Romance writing contest invites aspiring authors to “make this year your
The Clendon Award, an annual writing contest in which aspiring romance
authors submit an entire manuscript to be judged by devoted romance readers, is now open for submissions for the 2010 award.
The award, administered by Romance Writers of New Zealand, is believed to be the only contest in the world where every entrant’s full manuscript is read and given detailed feedback. Entries are judged by between three and eight romance readers, depending how far they progress in the contest. Finalist manuscripts are judged by an editor at Harlequin Books in New York, the world’s largest publisher of romance and women’s fiction.
Seven of the previous 11 Clendon winners and a further 11 former finalists
have gone on to have international writing careers, including New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh, and popular Australian Mills & Boon authors Melissa James (previous winner), and finalists Bronwen Jameson, Trish Morey and Maxine Sullivan.
The contest was founded by Barbara and Peter Clendon of Barbara’s Books, the specialist Auckland romance bookstore, after they realized that most people who start writing a novel never manage to finish it. The Clendon Award was an incentive to writers to get to “The End”.
“These days, we have a small army of dedicated volunteers who collate, read
and judge the anonymous manuscripts, all hoping to discover the next
international star,” says Barbara Clendon, whose bookstore continues to
sponsor the award.
Romance Writers of New Zealand president Abby Gaines, herself a former
Clendon Award winner and now a Mills & Boon author, says the Clendon Award is a great opportunity for women to go after what’s often a long-held goal.
“Many women say they hope to write a book one day,” she says. “RWNZ’s theme for 2010, our 20th anniversary year, is ‘Make this year your writing year’ – do it now! Deciding to enter the Clendon Award is a great incentive to jump in and write.”
The 2010 Clendon Award closes 26 February. Manuscripts must be between
40,000 and 110,000 words. Full details, including the entry form, can be
found on the Romance Writers of New Zealand website,
For additional information and interview please feel free to contact:
RWNZ Publicity Liaison, Sue Knight at email@example.com,
Romance Writers of New Zealand Inc.
PO Box 10264 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024, New Zealand