The Leslie Esdaile Aspiring Author Contest

Romance Slam Jam with support from Diverse Writers and Readers International, inspires more diversity by encouraging aspiring black authors and/or writing teams that include a black author to continue into a writing career. To support this mission, we created the Aspiring Author contest to advocate diversity in literature. The contest serves to encourage unpublished black authors and/or writing teams that include a black author to submit their manuscripts for review, with an opportunity to potentially be published. After all, the book industry is in need of more diverse characters written by diverse authors.  The contest entrants will receive constructive criticism and positive feedback on their works and Winners will be announced at the 2018 Emma Awards being held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Are you the next award winning author? Emma Awards

March. 05 | USA, Kansas City, MO - 11:59pm (pst)

Important Dates

Entry Deadline: March 5, 2018

Winners Announced at RSJ Convention in Los Angeles, Emma Awards Banquet, June 16, 2018 (winners will also be notified by email and/or phone)

Fee: $45

Eligibility: All entries must be written by a black author and/or a writing team that includes an African American team member, must be the author’s original work, must not be contracted for publication before the entry deadline, and must remain unpublished through the date of announcement of the contest winner. This contest is open to all unpublished black authors, and/or a writing team that includes an African American team member, who have never been published in book or novella length. “Published” for purposes of this contest includes traditionally published as well as self- or indie-published works.

Entry: A two-page synopsis and the first three chapters which, when combined, should be no more than 50 pages. All submissions must be digital. Acceptable file formats include: .doc, .docx, and .pdf

Format: Entries should be double-spaced with one inch margins and a 12-point standard font (Times New Roman, Arial or Courier are acceptable). The title of the manuscript and the genre should be placed in the top header. The page number should be placed in the bottom header. The author’s name and/or pen name should NOT appear anywhere on the entry.

Judging: Each entry will receive a score sheet with brief comments from qualified judges (published authors). The scores will be averaged and the three entries receiving the highest scores will take their winning rank as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd place winners.

Winners: Winners will be notified by Diverse Writers and Readers International, Inc. and will be announced at the annual Emma Awards ceremony dinner at the RSJ Book Lovers Convention. (Winners need not be present to win.)



author Leslie Esdaile BanksWho was Leslie Esdaile?
Leslie Esdaile Banks, who passed away in August 2011, was an American writer under the pen names of Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks, and L. A. Banks. She wrote in various genres, including African-American literature, romance, women’s fiction, crime suspense, dark fantasy/horror and non-fiction. She won several literary awards, including the 2008 Essence Literary Awards Storyteller of the Year and the Romantic Times Career Achievement for paranormal fiction in 2009. She broke barriers by being one of the first African-American authors to be traditionally published in paranormal romance for her popular series The Vampire Huntress Legend Series. Leslie was one of the first chief judges for the Romance Slam Jam Aspiring Authors Contest, and she’ll be forever missed.

Meet Leslie Esdaile
Get a rare opportunity to meet Leslie Esdaile (Blog Radio Interview by Chatting with Chase / 8 years ago):

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