The Royal Ascot Contest

The Royal Ascot is the only RWA chapter contest for unpublished writers devoted exclusively to the Regency, broadly defined for the purpose of the contest as between 1780 and 1840 and set within the United Kingdom. The contest goal is to promote Regency romances by encouraging the development of authors who set stories in the Regency period. The Royal Ascot provides feedback from first round judges who know the Regency period. Each panel of first-round judges includes at least one author published in Regency romance. The final-round judges are acquiring editors and agents who love historicals. In the past three years we have had a total of 25 requests from final round judges. Finaling in the Royal Ascot provides broad exposure—all six finalists are read and judged by all six final round judges. Did we mention cash prizes? $100 goes to our winner and $25 to the remaining finalists.

*new this year: Although works entered must be uncontracted and unpublished, the contest will be open to both unpublished and published writers seeking representation and/or a publisher. (Self-published is considered published for the purposes of this contest.)


Opens for Entries February 21st
Deadline is Tuesday April 1st, midnight PST
Finalists Announced on Sunday May 25th
Entries returned to non-finalists by Sunday June 1st
Winner announced at the Beau Monde Soiree in San Antonio, July 23rd


  • Open to unpublished authors and published writers seeking representation and/or a publisher.
  • All works entered should be unpublished (self or traditional) and uncontracted.
  • All entries must have at least partial Regency (Late Georgian) setting, broadly defined: within the United Kingdom between 1780 and 1840.
  • Entrants may re-submit any entry that has finaled but not won the contest.


  • $100.00 and a certificate for Grand Prize Winner
  • $25.00 and a certificate for all Finalists
  • Grand Prize Winner and Finalists will be featured in all publicity.


First Round Judges: Three judges, at least one published in Regency Romance. Lowest score will be dropped. In the event of a tie, the third score will determine which entry moves on to the final round.

Final Round Judges:
Janet Clementz, Soul Mate
Kate Dresser, HQN
Jill Limber, Boroughs Publishing
Esi Sogah, Kensington

MacKenzie Fraser-Bub, Trident Media Group
Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore & Co.


Categories will be used to determine first round judges only.

Categories are:
Regency Historical (longer Regency or Mainstream Regency-set)
Hot Regency (Very sensual to Erotic Regency, at author’s discretion)
Wild Regency (Paranormal, Time Travel, other similar Regency)
Sweet & Mild Regency (Traditional, Inspirational, Young Adult or other without explicit sex)


  • Beginning of manuscript, maximum 7000 words in the text. Please note we are looking for openings that would normally be about 1 to 2 chapters long, with or without prologue.
  • 12 point Courier or Times New Roman font.
  • Standard manuscript formatting of 1″ margins.
  • Double-spaced (No more than 25-lines per page)
  • Headers: Category on the left side of the header and Title and page numbers on the right.
  • Your name should not be anywhere on the entry.
  • Save all entries as .rtf files. Entries must be electronic only. No paper entries.


  • This year, the application & payment are completed in one step. To enter, please use this link:
  • After Paying, automatic receipt will be emailed to you and will include instructions on how to email your entry to the coordinators. When you email, be sure to include your name (and/or Pen name) in your e-mail, although no name should appear on your manuscript.
  • Please keep an un-altered copy of your submission in case of problems.
  • Please email questions to


  • $25 for Beau Monde Members for the first entry.
  • $30 for Non Beau Monde Members for the first entry.
  • $20 for subsequent entries.
  • Multiple submissions welcome provided separate entry form and fee accompanies each.


If you have any questions or need help with your entry, please feel free to contact the contest coordinators at
Wendy LaCapra, Chair
Bess Gilmartin
Jillian Leigh
Alanna Lucas
Ellen O’Brien

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