Categories focus on what is found within the entry itself. Category elements should be apparent in the first 20 pages, otherwise the judges can not adequately score the entry. Please review the category scoresheets for more insight into how your entry will be judged.
If you are unclear on which category to enter your manuscript entry, please see our Submission Decisions chart.
The Finalist Judges are two experienced judges, an editor and an agent.
Novel length refers to stories of 40,000 words or more.
The Emily Contest Categories
Contemporary Single Title includes romance novels of 75,000 words or more, set in contemporary times, in which the romance is the main plot line.
♥ Agent -Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management
♥ Editor – Katherine Pelz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Contemporary Series includes romance novels under 75,000 words, set in contemporary times, in which the romance is the main plotline.
♥ Agent – Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency
♥ Editor – Susan Litman, Harlequin Enterprises
Erotic Romance includes romance novels in which erotic elements constitute an integral part of the plot and may focus beyond the standard, one male-one female relationship.
♥ Agent – Roberta Brown, Brown Literary Agency
♥ Editor – Chelsey Emmelhainz, Editorial Asst. Avon Harper Collins
Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal includes romance novels in which paranormal elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
♥ Agent – Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agenc
♥ Editor – Jennifer Lawler, Crimson Romance /Adam’s Media
Historical Romance includes romance novels set prior to 1950.
♥ Agent – Jessica Alvarez, Bookends, LLC
♥ Editor – Leah Hultenschmid, Sourcebooks Fire Casablanca.
Novel with Elements of Romance includes Women’s Fiction and all Popular Fiction (mainstream and genre) in which a romantic relationship constitutes an important thread of the plot and adds emotional depth. This category is not appropriate for Young Adult, Erotic Romance, or “classic” Romance novels.
♥ Agent – Suzie Townsend, Nancy Coffee Literary &Media Rep
♥ Editor – Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Romantic Suspense includes romance novels in which the romance is the main focus but is integrated with suspense, mystery, or thriller elements.
♥ Agent – Karen Solem, Spencerhill Literary
♥ Editor – Patience Bloom, Harlequin Enterprises Romantic Suspense
Young Adult includes romance and non-romance novels geared toward readers 12 – 18, and feature protagonists of the same age group.
♥ Agent – Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Larsen Pomoda Literary Agents
♥ Editor – Aubrey Poole, Associate Editor, Sourcebooks
Best of the Best is a competition between the first place winners of each category. The winner will receive $100.
Best of the Best Judge:
♥ Bookseller – Karla Hodde, Katy Budget Books