Contest Rules

Contest Rules

The mission of the Emily Contest is to professionally support writers and guide them along their path to publication.

Emily Benefits:

  • No synopsis!
  • Three first round judges for all entries. Lowest score dropped.
  • Finalists go to two publishing professionals: agent and editor.
  • Multiple entries allowed.
  • Open to published authors (you cannot have published in any form or length a title in your entry category during the 3 years prior to the contest deadline).

Important Dates and Fees:

  • Entry Fee: members of WHRWA – $25.00, all others – $35.00
  • Open to Entries: September 1, 2016
  • Deadline: October 2, 2016 (for the 2017 contest)
  • Finalists announced: December 17, 2016
  • Winners announced: February 11, 2017


  • First 5,600 words, end on a hook, so less may be better.  (We verify word count.)
  • Times New Roman or Courier, 12 or 14 point size, 1″ margins. Double spaced.
  • Headers must include title, category, and page number. **Do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript.**
  • See details on our six categories.
  • Save your file in “doc” (Word) or “rtf” file format.

Enter Your Submission.

Step 1: Submit Your Entry. Access our website, click on the ENTER THE EMILY tab, and follow the directions. Create a separate entry for each submission.

Step 2: Confirmation. You’ll receive a confirmation email from our online entry system plus a link with payment information.

Step 3: Payment.
PayPal, use the provided link to submit you payment.
Check, choose ‘cancel’ from the PayPal window and contact the contest coordinator Melanie Greene at for instructions.

A Few Notes

  • The Emily is open to published and unpublished writers. Unpublished authors may enter manuscripts in any category. Published authors may enter in a category in which they have not published in the past three years. Published refers to both traditionally and independently (self) published.
  • Entries must not be published in any form or under contract with a publisher at the time of entry.
  • Each manuscript may be entered only ONCE; the same manuscript may not be entered in multiple categories. However, more than one manuscript may be entered in the contest in the same category or multiple manuscripts in multiple categories.
  • Maximum for the 2017 contest is 200 total entries.
  • Every entry will be assigned at least one published author in addition to other experienced first-round judges. Judges are encouraged to be generous with commenting.
  • The lowest score will be dropped when determining finalists. Top three entries will be selected as finalists.
  • Final judging will be done by both an editor and an agent.
  • Best-of-the-Best will be determined by an industry professional from the winning entries in each category.
  • The decision of all judges is final.

Questions: Email the Emily Chair via the Contact Form or at