The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romance fiction. The contest is judged by avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians. The winners of each category are awarded a custom-made golden lapel pin. Winners will also be included in a full-page RWR advertisement.

Enter the Gayle Wilson Contest Here


Submission Period

April 1-June 30, 2016


$25 for each book. Payment will be made on the RWA website via PayPal, which also allows for credit card payment or by check.  


All authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction (traditionally and self-published)


Books must have an original publication date and copyright of 2015. Electronic books may be entered when not available in print. Must provide a copyright page produced by the publisher. Limit of two books per author and author must provide three copies of the entered book, which will not be returned.

Once you have submitted your entry form and paid for your entry, you will be contacted with instructions on where and how to send your book for judging.


  • Historical
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Paranormal, Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • Contemporary
  • Teen/YA
  • Inspirational
  • New Adult
  • Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)

Note: If a category receives less than 5 entries, the author has the option to move that entry into another category or withdraw the entry (with refund of entry fee). Books cannot be returned.


Avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians (authors may not judge this contest).

For More Information

Contest Coordinator
Julia Muscari  

Previous Winners

2005   2006   2007   2008
2009   2010   2011   2012
2013   2014   2015    

Copyright 2016 Southern Magic, Inc., RWA Chapter 178