2018 Four Seasons Contest

Windy City Presents:

The 2018 Four Season’s Romance Writer Contest


2018 Four Seasons Winners

Contemporary Romance:
Rough Around the Edges – Margot Pierce

Fantasy/Future/Paranormal Romance:
Half Life – Michelle Dayton

Historical Romance:
How to Court a Covert Lady – Jennifer Henderson

Romantic Suspense:
Ashes and Dust – K. Marie Carr

Young Adult Romance:
The Nascent Bloom – Janet Raye Stevens

Thank you to all who entered and made our contest a success.

2018 Four Seasons Finalists

Windy City Romance Writers is thrilled to announce our 2018 Four Seasons contest finalists! We had a strong turnout for this contest and an excellent selection of entries. Thank you to all the writers who graciously trusted our chapter with your entries.

Single Title

Silver Bells Are Ringing – Elizabeth Janette

North Star – Katherine A. Olson

Trials of Job – Miranda Darrow

Rough Around the Edges – Margot Pierce



Hex, Love, and Rock and Roll – Kat Turner

The Brass Queen – Elizabeth Chatsworth

Blodwyn’s Redemption – Christa Bedwin

Half Life – Michelle Dayton



How to Court a Covert Lady – Jennifer Henderson

Shining Star – Fiona Marsden

The Revolutionary and the Rogue – Blake Ferre


Romantic Suspense

Fangs Not Include – Farrah Blake

Ashes and Dust – Kathryn Carr w/a K. Marie Carr

Dead Wrong – L.G. O’Connor

Dirty Money – Monique Headley


Young Adult

Locusts – Lorna Eifflaender

What Would A Wonder Woman Do – Wendy Eire

The Nascent Bloom – Janet Raye Stevens

My So-Called Life Story – Riki Cleveland

***Entries are now closed***

Eligibility requirements:

The Four Seasons Contest is open to both unpublished and published authors. Members of Windy City RWA are not eligible. Unpublished authors may enter any category.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). See below for submission link.


  • Historical Romance
  • Single Title Contemporary Romance
  • Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal Romance
  • Young Adult Romance
  • Inspirational Romance (category cancelled due to low entries)
  • Romantic Suspense

Editor: Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
Agent: Terrie Wolf, AKA Literary Management

Single Title Contemporary
Editor: Candace Havens, Entangled (updated final judge)
Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary

Editor:  Mackenzie Walton, Carina Press
Agent: Courtney Miller-Callahan, Handspun Literary Agency

Young Adult
Editor: Lydia Sharp, Entangled Teen (updated final judge)
Agent: Joanna Mackenzie, Nelson Literary

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


$25.00 (U.S. funds) per RWA member entry, $35 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 1, 2018 through midnight August 3, 2018.


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.

To view the 2017 Scoresheet, click the following link:  fourseasonscoresheet_firstround2017

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***

Winners will be notified by: November 1, 2018

Please direct questions to: Vanessa Knight at vanessa@vanessamknight.com