IFW Contemporary Romance First Pages Contest


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Institute for Writers presents: Contemporary Romance First Pages Contest.

For this contest, we want to see your romance first pages of 1,000 words (or less) set in present day.

Our judge will be grading entries based on these criteria:

  • A likeable, relatable heroine, smart and independent.
  • A likeable, relatable, and of course, swoon-worthy hero.
  • Clever, snappy dialogue.
  • Pacing that moves right along.
  • A hint of what brought these two together.
  • A hint of what will keep them apart.
  • A glimpse of the setting, urban, small town or exotic

Delight me, enchant me, intrigue me—your choice. Make me care about your couple and root for their Happily Ever After.

Your entry should be aimed at an adult audience.

Deadline Extended: January 31, 2024

Entrants are eligible to win up to $650!


Our judge for this contest is Lynne Smith. Lynne Smith chose Lynn Michaels for her pen name because her husband’s name is Michael. When she sold her first book he told her to never dedicate a book to him, so she stole his name instead. Lynne is the author of two novellas and 16 novels published by the likes of Avon, Dell, Fawcett, Harlequin, and Ballantine. Three of her novels were nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, the Oscar of romance writing. Her only complaint about writing is that it really cuts into her reading time. Lynne is also an instructor for the Institute for Writers where she teaches Breaking into Print and Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel.


*Link to contest submission form will be sent after purchase is completed.

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