Rules and FAQs

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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 found here:

IF YOU DO NOT receive a confirmation email within a week, please check to make sure your entry or judge form was received. The correct email address for  judge forms is: – and for entries, please see the Categories and Entry Info page

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, TITLE

The ONLY attachment should be a PDF of your entry.

1. All entries:

  • must have an original copyright date of 2015 or 2016, as evidenced by the copyright page

  • must have been available for sale sometime during 2015-2016

  • minimum 10,000 word count is required for entries in the Short Length category. A short may only be entered if it was offered for sale as a stand-alone work.

  • must be in English

2. If an entry is determined to depict pedophilia, bestiality (except in the case of Paranormal shape-shifters), necrophilia, and/or “snuff” (the act of killing for sexual gratification) as acceptable, it will be disqualified, and the entrant will not receive a refund of the entry fee.

  • If an entry contains sexual situations involving human protagonists under the American legal standard of eighteen (18) years of age, it must be reviewed by the Contest Coordinator 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 will be monitored for content.

3. Only digital books will be accepted as entries. Books that are “digital first – print on demand” ARE eligible. You must submit your book in non-DRM .pdf format as an attachment to an email to your category coordinator.

4. There is no limit to the number of titles by the same author that may be entered, but each title may be entered in only one category. PLEASE send a separate email for each entry. Books entered in the wrong category will be disqualified and entry fee will not be refunded.

5. A separate entry fee is required for each title entered; however, entrants may “bundle” payments for multiple entries.

5a. Entry fees: Novels – $20.00 (40,000 words and above)

 Shorts – $15.00 (10,000 to 39,999 words)

6. Membership in any particular writing organization is not required.

7. Entries will be accepted from the author(s) and/or copyright holder(s) or authorized agent(s) of same.

8. Deadline for entry and receipt of payment and books is midnight CST June 30, 2016. Before your entry is submitted, log into your PayPal account to make payment to TREASURER@OKRWA.COM. There is a link to the PayPal site on each category page for your convenience.

9. Entries will be capped at 50 in each category. Your entry will NOT be counted until payment is received. 

10. Each entry will be scored by three judges.

11. Deadline for judges to return scores is September 30, 2016. Finalists and winners will be notified approximately October 20, 2015.


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Q. Where do I locate the coordinator’s email address to send my entry?

A. All entries are sent to the Contest Coordinator at

Q. What happens if my book has a copyright date before the acceptable contest copyright dates?

A. Books often have a copyright date of one year and a release date in the next. To compensate for this, our eligibility will always have a two-year span on the copyright date. Example: If your book has a 2015 copyright date but doesn’t come out until 2016, you will be eligible to enter it in the 2016 IDA. All books available for sale in 2015 or 2016 with a 2015 or 2016 copyright date are eligible for the current year’s contest.

Q. If my book becomes available in print before the end of the contest, am I still eligible to enter?

A. As long as your book is available in digital format and only in print on demand, you are eligible.

Q. Are print books eligible for this contest?

A. Only books classified as digital first but with print on demand available. If your book came out in print first, there are plenty of other contests you can enter, including the National Readers Choice Awards (if there are elements of romance in it). This contest is for digital only works.

Q. What category should I enter?

A. Enter your work into the category that best fits it. If you can’t tell from the descriptions, then email the CONTEST COORDINATOR at

Q. I am self-published or Indy published. Am I still eligible?

A. Absolutely! All we require is that your entry have a copyright page with a 2015 or 2016 copyright date.

Q. This group is a Romance Writers of America chapter. Does that mean my entry must have romance in it?

A. Not at all. Your entry must be a work of fiction and fit one of the categories. That’s it. No romance necessary. Of course, romance novelists are also encouraged to enter.

Q. If I live in a foreign country, how can I arrange for the entry fee given the fluctuation of the exchange rate?

A. You can pay your fee in US funds through PayPal – Send to