gateway to the best

Gateway to the best 2019 contest winners

single title/contemporary series

1st Place: All Your Broken Pieces 
by Evie Drae
2nd Place: He Owns My Heart by Evie Drae
3rd Place: North Star by Katherine Olson

Final Round Judge 
Rhonda Penders
President & Editor-in-Chief, Wild Rose Press

historical

1st Place: The Revolutionary and the Rogue by Blake Ferre
2nd Place: Pride and Perfection 
by Catherine Scott
3rd Place: The Arrangement 
by Heidi McIntyre

Final Round Judge 
 Nicola Caws
 Associate Editor, Historical Team, 
Mills & Boon/Harlequin 

Paranormal/Fantasy/Time Travel/Alternate Reality

1st Place: Forever Linked by Farrah Blake
2nd Place: Praetorian Rising 
by Lisa M. Knight
3rd Place: The Brass Queen 
by Elizabeth Chatsworth

Final Round Judge
Laurie Johnson
Assistant Editor, Paranormal Team
Mills Boon/Harlequin

women's fiction

1st Place: Losing Faith, Finding Hope 
by Cheryl Cross
2nd Place: What Comes After Four 
by Miranda Darrow
3rd Place: Leaving Eden by Ruth Douthitt

Final Round Judge
Kristy Hunter
Submissions Coordinator and

 Associate Agent
The Knight Agency

Congratulations to all of our finalists!



Watch this space for our 2019 gateway to the contest information!
New/young adult

1st Place: Role Reversal 
by Bonnie Staring
2nd Place: Say This Isn’t Love 
by Miguella T. Twosias
3rd Place: Treading Water by Arel Jansen

Final Round Judge
Lynette Novak
Associate Agent
The Seymour Agency

what is the gateway to the best?

A contest for unpublished and self-published authors
The annual Gateway to the Best contest is open to anyone not published since July 30, 2015 and self-published authors with any work that has not at any time been published or self-published. MORWA will consider any work available for purchase online or in print at any time to be published and ineligible. 

 You do not need to be a member of RWA® to enter this contest.

Open to the public.

** All information on this web page is subject to the Official Rules of this contest.

View Official Rules

prizes

Grand Prize
1)  One admission to Angela James' online self editing course "B4 You Hit Send", the course authors are raving about.  Get lots of hands-on experience with the basics and building blocks of self-editing and writing. A $150 value.


2)  A one-hour consultation from Kate Tilton, freelancer and assistant to many best selling indie and traditional authors, to help make sure your book gets launched right!  A $105 value.


3)  One sixty minute Creativity Coaching session with Kelsey Horton, a certified life coach, focusing soley on yourself and your creative life.  In your session, Kelsey can help you set invigorating goals, brainstorm new creative projects, bust through any feelings of stuckness or self-doubt, and reaffirm the incredible writing talent that lies within you.

First, second, and third places are awarded in each category.  See official rules for category winner prizes and judging calculation methods.

View Official Rules

schedule & deadlines

The Gateway to the Best contest will open for entry submission on August 1, 2018. 

Entries must be RECEIVED not later than 11:59 pm CDT September 8, 2017.

First Round Finalists Announced on/about: October 30, 2018. 

Final Judging Results Announced on/about: December 15, 2018.

judging criteria

Each entry will be judged by three experienced judges with the lowest of the three scores dropped from the final tabulations. 
 Judges will be encouraged to write comments on both the score sheet and manuscript.

View Judge's 
Score Sheet

submission package

The Gateway to the Best Contest is an electronic format only contest. Please read the official rules prior to completing the submission process. 

Manuscripts must be in Word .doc, .docx (preferred) or standard .rtf (rich text format) only. We will reject entries that do not conform to one of these formats.

View Official 
Rules

here are some of our frequently asked questions

HOW DO YOU CHECK THE WORD COUNT I SUBMITTED?

We use the word count feature in our word processing software when we first review your manuscript.  

We have found instances in which documents converted from Mac Pages to .docx format has increased the word count between the two programs.

WHAT IF MY WORD COUNT IS OVER 7,000 WORDS?

Accidents happen.  The contest or category coordinator has the option of contacting the author and asking for the submission file to be fixed, letting the manuscript pass on to the judges as is, modifying the manuscript themselves, or refusing to accept the entry. 

 Please note that refusing the entry because of incorrect word count does not justify a refund of entry fees.

SHOULD I SEND A SYNOPSIS WITH MY MANUSCRIPT?

Please don't send a synopsis.  

The Gateway to the Best contest asks our judges to look at your story the same way most readers do - by sitting down with the first 25 or so pages and reading them.

We don't want the judge to be influenced by the story your synopsis reveals, but by the writing you provide them.

If you do include a synopsis, we will remove it from the file before forwarding your ms to the judges.

IF YOU'VE READ THE OFFICIAL RULES, LOOKED OVER THE SCORE SHEET AND STILL HAVE QUESTIONS...
Send us a message!