The Writer 2018

Land of Enchantment Romance Authors

The Writer is a romance writer’s contest hosted by the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA). LERA is an RWA chapter that meets in Albuquerque, New Mexico the second Saturday of every month. The contest is an annual fundraiser for the LERA chapter. For more information about LERA go to

The Writer takes the place of LERA’s longtime contest The Rebecca, named in memoriam for Rebecca Gault. For more information about her and the former contest, you can find it at: 

Winner of The Writer 2018!!

Spacer’s Third Law by Christina Westcott

Mentored by Jeffe Kennedy 

Round TWO Finalists (listed alphabetically) 

Young Adult Round Two Winner
The Ascenditure by R.S. Dabney to be mentored by Darynda Jones
Romantic Suspense Round Two Winner
Baja Heat by Laurel Wetzork to be mentored by Robin Perini
Contemporary Romance Round Two Winner
Nobody Else But You by Claire Marti to be mentored by Katie Lane
Paranormal Round Two Winner
Spacer’s Third Law by Christina Westcott to be mentored by Jeffe Kennedy
Historical Romance Round Two Winner
The Wedding Ruiner by Elizabeth Everett to be mentored by Minerva Spencer 


In no particular order: 

Contemporary Romance:

  • Crocodile Tears – Kilby Blades
  • Heart-2-Heart – Candace Lucas
  • Nobody Else But You – Claire Marti

Young Adult:

  • Our Red String – Kimberly MacCarron
  • The Ascenditure – R. S. Dabney
  • Detour to You – Kimberly MacCarron

Historical Romance:

  • The Wedding Ruiner – Elizabeth Everett
  • Maiden of Dreams – Susan Varno
  • Duncan Graham’s Fallen Angel – Christina Stambaugh

Paranormal Finalists:

  • Bloodsucking Lawyer – Nadia Diament
  • Guardian Awakened – Grace Adams
  • Spacer’s Third Law – Christina Westcott

Romantic Suspense:

  • Baja Heat – Laurel Wetzork
  • Dangerous Paradise – Barbara Forlenza
  • The Storm Shall Pass – Deb Merino


  • July 1, 2018 — Contest open for submissions
  • July 31, 2018 11:59pm – Deadline for submissions. No other submissions will be accepted after this date. 
  • September 08, 2018 — Finalists notified by e-mail within the week of this date. Finalists will be posted on the LERA Website
  • September 11, 2018 — Finalists submit synopsis to “Celebrity” judges
  • September 29, 2018 — Round Two Winners Announced
  • September 29, 2018 — November 3, 2018 – “Celebrity” mentoring
  • November 10, 2018 — The Writer announced at LERA meeting with announcement in RWR e-notes


Authors of all races, colors, ethnicities, national origins, ages, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, disabilities, physical appearances, body sizes, and religions are welcome to enter, regardless of published or unpublished status. Contest entry may not be contracted or published in any form when entered. 


One finalist from each category will have:

  • The opportunity to work with and be mentored by the celebrity judge in their category.

The grand prize winner, THE WRITER, will receive:

  • Possible networking and marketing with industry contacts (editors, agents, publishers) business advice, etc. 
  • Winner announced in the RWA e-notes and in the RWR monthly publication.
  • A badge to promote their win on their personal website. 
  • An announcement banner on the LERA’s website. 
  • Full support and promotion from LERA chapter upon publication. 


Katie Lane–Contemporary Romance

Jeffe Kennedy–Paranormal/Science Fiction/Urban/Speculative/Fantasy

Robin Perini–Romantic Suspense

Minerva Spencer–Historical Romance

Darynda Jones–Young Adult


Enter the opening five thousand (5,000) words of romance novels of the given sub-genres. Entries should include the title only and not the author’s name at any point in the document. Standard manuscript format (1” margins, double spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font) is preferred. 5,000 words is determined by computer word count. The contest committee recommends that authors cut off text at the end of a complete sentence, even if that word count falls short of exactly 5,000.

All submissions should include romance or romantic elements with an HEA/HFN ending. All pairings accepted. All heat levels accepted.

***Please note: NO pedophilia (sex between an adult and a character 13 years old and younger), bestiality (this does not include shifters), necrophilia, rape, or incest used as titillation will be accepted. Also, no sex scenes that involve underage characters except as a flashback or memory or “off stage,” and only as long as the scene is in no way told as part of a titillating sequence.


The excerpt should be provided in Microsoft Word or .rtf format.

Please name the file in this format:
[Titleofwork]-[subgenre initials].docx
or [Titleofwork]-[subgenre initials].doc
or [Titleofwork]-[subgenre initials].rtf



CR — Contemporary Romance

PN — Paranormal/Science Fiction/Urban/Speculative/Fantasy

RS — Romantic Suspense

HR — Historical Romance (before 1940)

YA — Young Adult


  1. Contest opens July 1, 2018.
  2. Entries may be neither contracted nor published in any format at time of entry.
  3. If a category must be dropped due to insufficient entries (7 or less), contestants will be notified and allowed to either withdraw (with refund) or move the entry to another category with no penalty.
  4. Contest deadline is July 31, 2018 11:59pm. Entry must be received no later than that date. No entries will be accepted after that point.
  5. Once a manuscript is accepted for entry in the contest, there will be no refund.
  6. Round One finalists will be the top three (3) entries in each category. LERA members will determine finalist status. The LERA review team will include at least one published author. The review team score sheets will be made available to authors along with any feedback provided.
  7. Round One finalists will be announced on or around September 08, 2018.
  8. Round One finalists will be contacted and asked to provide a one (1) page synopsis that describes the entire story to the end due by e-mail within three (3) days of notification (September 11, 2018). This synopsis may be included with the initial entry, but is not required and will not be read by the first round judges.
  9. Winners of the subgenre categories will be determined by the “celebrity” author judges.
  10. These winners will be contacted and will work with their celebrity judges on their manuscript submission to make any changes agreed upon.
  11. The category winner manuscripts will then be resubmitted to the membership for a final vote to determine “The Writer” by November 03, 2018.
  12. The final winner, The Writer, will be announced on the LERA webpage and at the LERA Meeting, scheduled for November 10, 2018. The Writer will receive support from the entire chapter to assist in the winning manuscript’s success, including industry connections for traditional publishing and/or marketing in the case of self-publishing.
  13. Entry in The Writer/Rebecca Contest constitutes agreement by the author to conform to all contest rules, abide by the decision of the judges, and hold blameless the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors, The Rebecca Contest Coordinators and all judges. In entering, the author agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Chapter, its officers, members and all judges of the Contest from liability for its/their actions arising from or relating to judging and handling of the entry and conducting, sponsoring and advertising the event.
  14. The Contest Committee reserves the right to disqualify any entry if rules are not fully met.
  15. Author must: 
  • Fill out the entry form linked below.
  • Pay entry fee of $20 for LERA members, $25 for non-members, for EACH entry (one entry, $25, two entries, $50, three entries, $75, etc.) through PayPal.
  • Email your PayPal transaction number, including author’s name and each entry’s title to This is needed to confirm the PayPal payment.
  1. All entries will be acknowledged via e-mail within one (1) week of being received.


For additional information, please contact:

Contest Chair

Erin Krueger at:

Contest is closed. Thank you!

Thank you for participating and good luck!

More About The Rebecca