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CATEGORY DEFINITIONS

Contemporary Short Romance (Short)
Romance novels of 40,000 to 65,000 words that focus primarily on the romantic relationship. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Contemporary Single Title Romance (Single)
Romance novels of 65,000 words or more which focus primarily on the romantic relationship. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Erotic Romance (Erotic)
A romance novel where the sexual content is integral to the development of the romantic relationship and may go beyond that of most romance novels including the use of sexually explicit language. The love story is the main focus of the novel and the resolution is emotionally satisfying and optimistic. The novel may be in contemporary, historical or paranormal settings.

Historical Romance (Hist)
Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945 and taking place in any location. The love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements (RE)
A work of fiction in which a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements may be the primary focus of the story. Novels of any tone or style, set in any place or time are eligible for this category. A romance must be an integral part of the plot or subplot, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Paranormal/Speculative Romance (Para)
Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are an integral part of the plot. In this category, a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element is blended with the love story, which is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.  (Note: Steampunk, Diesel Punk and other non-magical alternate worlds belong in this category. The determining factor in categorizing a romance as a Paranormal/Speculative, as opposed to a fantasy or science fiction story with romantic elements, is the romance is the main focus of the story.)

Romantic Suspense (RS)
Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. The romance plays a significant part in the story and the resolution is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Young Adult Romance (YA)
Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers. In this category, the love story is an important element of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Questions? Contact Emily Duvall and Ranell Lewis, contest coordinators at WRWMarleneCoordinator@gmail.com