NERFA Categories

The National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award recognizes the best romance fiction each year in the following categories:

Note: Entries of all heat levels can be entered in any category. Novellas  of less than 40,000 words must be entered in the Novella category. Entries in all other categories must be novel length – more than 40,000 words.

Contemporary Romance
Romance novels set in modern times and focusing primarily on the romantic relationship.

Historical/Regency Romance
Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945.

Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance
Romance novels in which the future, time travel, a fantasy world or paranormal elements are integral to the plot.

Romantic Suspense
Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements are an integral part of the plot.

Inspirational Romance
Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs play a central role in the romantic relationship.

Erotic Romance
Romance novels of any sub-category in which physical intimacy plays a central role in the romantic relationship. May contain explicit descriptions and language.

Novella Romance
Romance novellas of any sub-category, less than 40,000 words.

Best First Book
If the author’s entry into one of the above categories is also their first published book, they can enter the Best First Book category as well. The author must elect to enter this category if the book is eligible.