That “First Kiss” Contest Rules!!

First Kiss Contest Rules

Please note that failure to comply with any of the rules will disqualify the entry, resulting in a forfeit of the entry fee. For questions please write Shelley Winsor at

Are ready to share your most sensual, most passionate, most innocent, most chest-heaving, romantic first kiss? You’ve come to the right place! Santa Clarita Romance Writers is proud to announce their first contest! 

Here’s the scoop:

Cost:  $25.00 per entry


The manuscript must be a romance as defined by the following:
• A Central Love Story: The love story is the main focus of the novel.
• An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending
• All work must be the author’s original work.
• Published authors manuscript entry IS NOT published (including self-published) or contracted in novel-length fiction of 20,000 at the time the contest opens until it closes.
• The manuscript must have a projected length of 20,000 words or more.
• Entrants may enter more than one manuscript.
• Contest opens on February 14 at 9:00am (PST), 2018
• All entries must be received by 7:00 p.m. (PST) on March 21, 2018. Any entries received after this time will be returned and the entry fees forfeited.
• A maximum of 65 entries will be allowed. The contest will close early if the 65 entry cap is reached before March 21, 2018.
• Finalists will be notified on or about Wednesday, May 2nd. First round score sheets and manuscripts will be returned at this time.
• Each finalist will be given one week to make changes and submit revised manuscripts to the First Kiss contest coordinator. The deadline to submit a revised manuscript is midnight (PST)
Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
• First Kiss 2018 contest winners will be announced in June, 2018.

Entry Format

• Each submission should consist of one (1) copy of up to 3,500 words of a manuscript.
• Entries must be submitted electronically as a DOC or DOCX (MS Word) file.
• The name of the file should be the same as the manuscript title.
• A separate electronic entry form with signed waiver must be submitted for each submission. If the entry has more than one author, each author must submit an online entry form and sign
the waiver. (Note: Printed name on the online entry form constitutes an electronic signature.)
• The document title must be the title of the manuscript only.
• All entries must adhere to the following standard recommended manuscript format:

◦ 8-1/2″ x 11″ page size
◦ 1″ margins
◦ 25 lines per page

• Each page of the entry, including the first page, must include the following header:

◦ Title (upper left)
◦ Page number (upper right)



• There will be two rounds of judging
• During the preliminary round, each entry will be scored by three judges, at least one of whom is a published author
• Each entry will be scored out of a possible 100 points. The lowest score will be dropped and the two remaining scores will be added together for the Preliminary Combined Score.
• The five (5) entries with the highest Preliminary Combined Scores will advance to the Final Round. In the event of a tie, the dropped preliminary score will be added back in.
• If the finalist does not return a revised manuscript by the deadline, the original manuscript will be sent to the final round judges.
• Final round judges will rank the finalists in order from first to fifth.
• The points from all final round judges will be added together for the Final Combined Score.
• In the event of any ties in the Final Round, the Preliminary Combined Score will be used as a tie breaker.
The winning (first-place) entrant will be awarded $100. All finalists will
receive a certificate.


  • Megan Farrell – Managing editor at Tule Publishing
  • Patience Bloom – Senior editor at Harlequin
  • Ann Leslie Tuttle – Agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC.
  • More being added!

For questions please write Shelley Winsor at