The First Coast Romance Writer’s Beacon Contest

So sue me, I’m gonna use my blog to promote the contest for my local RWA chapter. Oh, and I’m coordinating it too! You’ve still got just under two weeks to enter and we’re low on entries thus far. Don’t lose out on your chance to get your work before some awesome editors and agents!

Permission to forward granted and encouraged!
Hear ye, Hear ye!
Is your manuscript ready to submit? Are you looking for a contest with a track record of success?

Or are you wondering how to get your work in front of prestigious agents and editors?

Wonder no longer. The Unpublished Beacon Contest can help!

In the past five years, nine of our finalists have gone on to become Golden Heart Finalists and four of them have sold the finaling manuscript! Last year, there were ten (10) requests from our finalists for partial or full manuscripts from some of the best editors and agents in the industry. In 2011, TWO finalists found their agents through our contest! This year it could be YOU!

Judges: First round will be judged by at least one published author and one trained judge.


Final round will be judged by either two editors or one editor and one agent in each category.


Finalists will have an opportunity to revise based on judges’ comments before the final round.

Final round judges are subject to change when unavoidable.

Rules *

THE BEACON—Unpublished Division Contest for 2013—accepting entries August 1-31, 2013.

All finalists notified the week of October 22, 2013.

Feedback will be sent to all entrants by Oct. 31st, in time to prep for the Golden Heart®!

Winners announced the week of December 15.

Eligibility: 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.)

RWA membership is not required for entry. Contest is limited to the first 125 entries.

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

Our Beacon_Scoresheet_Sample is designed to provide detailed critique and feedback. Per RWA rules, this contest will NOT be extended past the midnight on 8/31/13 barring acts of natural and manmade disaster including but not limited to hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. *For a complete list of rules and to register for the contest visit


Contemporary Series Romance
Agent:   Marisa Corvisiero, Corvisiero Literary Agency
Editor:  Christina Brower, NAL/Penguin Group Publishing

Erotic Romance

Agent:   Beth Miller, Writers House, LLC
Editor:  Linda Ingmanson, Samhain Publishing

Historical/Regency Romance

Agent:   Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Editor:  Elizabeth Poteet, St. Martin’s Press

Inspirational Romance

Agent:  Mary Sue Seymour, Seymour Agency
Editor:  Shana Smith, Harlequin Love Inspired

Fantasy, Futuristic, or Paranormal Romance
Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Inc.
Editor: Kerri-Leigh Grady, Entangled Publishing


Romantic Suspense
Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
Editor: Allison Lyons, Harlequin Intrigue

Single Title Contemporary Romance

Agent:  Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore & Co.
Editor:  Kate Dresser, Harlequin

Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit or Mainstream Romance
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency
Editor: Leis Pederson, Berkley Publishing

Young Adult

Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Agency
Editor: Audrey Poole, Sourcebooks

Questions? Contact our contest chair at (that’s me, Tory, by the way!).


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