September 16th, 2008

Wake up, Contest Coordinator! *poke poke*

I received three e-mails yesterday from potential entrants in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Usually I don't even think about this contest until October, but I guess we are just this famous/fancy now, and I have to wake up and put on my Contest Coordinator hat. *yawn* And clean my laundry room, which serves as Contest Central.

I may joke about our low-tech process of handling entries and sending them to judges (that low-tech process would be ME). I might even post photos of my complex sorting system (laundry baskets) or my army of assistants (postal workers rolling their eyes at me). However, low-tech though it may be, this is a prestigious contest and a wonderful way to get your work in the hands of the folks who judge for us: booksellers, librarians, and very serious voracious romance fans. It's also one of the few pubbed RWA chapter contests with a YA category. Our winner last year was YARWA Madame President herself, rclementmoore.

So please share this post with your pubbed friends and let everyone know that JENNIFER AWAKES! IT'S ALIVE!!!

(Btw, we've also added a YA category to our unpubbed contest, the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. The coordinator of that contest is Barbara the Awesome YA Librarian. Check out Southern Magic's web site for more info.)


2009 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romance fiction. The contest is judged by avid readers of romance, booksellers, and librarians. The winners of each category are awarded a bookmark engraved with the author’s name and the book’s title. Winners will also be included in a full-page RWR advertisement.

Eligibility: Participation is open to all published authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction. Books must have a copyright of 2008. Entries must be received by January 15, 2009. Electronic books may be entered provided they are printed and bound with a copyright page produced by the publisher.

Entry fee: $20 for first book; $15 for subsequent books.

Author must provide three copies of the entered book, which will not be returned. Finalists will be notified in March 2009. All finalists receive a certificate. Winners receive an engraved bookmark and inclusion in full page RWR ad. Authors may enter more than one novel; however, the same novel may not be entered in multiple categories. If a category does not receive at least 5 entries, the category will be canceled, and the entrants’ books and entry fees will be returned.

Categories for entry:

Series Contemporary
Single Title Romantic Suspense
Series Romantic Suspense
Paranormal/Fantasy/ Futuristic/Time Travel
Contemporary Single Title
Young Adult
Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)

Judging: All entries are judged by avid readers of romance, booksellers, and librarians. The top two scores are added to form the final score. The lowest score is dropped. Ties are broken using the dropped low score. After the dropped low score is used, if there is still a tie for first place, authors will be asked to send two additional copies of the book to break the tie. Failure of the author to supply these copies in a timely manner will result in forfeiture of the win.

Books are given to the judges as a “thank you” for judging. They are not returned. Scores and finalist placement are not revealed. Score sheets are not returned. The decision of the judges is final.

Send entries (three copies of book, entry form + entry fee) to:

Jennifer Echols
Contest Coordinator
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence
P.O. Box 190032
Birmingham, AL 35219

Make checks payable to Southern Magic, or visit our web site to pay using PayPal.


Find details, past winners, and a downloadable entry form at