Realizing the Dream Rules

The Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter of RWA® presents

The 2017 Realizing the Dream Contest

Offered exclusively to Desert Dreams Conference Attendees

Contest Rules

Open to both Unpublished and Published Authors
[The entry must be uncontracted and unpublished at the time of submission.]

The Submission Period: February 15, 2017 to April 30, 2017
Entry Limit: First 50 Entries

Entry Fee: $15.00

Number of Entries: One Entry per Conference Attendee

Categories: Entrants are asked to designate the category on the registration form for judges’ information only. A one-page unjudged synopsis is required for the same purposes.

Judging: Each entry will be judged twice by Agents and/or Editors attending the 2017 Desert Dreams Conference. Entries will be judged anonymously. Judges will also be instructed to destroy all entries upon completion of judging.

Please note that wide variations in scores are possible. One of the purposes of this contest is to receive the candid and experienced opinions of agents and editors. If wide variations in scoring occur, there will be no additional judging. Checking the appropriate box where indicated is acknowledgement and acceptance of these rules.

Attending Agents and Editors:
Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Gail Delaney, Desert Breeze
Michelle Klayman, Boroughs
Val Mann, Decadent Publishing
Renee Nyen, KT Literary
Rhonda Penders, Wild Rose Press
Kate Richards, Decadent Publishing
Kathleen Scheibling, Harlequin
Melissa Singer, Tor
Lance Taubold, 13Thirty Books

Finalists: The Top Three Entries will be designated Realizing the Dream Contest Finalists and notified of their status prior to the Desert Dreams Conference.

Winners: First, Second and Third Place Entries will be announced and framed certificates presented at the Conference Awards Gala on June 3, 2017. First place will receive a $50 Check. All three Finalists will receive an appointment with an Agent or Editor of their choice during the regular agent/editor scheduled blocks during the conference.

Scoresheets: Each Entrant will receive their completed Scoresheets the night of the Conference Awards Gala from Valen Cox [], the 2017 Realizing the Dream Contest Coordinator to pick them up. See Scoresheet here.

Entry Guidelines

Entry: The First Ten Manuscript Pages, a One Page Unjudged Synopsis, and a Cover Sheet as designated below [12 pages total--Manuscript Pages & Synopsis to be submitted in ONE Word file​ and the ​Cover Sheet in ​a ​​SECOND Word file--TWO separate word files] 


  • Times New Roman
  • 12-point font
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double Spaced
  • Headers—Category on the RIGHT; Title and Page Number on the RIGHT
    • [re: Historical, Mystery Suspense, Paranormal, Contemporary, etc.]
  • No Footers
  • Manuscripts must be Word format (.doc or .docx)
  • Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript or synopsis
  • Entries that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified. Entry fees will not be refunded.

Cover Sheet: Submit a separate Cover Sheet with the following information with each entry

  • Title
  • First Line of Manuscript
  • Author’s Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Category for Submission
  • Approximate Word Count for the Completed Book

To Enter: The 2017 Realizing the Dream Entry Form is here.
To Submit: Entries must be emailed between February 15, 2017 and April 30, 2017 to:

Valen Cox
2017 Realizing the Dream Contest Coordinator

Acknowledgement of Entry Receipt will be sent.