High Five Contest Rules


from S.W. Florida Romance Writers

We hear it all the time. We have only a few pages to grab an editor or agent.

Start on a HIGH note with FIVE great pages!

Get the great feedback you expect from the SWFRW chapter and esteemed judges.

“This is an excellent contest! …. Thank you again for including me as a judge. I always love the entries you send my way. ” ~ Editor, Robin Haseltine of Entangled Publishing

 Now Closed for Entries! High Five will be back in 2021

A Note on the Romance element:

We understand that either the hero or heroine may not be introduced within the first 5 pages of a story. The High Five score sheet is designed to evaluate the character presented. We are looking for a compelling beginning, with or without romance.



Contemporary (including Women’s Fiction with romantic elements)
Editor: Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
Agent: Scott Eagan, Greyhaus Literary Agency

**Romantic Comedy** NEW!!!
Editor: Caroline Tolley, Soul Mate Publishing
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency

Editor: Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Agent: Kat Enright, The Seymour Agency

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy
Editor: Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
Agent: Amanda Leuck, Spencerhill Associates

Romantic Suspense
Editor: Georgia Woods, Hartwood Publishing
Agent: Erin Niumata, Folio Literary Management

Young Adult
Editor: Nancy Schumacher, Melange Books
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, Three Seas Literary Agency


  • The chance to get your manuscript in front of a top industry editor AND agent!
  • All winners announced in the Romance Writers Report.
  • Within each category, winners will receive:
    • 1st place: $50 and a Certificate of Achievement and Web logo
    • 2nd place: Certificate of Achievement, Finalist Web logo
    • 3rd place: Certificate of Achievement, Finalist Web logo
    • ALL FINALISTS: Will receive complimentary admission to our Hearts in the Sand Conference

FIRST-ROUND JUDGES are members of Southwest Florida Romance Writers and other chapters of Romance Writers of America. Each entry will be evaluated by THREE first-round judges, at least two of them published authors. We encourage our judges to make comments, both on the score sheets and within the manuscript.


  • Unpublished authors
  • Traditional or self-published authors who have not published in the category they’re entering within the past 5 years
  • Entries must be the author’s original work that has not been published or contracted to be published. Any submission that in our judgement plagiarizes another author’s work will be disqualified with no refund. If self-publishing, we ask that you not release until (a) you learn you are not a finalist, or (b) if you ARE a finalist, until the winner is announced. If first-round or final judges should look up a title and find ratings or reviews, that could throw off the contest results (and your own placement, for better OR for worse).
  • All English-language entries are welcome.


The first 5 pages of an unpublished manuscript featuring romantic elements.

Contestants may submit as many entries as they like, but a separate entry must be completed for each title and category entered.


All entries are electronic. Files will be accepted in *.doc or *.rtf formats. For the time being, *.docx is NOT permitted.

Manuscripts must be in standard manuscript format:

  • Double-spaced
  • One-inch margins, with text aligned to the left margin
  • Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font
  • Paragraphs indented, with no extra space between paragraphs
  • Page numbers
  • Header including manuscript title
  • Author’s name must not appear anywhere in the document

Entries that do not meet these formatting requirements will be returned for corrections.


$30 per submission via PayPal

SWFRW Members only: $25

You will be notified when your submission/payment is complete.