window and take you to the RWA website to complete registration and payment. Once you have completed your registration, email your submission pages to the Diamonds in the Desert Contest Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need more Info?
Please contact the Diamonds in the Desert Contest Coordinator at email@example.com.