2023 Rudy Winners
1st Place: Hunter J. Skye - Fae Files: The Immortal Serpent
2nd Place: Leah Merrill - Jameson Full Service
3rd Place: Marie Hall - Holiday by Design
1st Place: Dawn Ibanez - Touch Starved
2nd Place: Mima Tipper - Channeling Marilyn
1st Place: Megan Montgomery - Undertaking Love
2nd Place: Tamara Rene - Living with Fire
3rd Place: Kimberly Kane - Fire on Ice
1st Place: Lesli Lent - Lord Chandlers Choices
2nd Place: Marie Miller - Art Lovers
3rd Place: Mary-Teresa Heath - The Puca's Last Gallop
1st Place: Aimee O'Brian - Don't Call Me Darling
2nd Place: Zoe Tasia - Doolittling
3rd Place: Leah Merrill - The Syndicate
Rules and Registration
About The Rudy
October 15th, 2022 - Contest opens for submissions and judges
January 31, 2023 (Contest deadline extended from December 31, 2022!) – Contest closes (all entries and payments must be received before midnight on this date)
Revised timeline and deadlines!
Mar 6 - 10, 2023 - Entries sent to first-round judges
April 7, 2023- Deadline for judging
April 21, 2023- Finalists sent to final judges
May 5, 2023 - Final round judging due
May 19, 2023 – Finalists are announced
There must be a romantic element.
There must be an HEA (Happily Ever After). Or Happily for Now.
Entries must be unpublished and not under contract by the contest deadline.
Entries must be submitted electronically as a .doc or .docx file.
Entries comprise the first 20 pages of a manuscript and a one-page synopsis. Both will be in the same document and one-page synopsis will be the last page of the submission.
Please save entry files with the phrase “Rudy22” first, followed by the capitalized first four letters of your category, and the entry title. Example of an entry file name: Rudy22HISTSeducingtheDuke.docx .
The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the entry.
Authors may submit up to two entries to the contest. Only one entry may be submitted per category.
Each entry must be paid for separately.
Each submitting author is required to judge three entries in a different category.
All judges will complete Equity and Professionalism Expectations training to ensure that all entries receive the best feedback possible.
A category must receive 3 entries to be viable. If a category does not receive enough entries, authors will be contacted with the option to have their entry moved to another category. If the author declines, he or she will be reimbursed.
Any entry that has won in a previous Rudy Contest may not be submitted in this or future Rudy contests.
Judges may not judge a category in which they are currently entered.
Entries containing rape, abuse, pedophilia, bestiality, or other illegal, non-consensual, or similarly objectionable content will be disqualified.
Refunds will not be given for entries disqualified for content.
12-point font, Times New Roman
Title and category in the left corner of header
Page number in the top right corner of the header. Start page numbers with the first page of the entry.
It is up to the author whether they want to include a prologue in the 20-page entry.
Chapters start on a new page 1/3 of the way down the page.
PARAnormal/SciFi/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction Romance
Romances featuring characters of all races, creeds, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities or disabilities, or containing spiritual/religious elements are welcome to enter. Please enter the category that best suits your entry overall.
Top three finalists in each category will receive a digital certificate and an e-badge for social media.
Second and third place winners will receive a digital certificate and an e-badge for social media.
1st Place winners will receive a $50 cash award paid via PayPal, a digital certificate, and an e-badge for social media.
Entries will be reviewed in the 1st round by three judges. Each judge will be vigilant regarding bias of any kind. The lowest score will be dropped and the two remaining scores will be averaged to calculate the final score.
Entries receiving the three highest averaged scores in each category will move on to the next round.
Each finalist’s entry will be reviewed by an industry professional selected from a pool of vetted agents, publishing editors, professional reviewers, and romance bloggers. The final judge will determine the final ranking.
CRW encourages judges to leave specific remarks on score sheets. All commentary will be constructive and helpful.
We will hold several virtual office hours via Zoom to answer questions live. In addition, entrants and judges can contact firstname.lastname@example.org via email. Judges will be notified via email the dates, times, and links to the Zoom sessions when judging starts.
All judges will complete Equity and Professionalism Expectations training to ensure that all entries will receive the best feedback possible.
Welcome, romance authors.
We are the Chesapeake Romance Writers. Our contest was created to honor the best-selling, awarding winning author, and long-time member of CRW, Judy McCoy. Before Judy lost her battle with Diabetes, she was an avid dog lover and supported the Tidewater Bichon Frise Rescue organization. This contest is named for her beloved companion Bichon Frise, Rudy.
Those who remember her know that she was a pistol, and very serious about helping emerging authors. Her primary advice was to “finish the damn book!” So, if you’ve finished a manuscript and feel it is polished and ready for submission, now is the time to catch an agent or publisher’s eye by winning an award for your hard work.
Even if you don’t win, you will have valuable feedback to help you with editing and/or revisions. Good luck and have fun!
2021 Rudy Writing Contest Winners!
Kathy Green @ Kathryn Green Literary Agency
1st place: That Girl by Jennilyn Wyer
2nd place: Going for Broke by Victoria Elliot
3rd place: Hidden Sisters by BF Daly
Dianne Rich @ The Wild Rose Press
1st place: Healing Kiss by Amanda Uhl
2nd place: Magpie at Midnight by Lille Moore
3rd place: Ancestor Resurrection by Deborah DeHaemer
Jordy Albert, Literary Agent @ The Booker Albert Agency
1st place: Talk of Tokyo by Heather Hallman
2nd place: First Impressions by Elizabeth Donne
3rd place: Doughboy’s Bride by Loucinda McGary
Honorable Mention: By Passions Drawn by Kathryn McCallum
Diana Carlile @ The Wild Rose Press
1st place: My Fair Warrior by TB Bond
2nd place: Renegade Angel by Laura Navarre
3rd place: Down the Shore by Jamie Belamour
Melissa Keir, Owner/Editor at Inkspell Publishing
1st place: All the After by Vicki Volden
2nd place: Stealing Poppies by Mandi McGuire
Tied for 3rd place: Flood Waters by Lexie Nicholas
Tied for 3rd place: Taylor’s Law by Jennifer Raines