The Heart Awards contest opens for Entries on November 1st.

Rules & Guidelines:

  • Entries must have an original publication date same year as contest. Example: Contest opens Nov 2021, all books must have copyright date of 2021. If you send an ARC with copyright of Nov or Dec 2021, we will check that book was actually published in 2021. All books sent as ARCs that do NOT end up being published in 2021 will be disqualified and will NOT receive a REFUND of contest fee.

  • Accepted format: PDF only

  • All entries fees must be paid by December 1st, 2021

  • Entry fee: $25 for first category, $5 for each additional category. Example: Author Bobby Sue wants to enter 3 of her books in the contest, 2 in erotic romance and 1 in sweet romance. Her total would be $35.

  • Authors may enter up to 3 different titles in a single category.

  • A single title canNOT be entered in more than 1 category.

  • No refunds will be issued if an author decides to withdraw from contest.

  • PDF file MUST be saved with category follow by title. Example. Bobby Sue is entering her title, Steamy Nights into Category 1: Erotica. Her PDF file will be named: cat1steamynights.pdf

Entry form found here: ENTER THE HEART AWARDS

Payment via PayPal to OKRWGtreasurer(at)gmail(dot)com

or via Cash App to $OKRWG

Heart Awards Contest VP: Chelsea Chevalier

For questions, contact your Category Coordinators:

  1. Erotic Coordinator ~ Sabrina Fish

  2. Scorcher Coordinator ~ Toni White

  3. Steamy Coordinator ~ Ariel White

  4. Sensual Coordinator ~ Staci Mauney

  5. Sweet Coordinator ~ Andrew Shelton

  6. Young Adult Coordinator ~ Tamara Grantham

  7. Romantic Poetry Coordinator ~ Gina Hoffman

  8. Non-Romance with Romantic Subplot Coordinator ~ Jessica Powell

Category descriptions:

All Published Romantic Fiction in Novel or Novella length that are no less than 15,000 words, meet category guidelines, and have a copyright date of 2021 are qualified to enter this contest.

Published Poetry of any Length or Style.

Category 1: Erotic Romance

Heat Level: 5 Flames

As opposed to straight erotica, which focuses primarily on the sex rather than on the plot or characterization, erotic romance is about the emotional journey lived through sexual experience. This sub-genre pushes boundaries, uses graphic language(including F-bomb), contains multiple sex scenes explicitly described…and because it’s romance, it has a happily ever after. Erotic romance can bring in BDSM, sex toys, anal sex, menages, and multiple partners. These are stories that cannot be told if you take sex out of the equation. UNLIMITED SEX SCENES.

Examples: EL James or Sylvia Day Novels

Category 2: Scorcher Romance

Heat Level: 4 Flames

The equivalent of NC-17 in the movie world. Sometimes described as one level shy of erotic romance. At this heat level, there’s explicit sex, indelicate language(including F-bomb), and graphic depictions of a sexual nature used to further the story. Scorcher might also include sex toys, mild BDSM, and other light forms of kink. UNLIMITED SEX SCENES.

Example: Nalini Singh or JR Ward novels

Category 3: Steamy Romance

Heat Level: 3 Flames

The equivalent of an R-rated movie. The majority of romance novels fall into this heat category. With steamy romance, you can expect action-packed love scenes where the reader goes along for the ride. There is graphic sex on the page, and what is happening between the couple is described with specific language, but emphasis is more on the emotional than physical. Swearing, but no F-bomb. Steamy romance doesn’t fade to black. Instead, it follows the participants right through the door and climbs into the bed along with them. NO MORE THAN 3 or 4 SEX SCENES

Example: Linda Howard or Linda Lael Miller novels

Category 4: Sensual Romance

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Sensual Romance(2 Flames): The equivalent of a PG13-rated movie. Kissing, touching, and intimate scenes are shared usually with focus on feelings and emotions rather than body parts. Sexual tension and love scenes might be included in the story, but most descriptions of physical intimacy still happen “behind closed doors.” NO EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

Ex. Nora Roberts novels

Category 5: Sweet Romance

Heat Level: 1 Flame

The equivalent of a PG-rated movie. There might be no contact at all except for some hand-holding or a chaste kiss at the end when the couple gets together. Mild sensuality might contain intimate scenes and sexual situations, but they’re not described in the book. You know it happens, but you don’t read about it because it happens off the page or fades to black. NO SEX SCENES.

Example: Hallmark Movies

Category 6: Young Adult Romance

Heat Level: 1 Flame

The equivalent of PG13-rated movie. The characters are in their teens, sometimes early twenties. Like a sensual romance, there may be kissing, touching, and intimate scenes, but the focus is on feelings and emotions rather than body parts. Sexual tension and love scenes might be included in the story, but most descriptions of physical intimacy still happen “behind closed doors.” NO EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

Examples: Rainbow Rowell and Stephenie Meyer

Category 7: Poetry with Romantic Theme

Heat Level: Any

Any single published poem in any style focused on any romantic theme including falling in love, staying in love, angst between lovers, and heartbreak.

For poems published in poetry books: You'll upload the entire book in which the poem was published and then indicate the page number of your poem in the appropriate place on the registration form.

For poems published via Magazine/Anthology, you'll upload a single PDF that includes both the magazine cover(with issue date & number on it) OR anthology cover(as well as copyright page) and the poem you're entering.

Examples: Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo, Allison Joseph, and Shakespeare

Category 8: Non-Romance with Strong Romantic Subplot

Heat Level: Any

This category is for any genre that contains a significant romantic subplot. The romantic subplot can contain any heat level, but it must be appropriate to the age level to which the books were written. I.E. No erotic scenes in a YA book, etc.

Examples: Brandon Sanderson and Sarah J. Maas

Heart Awards Winner Ceremony Info

The Heart Awards Award Ceremony will be held each year during the Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. (OWFI) Annual Conference.

The next OWFI Conference is May 6-7, 2022.

Our 2021 Heart Awards Ceremony will be Friday, May 6, 2022

Room #: TBA

Time: TBA

Drinks & Desserts will be served.

You do NOT have to attend the OWFI Conference to attend the OKRWG Heart Awards ceremony, but we'd love for you to consider this fun, writer-focused gathering.

For more info about attending the OWFI conference, go HERE.