The Colorado Gold Writing Contest

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2018 Contest Timeline

Saturday, March 10: Contest Workshop
Sunday, April 1, at midnight: Contest opens
April 2 - April 15: Online Contest Workshop
Thursday, May 31, 11:59 PM MST: Contest closes
Friday, August 3: Finalists announced
Early to mid August: Non-finaling entries returned to contestants
Saturday, September 8: Winners are announced at the Saturday night banquet

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Contest Overview

For over thirty years, the Colorado Gold contest for emerging writers has given commercial-fiction novelists the chance to get their work in front of acquiring agents and editors while also providing feedback and encouragement for the craft of writing.

Contest opens for submissions on April 1st and closes May 31st. Two judges from RMFW evaluate and score each entry. The top five submissions scoring 130 points or more in each category make the finals and will then be judged by an agent or editor who is attending the Colorado Gold Conference.

Entry Fee
$30 per entry or $55 per entry to receive a critique from one of the first-round judges.

Enter the first 4000 words of your manuscript and a 750 word synopsis in one of six categories (see below). Final judges will pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

In addition to a beautiful certificate, finalists will receive:
1st place: $150
2nd place: $100
3rd place: $75
2 remaining finalists: $30


Action/Thriller (Judge: Eric Campbell, Editor, Down and Out Books)
Mystery/Suspense (Judge: Sharon Bowers, Agent, Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management)
Womens Fiction (Judge: Alicia Clancy, Editor, St. Martin's Press)
Speculative Fiction (Judge: Kristen Nelson, Agent, Nelson Literary Agency)
Young Adult/Middle Grade (Judge: Carrie Howland, Agent, Empire Literary)
Mainstream and Other Genres (Judge: Danielle Burby, Agent, Nelson Literary Agency)

Volunteer to Judge

To serve as a first-round judge for this year's Colorado Gold Contest, please fill our the Call for Judges form to express your interest.