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The 2013 Elisa Rolle Rainbow Awards are an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons. For this the contest’s fifth year, some new rules have been instigated, and a new partner has emerged to assist Elisa. The Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, will partner with Elisa in the management and coordination of this contest. Despite RRW’s status as a chapter for romance writers, their participation in no way changes the Rainbow Awards and do not make them exclusively a romance contest. One need not be a member of RRW or RWA to participate in this contest.

ELIGIBILITY
  • The book must be published between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 (both months included).
  • The book must contain prominent LGBT characters. In the case of romance categories, these characters must be engaged in the primary romance.
  • The book must fit into one of the following categories: Young Adult, Contemporary General Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Historical, Historical Romance, Mystery / Thriller, Non Fiction, Biography / Memoir, Poetry, Debut Novel/Book. Within these categories, entries will be further delineated to compete by gender category: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.
  • Self-published books are eligible.
  • Ebook editions of previously published print books are not eligible. First time print book editions of previously published ebooks are eligible. A book that has been republished by a different publisher after its initial publication is not eligible. A book that was previously self-published by the author, and then republished by a publisher after its initial publication is eligible.

SUBMISSION PROCESS
  • Books submitted for consideration will be accepted between February 15 and September 5, 2013.
  • A shortlist of finalists for each category will be announced no later than October 15, 2013.
  • Winners will be announced on December 8, 2013.
  • A book can be submitted only by its author or by its publisher. Submit a book in the category most appropriate: please indicate Gender (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and Genre Young Adult, Contemporary General Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Historical, Historical Romance, Mystery / Thriller, Non Fiction, Biography / Memoir, Poetry, Debut Novel/Book).
  • Books are submitted in electronic version (PDFs). Submitting the ebook, authors/publishers agree for its distribution with the only purpose of being read by the commission. It's recommended but not mandatory, that the PDF file has some kind of protection, like a specific disclaimer or similar.
  • Submissions will be made via the RRW website using a form and PayPal format and will also allow uploading of PDFs. After you have submitted your books through the form, complete the process by paying the submission fee of $25 per book. To submit, please follow this Link: http://www.rainbowromancewriters.com/rainbowawards. For any issue with the submission form please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com.
  • Authors/publishers/editors in the Jury can submit books in Categories they are not reading for. If an author/publisher/editor is also in the Jury they can submit 1 book free of charge (see above submission fee of $25): please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com.
  • Once administrative and other organization expenses will be covered, all remaining collected fees will be given to a selected LGBT non-profit charitable organization. Our intent is to preserve the majority of fees to this purpose. The selected charities for 2013 are:
    • Ali Forney Center in NYC which provides homeless LGBT youth with shelter, food, and counseling. Sandy left their offices underwater and they are in desperate need of donations to continue their important work (www.aliforneycenter.org).
    • COLORS is a free LGBTQ Youth & Counseling Center serving the needs of Los Angeles-area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) youth 24 and under. COLORS opened its doors in January 2012 in Downtown Los Angeles, providing free therapy and support to LGBTQ youth and their families. (www.colorsyouth.org)

CATEGORIES

A book can be submitted in only one category. Debut Fiction is the only category allowing a "double" submission, in its own specific category, plus the Debut Fiction one. There is no additional fee to submit a book to the Debut Fiction category.

If a category receives fewer than five (5) submissions, the category will not be active in this awards cycle. The submitted books will be reassigned to another category if appropriate.

Gender Category: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Genre Category: Young Adult, Contemporary General Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Historical, Historical Romance, Mystery / Thriller, Non Fiction, Biography / Memoir, Poetry

Special Category: Debut Fiction: First time print book edition of previously published authors only in ebook is Debut Fiction. A book that was previously self-published by the author, and then republished by a publisher after its initial publication is Debut Fiction. Debut Fiction is considered the first book in print or ebook of more of 41.000 words published as standalone.

Length: A novel is defined as a work of more than 41,000 Words. Novellas and Short Stories will be considered only on the following conditions: Novellas (between 18,000 and 41,000 Words) only in Collection of 2 or more collected together; Short Stories (<18,000 Words) only in Collection of 4 or more collected together. A single submission has to be of more than 41.000 Words. Exception will be considered if a single category will have not enough submissions.

JURY
  • Judges will start to read books in March; reading period will finish in November (included).
  • There will be two separate reading periods:
    • First period: from 1 March 2013 to 30 September 2013; each book will be read and scored by 3 different judges. At the end of this period, a shortlist for each category will be announced on 15 October 2013.
    • Second period: from 1 October 2013 to 30 November 2013; all five finalists for each category will be read by the same 5 judges. Winners will be announced in December 2013.
  • Each judge will read a minimum of 5 books. Authors/Publishers/Editors will not read books in categories where a their own book is submitted.
  • Each book will be judge using 4 different criteria: Plot Development, Setting Development, Characters Development and Writing Style. Judges will rate entries in a range of 1 to 10 points for each criteria.
  • Judges will receive only the ebooks they have to read. (PDF files)
  • Judges will have to indicate what categories they are not comfortable reading.
  • To be a judge, please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com.
  • Authors/Publishers/Editors/Reviewers/Readers are welcomed. If you have not judged for this contest before, please give a short introduction explaining why you wish to participate in the jury for this contest.

PARTICIPATION OF RAINBOW ROMANCE WRITERS

For the first time in the history of the Rainbow Awards, the Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, will help curate the awards and provide assistance to Elisa. The following language clarifies RRW’s role in this process.

RRW will:
  • help in the organization of entries, collect payments (using the website shopping cart)
  • assist in the finding and organization of judges
  • advise and consult with Elisa on issues that arise within the awards at her discretion
  • use the resources and talents of RRW and RWA as is deemed appropriate by the RRW board
  • focus on the romance-centered elements as per their bylaws
  • yield to Elisa's decisions as owner and founder of the contest
  • help ordering winner certificates and sending them
  • begin a committee/pool of volunteers and helpers for Elisa

RRW will not:
  • own the contest
  • take over Elisa's role as the head of the contest
  • get overly involved in the non-romance categories
  • engage in any act/promise which goes against its or RWA's bylaws

To submit, please follow this Link: http://www.rainbowromancewriters.com/rainbowawards. For any issue with the submission form please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com.

Date: 2013-02-17 06:14 am (UTC)
ryanloveless: two 30-something men facing each other, embracing (Default)
From: [personal profile] ryanloveless
Hi Elisa,

I was just looking at the entry form. Can you clarify what drop box "gender" is asking for? Is this related to the book or to the author? I was also confused because the answers are all related to sexuality, not to gender identity. I was stumped at what to choose there, so I appreciate if you can clarify.

Thanks!

Date: 2013-02-17 03:03 pm (UTC)
ryanloveless: two 30-something men facing each other, embracing (Default)
From: [personal profile] ryanloveless
Thanks for the reply. I was right in being confused because lesbian, gay, bisexual, and LGBT are all sexualities. (i.e. related to who a person is attracted to.) Of the list given, only transgender is an actual gender.

Gender refers to the individual person, such as male, female (cisgender), genderqueer, transgender. Equalizeit.org puts it as "What’s between your ears, not between your legs, and how you present that to the world."

I will answer the question based on my characters' sexuality because that is what options I'm given, not based on their gender.

Date: 2013-02-17 09:44 pm (UTC)
ryanloveless: two 30-something men facing each other, embracing (Default)
From: [personal profile] ryanloveless
Understood. Thanks so much. :D

Date: 2013-05-15 08:11 am (UTC)
misslj_author: (My other car's a couch)
From: [personal profile] misslj_author
Hi Elisa,

I have a novel coming out very soon that I want to enter, but I have a question. What's the difference between LGBT Historical and LGBT Historical Romance? Thanks so much.

L. J. LaBarthe.

Date: 2013-05-15 11:30 am (UTC)
misslj_author: (Illumincation - written words)
From: [personal profile] misslj_author
Oh, I see. Gotcha. Thanks for explaining. :D

Judging

Date: 2013-06-05 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Elisa, for clarification, are we judging romantic comedy and contemporary romance (either gender) as one category?

Re: Judging

Date: 2013-06-05 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oops, forgot to sign my name to that!

Anne Tenino

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