How to enter NERFA

The National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award celebrates published romance novels and novellas and is judged by romance readers.



 The contest will open March 1, 2015.


Entry Fee: $25


Who can enter:

All entries must have an original copyright date of 2014 and must have been available for purchase in the United States in 2014. Independent press, self-published, and digital first or digital only books may be entered as long as they meet all eligibility requirements. Books may be entered  in print or PDF format. Please keep in mind that, due to judges reading preferences, the number of PDF entries has been capped at 150.

Print entries will be accepted from authors, editors, publishers, agents, or anyone who completes the entry form, pays the entry fee, and supplies the required number of copies of the title being entered. Membership in any particular writing organization is not required to enter a romance in the contest.



First Round Judges: Romance Readers

Final Round Judges: Bloggers, Booksellers, and Librarians

Each book will be judged by three reader judges using a reader-based score sheet.

The top three books in each category will advance to the final round.

The final round for each category will be judged by a blogger, bookseller, or librarian, who will determine the category winners.

Note: Scores will not be returned to authors unless expressly requested. Authors who wish to receive their scores may request them after winners are announced.

How to enter:

1) Complete online entry form. The form must be submitted online (and don’t forget to click the submit button).

2) Pay $25 for each entry.

Payment must be made by PayPal . Please note: your entry is not official until payment has been received.

NERFA Entry Title:

3) Send entry (must be postmarked by April 3, 2015 and received by April 9, 2015, or received electronically by 7pm EST on April 2, 2015, according to the coordinator’s computer).

For print entries: send four (4) copies of each print title being entered to the address given to you upon payment verification.

For electronic entries: Upon payment verification, send one PDF file and permission to distribute to up to four judges to

4) You will be notified by email when the coordinator receives your payment and be given an address to send your books. Please allow 24 hours for verification.


Dates and Deadlines:

March 1, 2015 —- Entry form available online.

March 1, 2015 – April 1, 2015 —- Contest open.

APRIL 1, 2015 —- All payments must be received (posted in PayPal no later than 11:59 pm, EST)

April 2, 2015 —- Books must be received electronically by 7pm EST (according to the time of the coordinator’s computer).

April 3, 2015 — Books must be postmarked by this date and received by April 9, 2015.  FCRW is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.

April 3 – June 1, 2015 —- First round judging.

April 9, 2015 — Books postmarked by April 3, 2015 must be received by this date. FCRW and NERFA are not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.

June 15, 2015 —- Finalists in each category are announced and contacted by either phone or email.

June 15 – July 15, 2015 —- Final round judging.

July 20, 2015 —- Winners announced!




The official contest rule are available here.


Contact information:

Contact the contest coordinator at  with any questions.



The National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award is sponsored by First Coast Romance Writers (FCRW), an affiliate of Romance Writers of America®. FCRW is an organization for both published and unpublished writers. The chapter is dedicated to promoting excellence in romantic fiction through monthly meetings and workshops where published and unpublished writers share knowledge about the constantly evolving publishing industry.