Welcome to YARWA’S 2015 Rosemary Contest!

This year’s contest is closed. To view this year’s finalists CLICK HERE!

Welcome to the Rosemary Award for unpublished manuscripts, sponsored by the Young Adult Romance Writers of America. The Rosemary is named in honor of YARWA’s founding president and young adult author, Rosemary Clement-Moore. We’re excited to introduce a contest devoted strictly to Young Adult and New Adult fiction. With three final judges per entry – an agent and two editors – your manuscript will get unprecedented exposure and consideration.

The Rosemary Award opens March 1, 2015 and closes at midnight on March 31, 2015.

Available categories to enter:

  • Contemporary YA
  • Historical YA
  • Paranormal YA
  • Speculative YA
  • New Adult

Check out the list of final judges – powerhouses in the Young Adult and New Adult publishing industry.

YA Contemporary Laura Bradford,
Bradford Literary
Aubrey Poole,
Elizabeth Tingue,
YA Historical Kathleen Rushall,
Marsal Lyon Literary
Jessica MacLeish,
Harper Teen
Robin Haseltine,
Entangled Publishing
YA Paranormal Holly Root,
Waxman Leavell Literary
Kristin Daly Rens,
Balzer & Bray
Natashya Wilson,
Harlequin Teen
YA Speculative Nicole Resciniti,
The Seymour Agency
Meredith Rich,
Bloomsbury Spark
Vicki Lame,
St. Martin’s Press
New Adult Cate Hart,
Corvisiero Literary
Amy Stapp,
Tor Forge
Angela James,
Carina Press

Read on for our list of rules and eligibility.

Questions? Please contact our Contest Coordinator, Rebecca Lynn by clicking here.

NOTE: As long as your payment and entry form are time stamped before April 1st (i.e. can be any time on March 31st or before), your entry will be accepted into the contest. Our coordinators will be working to make sure you get the submission information for your entry as quickly as possible.

Contest Rules


All authors, regardless of publishing status, are welcome to enter this contest. All authors must be at least 18 years of age.

Submitted manuscripts must be new, original YA or NA fiction that has not been published, self-published, or contracted to be published. Manuscripts must have a word count of at least 40,000 words.

Authors may enter as many manuscripts as they choose, but each manuscript may be entered in only one category.

Each category must have a minimum of 5 entries to remain a part of this contest. YARWA reserves the right to close a category if we receive less than 5 entries or more than 50 entries in that category.


YA Contemporary – any YA manuscript that is set in contemporary times.

YA Historical – any YA manuscript that takes place prior to 1980. This does not include alternate realities or any other speculative fiction.

YA Paranormal – any YA manuscript that includes elements of the paranormal, including supernatural creatures, special powers, or magical elements that are not futuristic. This includes vampires, witches, werewolves, psychics, wizards, magic, etc, in any time period up through current times.

YA Speculative – any YA manuscript that includes science fiction, futuristic, or fantasy elements. This includes dystopian, time travel, magical realism, and alternate universe.

New Adult – any manuscript featuring protagonists that are most likely between the ages of 18-25, focusing on post-high school experiences.

Please ask questions regarding the magic vs. speculative split in the Paranormal/Speculative categories. Due to the large number of entries last year, we are attempting to keep similar books together.

Entry Format

  • First 25 pages of manuscript
  • Double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point font, Times New Roman or Courier New.
  • Do not include the author’s name in the manuscript.
  • Please include in your header: TITLE / Category / Page # (Do not include your name on any page of the entered manuscript.)
  • Document must be in .rtf/.doc/.docx format.
  • Entrants will receive email confirmation of their submission from the respective category coordinator.


  • First-round judging will be done by three trained judges. YARWA will make every effort to have a published author judge in every group.
  • The lowest of the three scores will be dropped.
  • Judges are allowed to enter a category they are NOT judging.
  • Final Judges will include at least one editor and one agent in each category.
  • Please note that all decisions of the judges are final.


  • $15 members/$25 non-members
  • Payment via PayPal only (available starting March 1st, when the contest opens)

Don’t forget: in order to get the reduced member rate, you must be a member of both YARWA and RWA.


  • Contest Entry deadline – March 31, 2015 11:59pm, EST
  • Finalists announced – On or around June 1, 2015
  • Winners will be announced at YARWA’s Day of YA event during RWA’s Annual conference on July 24, 2015, in New York, N.Y.


  • All finalists will receive a website badge, an ad in RWR, and a free YARWA class of their choice.
  • All winners and finalists will be announced on the YARWA website.

First Round Judges

Become a part of our second annual Rosemary Contest! YARWA needs qualified and conscientious individuals to judge our contest. If you are interested in volunteering, click the link below to complete the judge’s application.