2015 Rules and Entry Instructions

RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest
2015 Official Rules and Entry Instructions

Opening Date and Deadline
Contest opens April 1, 2015 and closes June 1, 2015, 11:59 p.m, MST. Entries are limited to the first 200 received. All entries are submitted electronically through the website.

Entry Fee: $30.
Critique Fee: an additional $25. (A critique by an RMFW judge evaluates a submission’s strengths and weaknesses, with suggestions for improvement (average length: 1½ - 3 single-spaced pages).
Fees are not refundable.


  • This contest is for unpublished writers of commercial fiction. You must not have had any novel-length fiction accepted for publication at the time of entry.
  • Self-published and vanity press published novels are eligible.
  • Entries that have previously won this contest are not eligible. Entries that have finaled are okay.
  • This contest focuses on commercial fiction. Literary fiction is discouraged; poetry, short stories and non-fiction are not eligible.
  • Entrants must acknowledge their acceptance of the contest Terms and Conditions before their entries will be accepted.

Two RMFW judges evaluate each entry. The five highest-scoring submissions (over 130 points) in each of six categories become the finalists. Authors of entries that make the final round will be notified by email in early August 2015. We will send your judged entries to you before sending them onto to the final judges. You'll have one week to use the feedback to make changes. A copy of your submission will then be sent to the final agent/editor judge for your category.

If you don't get a notification email, your entry did not make the final round. Your judged submission, scoresheets, and critique (if requested) will be returned to you as an email attachment sometime before the conference.

Winners are announced and prizes given out at the Saturday night banquet, September 12, 2015 at the Westin Hotel. For finalists unable to attend the conference, awards and prizes will be mailed to you shortly after.

Awards will be given in the following fiction categories:
Speculative Fiction
Young Adult/Middle Grade

The entry form lists several subgenres for each category. Please indicate both category and subgenre to ensure you get the proper judge. If your subgenre is not listed click “other” and type it in the text box. (Please give us something further to go on than just the category in order to ensure we get your entry to the right judge.)

Entering the contest
Enter as many submissions as you wish in each category, but you may not enter the same submission in more than one category, nor may you enter two versions of the same manuscript. You must pay an entry fee for each submission.

Enter the first 20 pages of your novel (about 4,200-4,700 words.)
Include a 3-4 page synopsis (about 650-880 words).
Do not send your complete manuscript.

Format - Manuscript and Synopsis:
(Note: In the interest of fairness to all contestants and our judges, we require every entry to be formatted the same. Don’t run the risk of losing points and/or having excess pages deleted because you didn’t follow the formatting rules.)

1. Use standard manuscript format: double-spaced, 1-inch margins all around with a ragged right margin, Courier New 12-point font. (24 or 25 lines per page.)
(Exceptions: start the first page of each chapter and the synopsis 1/3 of the way down the page. The last page of your chapters or synopsis need not fill the entire page.)

2. Prepare a word file (.doc).

3. Name this file the title of your book. (If your manuscript file is named the same, put your submission file into a new folder so you don’t overwrite your original).

4. Copy/paste the first twenty pages of your manuscript into this .doc file.

5. Add a section break and then copy/paste your 3-4 page synopsis on the next page (at the end of your 20-page submission).

6. Create a header with the title on the left and insert your page numbers on the right on every page, including the first page.

7. Make sure your name doesn't appear anywhere on the submission or the synopsis, only on the electronic entry form.

8. Your submission should be no more than twenty-four pages including the synopsis.

Note: WordPerfect users – submit an .rtf file. Microsoft WORD 2007-10 users – save your file as a .doc (not a .docx – and not an .rtf) because the page count changes when converted to a .doc on this end.

Submit your entry:
1. Click on the Contest page on the website at rmfw.org.
2. Click on the “Enter the 2015 Contest” link. (This link is only active during the submission period. April 1 – June 1.)
3. Fill in the information fields: Name, Email, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, and Title. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
4. Find the category you are entering. Select your subgenre in the drop-down box next to that category. If your subgenre isn’t listed, select “other” and then type your subgenre in the ‘note to contest’ box provided below.
5. Read the contest Terms and Conditions. Click on the “Agree” button. NOTE: Your submission will not be sent to us if you do not check this box.
6. Submit your entry information by clicking on the “PAY FOR ENTRY” button.You’ll then be taken to the secure payment webpage. Select either the Contest Entry $30 button or the Contest Entry With Critique $55 button. Fill in your credit card and billing address information, click the “Confirm” button and follow the prompts.
If for any reason you cannot use the online payment service, please email contest@rmfw.org to make other payment arrangements.
7. You’re done. Congrats.

Verification of Contest Requirements Received
Once the contest receives your electronic submission and notification of payment received from our credit card processor, you will be notified by email that you are officially entered in the Colorado Gold Contest. This process might take several days.

Entrants and judges may not correspond with each other except through the contest via contest@rmfw.org.

Questions? Email all inquiries to: