Romance Junkies Features AUTHORS Romance Me First Place Winner

One of the prizes we are very excited about for the Romance Me Novel Writing Contest is brought to you by top Romance review blog, Romance Junkies. The folks at RJ are running the first chapter of Rachel Mannino’s first place winning novel, Time’s Firebird.  To read the first chapter, visit Romance Junkies. 

Rachel Mannino1st Place Winner – Time’s Firebird
Time-traveling anthropologist visits a 7th century village

Fiona Dale is a time-traveling anthropology student. As part of her doctoral research, she travels back to the 690s to study a Pict village. During her studies, a Viking convoy attacks the village. Terrified, Fiona tries to hide, but she’s caught the attention of the leader of this Viking raid, Jarl Vakr, and he takes her prisoner. Vakr decides that Fiona is his prize for becoming the first Jarl to sail across the western sea. Her fiery red-gold hair captivates him, as well as her skills with a sword, and her intelligence. He resolves to seduce Fiona into marrying him, even though he knows nothing about her. During the three-day voyage to Vikanes, Vakr’s family seat in Norway, Fiona proves herself a relentless advocate for the villagers. Fiona and Vakr find one language they have in common,Englisc. Once they arrive in Vikanes, Vakr takes Fiona to his home where he introduces her to his son, Edric, and the woman who taught him Englisc, Maida.

“Romance Me” Novel Writing Contest Winners Announced

Judges from Top Romance Imprints Select Winners of Romance Writing Contest for Prizes, Promotion on Romance Junkies

AUSTIN, TX | FEB. 14, 2017  — Submission Platform and Publishing AI and startup today announced the winners of its “Romance Me” Novel Writing Contest, open to original romance novels not previously published by a traditional publisher. First place went to Time’s Firebird by Rachel Mannino; second place to Stripped Bounty by Dorothy F. Shaw; third to Not Even Death by Emerson Clarey.  

The winning novels represent the diverse breadth of the Romance genre. First place winner Time’s Firebird is historical romance with elements of science fiction. “Taken captive by a Viking, time-traveling anthropologist Fiona Dale must find some way home,” reads the hook. “She falls in love with her amorous abductor, but if she stays, she’ll destroy history.” Maninno has published two novels: Love or Justice (Limitless Press), and Fractal (eTreasures).

Stripped Bounty is a romantic thriller/suspense exploring the complicated, harrowing relationship between Rosie Santini and the bouncer of the club she dances after her drug-running husband gets himself killed. “Badger finally got Rosie in his bed, but in order to keep her there, he has to figure out how to save her life,” reads the hook. Shaw has published nine novels, including three with Samhain and one with Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Books.

Not Even Death is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance “inspired by what it means to love in the face of unexpected tragedy and how to move past crippling loss. ” said Clarey. The novel centers around the friendship between two girls–one living, one dead–who vow to “help a troubled boy with a death wish find his way back to hope.”

Mannino has been awarded a cash prize of $200 and will see the first chapter of Time’s Fire Bird excerpted on the popular romance book website, Romance Junkies. Both runners up received a cash prize, and Shaw will receive a professional query consultation. All three novels will be featured on the acquisitions platform and highlighted in the company’s February newsletter sent to the publishers and agents who use the platform.

For more information on the winning novels, click here.

Over 300 writers submitted original novels to the contest, which was open to submissions from October 15 through December 15. Judges for the contest hail from some of the top Romance imprints in the country: Lexi Smail, Editorial Assistant at Forever and Forever Yours (Hachette Book Group); Marissa Sangiacomo, Marketing Manager at St. Martin’s Press, specializing in all Swerve, SMP and Griffin Romance titles (Macmillan); and Katherine Pelz, Associate Editor of romance, women’s fiction, and mystery at Berkley/NAL (Penguin/Random House).



AUTHORS, Inc. is an Austin-based technology company modernizing the creative discovery process. They bring efficiency and machine intelligence to submissions, providing smart tools for writers, agents, publishers, and producers with a content acquisition platform and predictive analytics.

Announcing the “ROMANCE ME” Genre Novel Competition

Three Winners to Collect Cash Prizes , Publicity, and Consultation Services in Romance Novel Contest

AUSTIN, TEXAS September 26, 2016 – AUTHORS, Inc., creator of, the revolutionary query and submissions service marrying traditional publishing and intelligent machine learning, announced “Romance Me,” a novel competition for romance writers.  The competition will award three prizes that include cash, query review consultation, and more. The first chapter of the winning manuscript will be published on lead romance blog, The winning manuscripts will also be sent directly to the inboxes of’s’ more than 40 partners, including agents at Trident Literary Management and acquisitions editors at Hachette Book Group and Penguin Random House.  The competition opens September 26 and ends December 15, 2016.

“The Romance competition discovers and amplifies voices in this powerhouse genre,” said Monica Landers, CEO of “Romance has consistently been one of the most dynamic genres in the industry, so we’re beyond thrilled to see what this enthusiastic community has to offer.”

Eligible writers can submit their manuscripts through December 15 using the platform which enables them to quickly add all the pertinent details concerning themselves and their work, resulting in a consistent, media-rich output that will be available for the judges’ review. Submission is limited to one manuscript per email address, must be original to the submitting author.

The distinguished panel will include three experts in the Romance publishing industry: Katherine Pelz, Associate Editor at Berkley/NAL, an imprint of Penguin Random House, Marissa Sangiacomo, Marketing Director for St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Swerve, imprints of Macmillan Publishing Group, and Lexi Smail, Editorial Assistant at Forever and Forever Yours, imprints of the Hachette Book Group.