Become a First Round

Give back to the writing community!

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We need good people!

The Gateway to the Best contest gives unpublished and self-published authors an opportunity to get honest feedback on their stories and an opportunity to, if a finalist, catch an editor's or agent's eye. 

MORWA can't offer this opportunity without support from the larger romantic fiction writers community. Each contest entry is read by a first-round judge who evaluates the manuscript on several elements central to the romantic fiction genre. Our chapter members alone can't support the number of entries we get.

What does it take to be a judge in our contest? We're looking for people knowledgeable in the romantic fiction genre (including its subgenres like historical, paranormal, young and new adult, and women's fiction) who understand the craft of writing in areas such as plot, conflict, point of view to be able to evaluate the entry against the score sheet and provide positive and constructive feedback on the entry.

Unlike other contests, we do not require you to have experience judging (because you have to start somewhere). You do have to have a willingness to learn how we want you to judge our contest and, most of all, how to be a supportive member willing to help someone else along their writing journey. 

Are you interested? Sign up now!