Strelitzia Award 2021

What to expect
Entry Fees
Contest Rules
Time Frames
How to enter

* Please note that entries for the 2021 Strelitzia Contest are now closed *

ROSA hosts its fifth annual Strelitzia Award for unpublished romance authors (writers whose books have not yet been published, either traditionally or self-published). This contest is open to ten entrants in both English and Afrikaans.

The purpose of the Strelitzia Contest is to encourage excellence in the romance genre and to develop aspiring authors.

The 2021 contest will consist of only one round. All entrants are encouraged to enter a full manuscript for judging at the end of the 6-month mentorship phase.

Entrants who require financial assistance to enter the Strelitzia Contest are encouraged to view our Scholarship opportunities:


What to Expect

  • Entrants will have exclusive access to a closed Facebook group in which they are encouraged to motivate one another, share information, brainstorm ideas and swap critiques on one another's work.
  • During the mentorship phase, regular Q&As will be held in the Facebook group in which entrants can have their questions answered by the visiting guests.
  • Lessons and articles on various topics will be posted in the Facebook group to assist entrants as they prepare their manuscripts for submission.
  • A series of monthly webinars will be available free of charge to entrants, starting in January 2021. Those who cannot attend the live events will have access to recordings and slideshow presentations of the webinars after the event.
  • Each entrant will be allocated their own mentor who will be available to assist with goal-setting, advice on plotting and character arcs, and to answer questions.
  • Entrants will receive feedback on their synopses from their mentors.
  • Please note that this contest is not a free editorial service, and mentors should not be expected to provide detailed editorial feedback on chapters.
  • Completed and polished manuscripts should be submitted as per the Contest Rules by Sunday 11th July 2021.

Entry Fees

ROSA members entry fees: R350
Non-ROSA members: R700
Successful applicants will be sent an invoice. Please use the invoice number as reference when making the payment. 

Contest Rules

Please ensure that you read the contest rules before submitting your entry. ROSA reserves the right to disqualify entries that do not comply with these rules. The Contest Administrator's decision in this regard is final, and the entry fee will not be refunded in the event of disqualification.

2021 Time Frames

  • Entry forms must be submitted by 31st December 2020.
  • In the first week of January 2021, entrants will be notified whether or not their applications have been successful.
  • The mentorship phase will run for six months (from 11th January 2021 to 11th July 2021), during which entrants will prepare their submissions (complete manuscript of no more than 60k words)
  • Submissions must be submitted to the Contest Administrators in the correct format by end of day on Sunday 11th July 2021.
  • Judging will take place from mid July to mid September 2021.
  • The 2021 winner will be announced at the ROSA awards ceremony in September / October 2021 (date to be announced).

How will the entries be judged?

  • The entries will be judged by published members of ROSA. 

  • Each entry will be read and evaluated by at least 3 judges.

  • The judges will complete detailed scoresheets, with a maximum score of 100 points based on a number of set criteria (including but not limited to use of language, pacing, plot, conflicts, characterisation, voice, originality and overall page-turning quality).

  • Entries must also fulfil two further criteria in order to be classified as a Romance and to be eligible for the award: the entry must (1) contain a central love story, and (2) have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

  • When all the judges' scores are in, the scores for each entry will be averaged, and the three entrants with the highest overall score will be contacted to submit their full manuscripts for the second round.

  • In the event that all entries receive 5 or more reads, then the highest and lowest judges' scores will be removed and the final score will be an average of the remaining scores.

  • Judges will be allowed to mark an entry as DNF (Did Not Finish) if they have read more than 25% of the full manuscript and are convinced, based on both the synopsis and the manuscript itself, that the entry does not qualify as a potential award winner. Judges must provide a written motivation in the event they mark an entry as DNF.

  • The winner of the Strelitzia Award will be selected based on highest average score.

  • ROSA reserves the right not to award the trophy in the event that no entry is deemed to be of publishable quality.


How to enter

  • Complete the online entry form on the link below by end of day on 31st December 2020.

  • All applications for the contest will be reviewed by the the contest administrators, and successful candidates will be notified within a week of the closing date.

  • Successful candidates will receive an invoice for entry fees, and all entry fees must be paid by Friday 8th January 2021 in order to be eligible.

  • If you require scholarship assistance with the entry fees, click here for information on ROSA's scholarship program.

  • Once successful candidates have paid their entry fees, they will be sent further information on the mentorship phase.