Judging Criteria: Smokin’ Hot Heroes Contest

Does Your Hero Steal Hearts?


Our judges will evaluate your fiction-writing skills, as well as your understanding of the commercial Romance formula.


Characterization: (50 Points Possible)

  1. Has the author created a lovable male protagonist, who exudes sex appeal? (10 points)
  2. Is the Hero’s Alpha/Beta persona consistent and convincing? Alternatively, is the Hero’s Good Boy/Bad Boy persona consistent and convincing? (10 points) 
  3. Is the Hero’s scene goal clear, immediate, and concrete? (10 points)
  4. Has the author effectively applied internal conflict and character motivation to make the Hero interesting, complex, and memorable? (10 points)
  5. Has the author revealed the goals, motivations, and conflicts of other characters in the scene? (10 points)

Dialogue: (15 Points Possible)

  1. Does the dialogue sparkle with wit, humor, and tasteful innuendo? (10 points)
  2. Does the dialogue deepen the Hero’s characterization? (5 points)

Plot: (20 Points Possible)

  1. Has the author established emotional tension, escalating that tension in a consistent and convincing way between the Hero and the other characters in the scene? (10 points)
  2. Does the Hero tackle obstacles in ways that Romance readers can admire, or at least understand? (10 points)

General: (15 Points Possible)

  1. Did the author follow standard formatting procedure? (A “no” will disqualify the entry.)
  2. Is the entry free of typos and errors in punctuation and grammar? (3 points)
  3. Is the author’s voice suitable for the Romance subgenre, which was designated on the entry form? (3 points)
  4. Is the scene clearly anchored in time and place? (4 points)
  5. Does the writing come alive? Is the author masterfully balancing “showing” and “telling” language throughout the scene? (5 points)