Categories and Entry Info

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 ***Judges – If you have not received entries by July 20th, please contact the main coordinator at – The entries in some categories are going out slightly later than anticipated. If you need a little extra time to read and judge them, please let your coordinator know. ***

(Please note the NEW email address for the main coordinator: – Judge applications and questions may be sent there. Entries must be sent to the individual category coordinators below)

  • IF YOU DO NOT receive a confirmation email within two weeks of sending in your entry and/or judge form, please email the coordinator to make sure your entry or judge form was received. The correct email address for judge forms is:
  • NOTE: The payment email is different from the email for entries. PLEASE send all payments to:
  • The subject line of your entry form MUST begin with the category. Please do not include ‘IDA Entry’ or ‘Contest Entry’ etc. Please use the following format for the subject line: CATEGORY, LENGTH (Novel or Short), TITLE
  • The ONLY attachment should be a PDF of your entry.
  • If you make a mistake and have to re-send your emailed entry, re-send the ENTIRE email so that the first one can be deleted.

To Enter: (Entries must have an original publication date of 2015 or 2016)

Email to the applicable category coordinator email below:

Contemporary – Kathy L Wheeler –
Erotic – Mary Jo Springer –
Historical – Winona Cross –
Inspirational – Leigh Ann Lane –
Paranormal – Debbie Fritter –
Suspense – Christy Gronlund –
Young Adult – Linda Basinger –

Main Coordinator Email: (For Judging Applications and issues/questions that cannot be resolved through category coordinators)

*** Please send a separate email for each entry, although you may pay for them all in one transaction.

*** Please list each title your payment is for in Paypal Notes ***

1) Go to PAYPAL and send the entry fee ($20.00 for Novels/$15.00 for shorts) to:


In the notes section, list IDA CONTEST, your legal name, pen name, entry title, and category. NOTE: If you do not have a PayPal account and would like to mail a check or money order, please make it out to: OKRWA Treasurer and email for mailing address.

2) Send an email to the contest coordinator for your genre (see above email addresses) in the following format:

Subject line: (PLEASE BE SURE TO LIST CATEGORY FIRST): Category, Length (Short or Novel), Title. (For example: Suspense Novel Serial Killer at Sunrise) In the body of the email, include:

  • Paypal Confirmation Number and date of payment (If you mailed a check, note that in the email and list the date you sent the check and the check number)

  • Legal Name

  • Pen Name

  • Category

  • Length (Novel or Short) – Please note – Novel length is 40,000 words or above, short length is 10,000 to 39,999 words)

  • Title

  • Publisher

  • Twitter name

  • Complete Address

  • Phone number

  • How did you hear about the contest?

ATTACH a PDF copy of your entry to the email.

Category descriptions:

Novel Length: 40,000 words and longer Short Length: 10,000 to 39,999 words. Word length based on actual story length minus front and back matter.

CONTEMPORARY: Any Romance, Women’s Fiction, or other FICTION story set after 1960 that does not fall into one of the other categories.

HISTORICAL novels are set in any time period prior to 1960, and take place in any location.

INSPIRATIONAL is a novel with in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are blended with and form a significant part of the story.

PARANORMAL includes any book with otherworldly, supernatural, futuristic or paranormal elements including the genres of Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Time Travel, Alternative History, and Paranormal/Paranormal Romance.

SUSPENSE includes mysteries, cozy mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and romantic suspense novels.

NEW ADULT AND YOUNG ADULT – New Adult novels are normally college age characters. Young Adult novels are geared toward younger readers. In this category, the character arc is an important element of the novel, as is a voice and writing style suitable to young adults.

EROTIC – Stories that contain explicit sexuality. The situations and settings may be contemporary, historical or paranormal. Please note: Entries portraying pedophilia, bestiality (this does not apply in respect to Paranormal shape-shifters), necrophilia, and/or snuff as acceptable sexual practices will be disqualified without notification or refund.

  • Entries containing sexual situations involving human protagonists, under the American legal standard of eighteen (18) years, must be reviewed by the Contest Chair prior to entry. The exception is in the Young Adult category. Please keep in mind that the YA category is meant for younger readers and all entries involving sexual situations in YA entries will be monitored for content.