Category Descriptions – Published

The purpose of the Maggie Award for Excellence is to encourage, recognize, and reward the mastery of writing romance fiction. For the purposes of this award, a work of fiction is defined as a novel that is made commercially available to the public. Minimum entry is 40,000 words, with the exception of the Romance Novella category, which is between 20,000 and 40,000 words. All entries must fit into one of the Published Maggie categories, contain a central love story, and the resolution of the romance must be emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Specific contest rules can be found here: Published Maggie Contest Rules

Best New Book by a GRW Author

A novel entered in another Published Maggie contest category. To be eligible, the author (or authors in the case of a writing team) shall be a member(s) of the Georgia Romance Writers with a current membership at time of entry. One winner will be selected and awarded the prestigious Maggie Medallion at the Maggie Awards Banquet during Moonlight & Magnolias.

Contemporary Romance: Long
Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that are 70,000 or more words.

Contemporary Romance: Short
Novels that are set from 1950 to the present that are between 40,000 and 70,000 words in length.

Erotic Romance
Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth, and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).

Historical Romance
Novels that are set prior to 1950 and that are longer than 40,000 words.

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
Mainstream Fiction novels in which themes or elements other than the romance are integral to the story even though a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic resolution to the romance are still present. This category is intended for romances that do not fit neatly into any other category due to their mainstream fiction nature but where the central romance could not be removed without damaging the storyline.

Paranormal Romance
Novels in which fantasy worlds, paranormal, or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.

Romance Novella
Novellas are between 20,000 and 40,000 words.

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs are an inherent part of the love story, character growth, and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may be set in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system of any culture.

Romantic Suspense
Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.

Young Adult / New Adult Romance

A novel with romantic themes interwoven with young adult (teen/high school age) OR new adult (twenty-something/college age) issues and concerns to form the central part of the story.