2016 Four Seasons Contest

Windy City Presents:

The 2016 Four Season’s Romance Writer Contest

***Garnered TEN manuscript Requests In 2015!***

Eligibility requirements:

The Four Seasons Contest is open to both unpublished and published authors. Unpublished authors may enter any category. Published authors may enter any category in which they’ve not been contracted or published for three years in any novel-length work of fiction (40,000 + words) in any format (e-book, mass market, etc) to include self-published works. The contest is open to RWA and non-RWA members. Windy City members are not eligible to enter.

Past Four Seasons Winners are eligible to enter a manuscript that has not previously won the Four Seasons Contest.

Submission Guidelines:

Entries must be the first 25 pages of your manuscript in RTF (rich text format). Electronic entries only. Standard industry formatting rules apply: one inch margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 or 14 or Courier 12. Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Please do NOT include a synopsis. Entries in all categories must be Romantic Fiction. Short stories, nonfiction, and fiction in genres other than romance will not be accepted. Non-compliance with any of the above rules may result in disqualification. By submitting to Windy City’s Four Seasons Contest you are giving consent to Windy City to be able to use your name (or chosen pen name) on social media (facebook, Twitter, website, etc).


  • Historical Romance
  • Single Title Contemporary Romance
  • Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal Romance
  • Young Adult Romance
  • Inspirational Romance
  • Romantic Suspense

2016 Final Judges:

Editor: Kristine E. Swartz,  Berkeley Publishing Group
Agent: Terrie Wolf, AKA Literary Agency

Single Title Contemporary
Editor: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks.
Agent: Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch Literary Services

Editor: Deborah Nemeth, Carina Press
Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Agency

Young Adult
Editor: Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge
Agent: Marisa A. Corvisiero, Corvisiero Agency

Editor: Elizabeth Mazer, Harlequin Love Inspired
Agent: Lane Heymont, Tobias Agency

Romantic Suspense
Editor: Brittany Lavery, Harlequin
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Agency


$25.00 (U.S. funds) per RWA member entry, $30 per non-RWA member entry. Payment will be accepted via PayPal or check payable to Windy City RWA. Send payments to: Windy City RWA, PO Box 3523, Lisle IL 60532. Fees are non-refundable.

Contest Deadline:

Entries will be accepted starting July 31, 2016 and must be received by midnight October 10, 2016.


First Round ~ Each entry will be assigned three judges with a minimum of one being a published author from Windy City. Entries may receive a total of 100 points possible per judge and lowest score will be dropped. Judges are encouraged to make comments directly on the manuscript and scoresheets. The entrant will receive their scoresheet from each judge, as well as, their judged submission. The extent of the critique provided is at the discretion of the individual judge (note: some judges elect not to write on the actual manuscript at all).

The selected finalists are the top 4 highest scoring entries. A separate tie-breaker score is assigned by each judge. In the event of a tie, the assigned score shall be tallied and the entry with highest number of tie-breaker points will place. Non-finalist scores are not ranked and will not be given to participants.

Finalists will be notified by November 10, 2016.

To view the 2016 Scoresheet, click the following link:  fourseasonscoresheet_firstround2016

Final Round ~ The top four finalists in each category will be assigned one editor and one agent. The final round judge scores the entries in her/his respective categories. The entry with the highest combined score is the chosen category winner. ***Final Round Judges subject to change without prior notice***

Prizes: TBA

Winners will be notified by December 20, 2016.




Please direct questions to:  Kelly Garcia at kdgarcia2222@gmail.com