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Prepublished Maggie Rules


The Maggie Award for Excellence for Pre-published writers opens Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024. Entries must be RECEIVED by April 26, 2024 at 10pm Eastern, and must follow all format requirements listed on the entry form. Finalists will be notified June 24th, 2024, and winners will be announced at the Maggie Award banquet on October 5th, 2024.

​​Prepublished Judging Process

  • In the first round, two published authors will judge each entry. Each entrant will receive 2 written critiques within the body of the entry (in .doc or .rtf format).

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

  • The decision of the judges is final.

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

  • Scores will not be released to entrants.



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

  • All finalists will receive certificates.

  • Critiques will be returned to all entrants.

  • Every effort will be made to return critiques for each entrant before the 2023 Moonlight and Magnolias Conference.


Prepublished Award Eligibility:

  • If you are published with more than 40,000 words--through traditional or self-published means--by the date the contest opens, you are NOT eligible to enter the Prepublished 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.

  • Entered works must not be published or contracted for publication as long as they are under consideration for the Maggie Award.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 on the number of categories an author may enter.

  • An entry may not be submitted to more than one category.

  • An entry must not have previously received a Maggie Award Medallion; however, entries that have previously been submitted and/or in the finals, but have not received the Medallion, may be reentered.

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

  • Entries must not be the product of AI technology, either in part or in whole.

  • Entries must follow the formatting rules below.



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

  • Total number of double-spaced pages may not exceed 35 pages per entry. Entry must include (in ONE document):

    • Prologue (if applicable)

    • First 3 chapters

    • Synopsis (no more than 5 pages as a part of your 35 page entry, double-spaced, and placed at the end of the entry). For example, your total entry cannot exceed 35 pages, so you could enter a 32-page manuscript sample and a 3-page synopsis.

    • Note: synopsis comes last, not first.

  • 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. Nothing else should be on the header.

  • 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 Entry Privacy PageNOTE: If personal information is anywhere in the entry, the entry will be disqualified due to privacy concerns and contest guidelines outlining participant and judge anonymity.

  • Entry to be submitted electronically and must be formatted in Word (.doc) or (.rtf).

  • Entry must be saved by manuscript title.


GRW Member: $30

Non-Member: $40

  • Payment through PayPal only. No personal checks accepted.

  • Entries, including completed entry form, must be RECEIVED by April 26th, 2024, 10:00 pm, EST 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.

Maggie Questions? Contact Us:

Thank you for contacting us!

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