Unpublished Maggie Rules


Entries must follow format requirements listed on the entry form. Finalists will be notified July 30th and winners will be announced at the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference banquet on October 5th.


  • If you are published with more than 40,000 words, either traditional or self-published, you are NOT eligible for Unpublished Maggies. Please see the PUBLISHED RULES.

  • If you are a published author who has not been published in 5 years or more, you are eligible.

  • Authors who have accepted a publishing offer for, or Self-Published, any work of original fictional narrative prose of 40,000 words or more by the date the contest opens are not eligible to enter the Unpublished Maggies.

  • Entered works must not be published as long as they are under consideration for the Maggie Award.

  • An author is limited to three (3) entries per category. There is no cap to the number of categories an author may enter.

  • An entry may not be entered in more than one category.

  • An entry must not have previously received a Maggie Medallion.

  • Categories with fewer than 10 submissions may be canceled. Entrants will be contacted to either select another category or request a refund.


  • In the first round, 2-3 published authors will judge each entry. You will receive 2-3 score cards and written critiques within the body of your entry (in .doc or .docx format).

  • Editors/Agents in the romance genre will judge the final round of five (5) finalists.

  • Decision of the judge is final.

  • Names of the First Round Judges will NOT be released to entrants.


  • Highest-scored manuscript by the final judge in each category will receive the Maggie Medallion.

  • All finalists will receive certificates.

  • Finalists will be notified by July 25th, 2019.

  • Winners will be announced October 5th, 2019 at the Moonlight & Magnolias awards banquet.

For 2019, we are launching the Mentee Magnolia Program for selected unpublished Maggie winners!  Now, the Maggie Awards provides mentors that help winners get one step closer to landing that editor or agent!



Please read instructions carefully. If your entry does not meet these format requirements, it will be disqualified with no refund.

  • Standard manuscript format; double spaced, one inch margins, no more than 27 lines per page with header

  • Header should have title and contest category in upper left, and page number in upper right.

  • 12-pt font in either Times New Roman or Courier.

  • Title must match what is listed on your online entry form.

  • Author name must NOT appear on the manuscript or your entry will be disqualified and entry fee forfeited.

  • All identifying information from the document must be removed (using the Document Inspector tool). If you do not know how to do this, please visit our page Removing Identifying InfoIMPORTANT: If personal information is anywhere in the entry, we have no choice to disqualify it due to privacy concerns.

  • Total number of double-spaced pages may not exceed 10,000 words per entry. Entry must include (in ONE document):

    • prologue (if applicable)

    • first chapter(s)

    • synopsis (no more than 1000 words as a part of your 10,000 word entry, double-spaced, and placed at the end of entry). For example, your total entry cannot exceed 10,000 words, so you could enter a 9,000 word manuscript sample and a 1,000 word synopsis.

    • Note: synopsis comes last, not first.

  • Entry to be submitted electronically only, in word (.doc) or (.docx).

  • Entry to be saved by manuscript title.

Fees and Entry Procedures:

GRW Member: $30

RWA Member: $35

Non-Member: $40

  • Payment through Submittable only. No personal checks accepted.

  • Entries, including completed entry form, must be RECEIVED by April 27th, 2019, 10:00 pm, Eastern AND before your category is full.

  • Those received after that date or received after the category is declared full will be disqualified.

  • Failure to comply with any of the above rules may disqualify the entry and the entry fee will not be refunded.

Return of Entries:

Every effort will be made to return entries before the 2019 Moonlight and Magnolias Conference. If you are a finalist, every effort will be made to return your entries by June 28th, 2019 so you can make edits and submit your final entry by August 6th, 2019, 10:00 PM Eastern. If no updated entry is submitted by then, your original entry will be sent.

Maggie Questions? Contact Us:

P.O. Box 1484
Buford, GA 30515
GRW's DMCA statement
Monthly Program Information
Hyatt Place Atlanta/ Norcross/ Peachtree
5600 Peachtree Pkwy
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
Phone: (770) 416-7655

© 2019 Maintained by Melisa Todd.