Fire & Ice Contest Rules

Please note that failure to comply with any of the rules will disqualify the entry, resulting in a forfeit of the entry fee.


  • All work must be the author’s original work.
  • The author cannot be published or contracted in fiction of 20,000 words or more in the category or subgenre entered, within five years of the contest deadline (between March 17, 2012 and March 17, 2017).
  • Previous winners and finalists may not re-enter the same manuscript, even in edited format. They may, however, enter another manuscript.
  • The manuscript must have a projected length of 20,000 words or more.
  • Entrants may enter as many manuscripts as they wish; however, each manuscript may be entered in only one category.
  • Chicago-North RWA® members are ineligible.

Contest Rules

  • Entries will be accepted beginning February 1, 2017.
  • All entries must be received by 5 p.m. (Central time) March 17, 2017.
  • A maximum number of 25 entries per category will be allowed. The contest will close early if all categories reach 25 entries before March 17, 2017.
  • Entries must be submitted electronically as a DOC or DOCX (MS Word) file.
  • Each submission should consist of one (1) copy of up to the first 3,000 words of a manuscript.
  • A separate electronic entry form with signed waiver must be submitted for each submission. If the entry has more than one author, each author must submit an online entry form and sign the waiver, but there will be only one entry fee. (Note:  Printed name on the online entry form constitutes an electronic signature.)
  • The document title must be the title of the manuscript only.
  • All entries must adhere to the following standard recommended manuscript format:
    • 8-1/2-by-11-inch page size
    • 1-inch margins
    • Double-spaced
  • Each page of the entry, including the first page, must include the following header:
    • Title (upper left)
    • Contest category (upper left)
    • Page number (upper right)
  • CONTESTANT’S NAME MAY NOT APPEAR ON THE ENTRY. ANY ENTRY WITH THE CONTESTANT’S NAME WILL BE DISQUALIFIED AND THE ENTRY FEE WILL BE FORFEITED. NOTE: Microsoft Word stores the author name in its document properties. For instructions on how to remove your name from the document, search the Word help files or the Microsoft Office Support site for “Remove personal information from document” and look for the instructions that pertain to the version of Word you’re using. If you are using another word processor, do a similar search in the help files or support site.


  • There will be two rounds of judging for the Fire & Ice 2017 contest.
  • During the preliminary round, each entry will be scored by three judges, at least one of whom is a published author.
  • Each entry will be scored out of a possible 100 points. The lowest score will be dropped and the two remaining scores will be added together for the Preliminary Combined Score.
  • The three highest Preliminary Combined Scores in each category will advance to the Final Round.
  • Finalists will be notified on April 17, 2017. First-round scoresheets and manuscripts will be returned at this time.
  • Each finalist will be given one week to make changes and submit revised manuscripts to the Fire & Ice contest coordinator. The deadline to submit a revised manuscript is 5 p.m. (Central time) April 24, 2017.
  • If the finalist does not return a revised manuscript by the deadline, the original manuscript will be sent to the final-round judges.
  • Final-round judges will rank the finalists in order from first to third. A first-place ranking receives 6 points, a second-place ranking receives 4 points, and a third-place ranking receives 2 points. The points for both final-round judges will be added together for the Final Combined Score.
  • In the event the Final Combined Score results in a tie, the Preliminary Combined Score will be used as a tiebreak.
  • The winning entry in each category will be awarded $30.
  • Fire & Ice 2017 winners will be announced on or about May 22, 2017.