Beacon Contest is open

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First Coast Romance Writers invites you to enter the Beacon Contest for unpublished romantic fiction. The Beacon judges provide valuable feedback and in past years final round judges have made multiple requests for full and partial manuscripts.

The contest runs August 1-31 and is limited to the first 125 entries received. Open to all authors of romantic fiction. Published authors are eligible to enter any category in which they have not been contracted and/or published in book length fiction (40,000 words and over) in the last 3 years.  (Self-published authors are considered published.) Finalists announced by October 15th (All finalists will have an opportunity revise their entries before the final round.) Winners announced by December 15th. First place in each category receives a Beacon Lapel Pin. All finalists and winners receive a certificate, and of course – BRAGGING RIGHTS!

2015 Judges

Category Length Romance Agent: TBA Editor: TBA
Contemporary  Romance Agent: Rebecca Strauss–De Fiore & Co. Literary Agency Editor:  Elizabeth Poteet–St. Martin’s Press
Erotic Romance Agent:  Sara Megibow-KT Literary Editor: Kristine Swartz-Berkley
Historical Romance Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan-Sanford J. Greenburger Editor: Madeline Colevita-Grand Central Publishing
Inspirational Romance Agent: Melissa Jeglinski–The Knight Agency Editor: Shana Asaro–Harlequin Love Inspired
Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Romance Agent: Nalini Akolekar- Spencerhiill Associates Editor: Candace Havens–Entangled Publishing
Romantic Elements Agent: Nalini Akolekar–Spencerhill Associates Editor: TBA
Romantic Suspense Agent: Beth Miller-Writers House Literary Agency Editor: Rebecca Lucash–Harper Collins
Young Adult Romance Agent: Laura Bradford-The Bradford Agency Agency Editor: TBA

Final round judges are subject to change when unavoidable.

First Coast Romance Writers Unpublished Beacon contest:

  •    All entries will be judged by two trained judges. At least one of them will be a published author.
  •    Each finalist will be judged by some of the top editors and agents in the romance industry.
  •    Finalists will have an opportunity to revise the contest entry based on judges’ comments before the final round.
  •    Each entrant will receive their overall ranking compared to other entrants in their category.
  •    Our 2015_Beacon_Unpublished_Scoresheet is designed to provide detailed critique and feedback

Fee: $25 FCRW members, $30 RWA member (not FCRW), $35 non-RWA member

The entry will consist of the first 25 pages of the manuscript. The entrant may also include an optional 5 page synopsis for a maximum of 30 pages. (Synopsis will not be judged.) The Beacon accepts electronic entries only.

For more information go to


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