IFW CONTEST RULES
Any original, unpublished piece not under contract with a publisher at the time of submission is eligible. Submissions must follow rules below to be considered for a prize.
- Each entry must be accompanied by a non-refundable reading fee of $19 (credit card or debit card).
- The entry fee will also entitle you to free entry to an instructional and educational webinar with the judge of the contest to be held after the winners have been chosen. You will have access to the replay for a limited time as well. Non-entrants must pay for their ticket to the webinar.
- Entries are submitted online: We have developed a safe and secure web page for your contest submission. It is easy to use.
- An “unpublished piece” means not published anywhere as of yet. Published work includes anything from your own blog, someone else’s, or through a magazine or book. The idea is to get you writing, stretching, and following submission guidelines with a new piece of writing.
Click the button at the bottom of this page to register and pay the $19 reading fee.
You can enter as many times as you want, but each manuscript must be entered individually with its own reading fee.
How It Works
After your purchase, you will be sent a welcome email with a link to the submission page.
Check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.
You can submit your entry anytime before the deadline of the contest.
If you purchase your entry on the last day the contest is open, you will need to submit your entry that day.
- When your manuscript is ready, use the submission form linked in the welcome email to upload your entry.
- We cannot return submissions; please retain a copy of your manuscript.
- All submissions must meet the entry deadline outlined in the contest.
- Entries must be typed double-spaced.
- Entries should be text only and may not include illustrations or photographs.
- No cover page is required for this contest. Each page should have a page number in the lower right corner.
- Proofread your entry before submitting. Follow these contest rules, just as you would follow a publisher’s submission guidelines.
- Entering this contest means you acknowledge and agree that, if you place in this contest, IFW may read aloud and critique your entry during the Winners Workshop where the winners will be announced. In addition, any positive comments made in the chat or about the webinar may be used as testimonials.
- Your contest entry may be used to qualify you for other courses and products from the Institute of Children’s Literature/Institute for Writers.
- The contest is open to writers 18-years-old and up. No minors may enter the contest.
- A list of past winners can be found here.
Winners & Rights
How to Format Your Work
- Your entry must have a title.
- Double space your manuscript.
- Margins should be one inch all around.
- Use Times New Roman or Courier, 12-point font.
- Include your first and last name in the upper left corner of every page. (Do not include any other contact information on your manuscript.)
- Word count only goes on first page and should be located in the upper left corner under your name.
- Number all pages in the lower right corner.
- Check the current contest’s rules at the bottom of this page for the proper naming convention of your document.
- Do not include a cover page with your entry.
- Submissions will only be accepted as a PDF or Word document.
Here is a sample entry:
Specific Rules for the Contemporary Romance First Pages Contest
- Entries must be no more than 1,000 words.
- Entries must be a romance set in the present day.
- Entries must have a title.
- Entries should be aimed at an adult audience: 18 years old and up. (No YA.)
- No sexually explicit, pornographic, or gratuitously violent entries will be accepted.
- Please save your document as follows: YourFirstName_YourLastName_Romance_Contest.doc (or .pdf). If you have more than one entry, please add a 1, 2, 3, etc. to the end.
- Entries must be submitted via our online form by the extended deadline of midnight Pacific Time on January 31, 2024.
- There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
- You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
- Add our email address (email@example.com) to your list of contacts and/or safe senders so you can receive the email with the free entry information to our online workshop where we announce the winners. (Non-entrants pay $7.)