This is a crock of shit.
Sorry Brigitte, but calling it a contest doesn't make it one.
What you're doing here is called "reading fees".
AAR frowns on that..but you probably don't need to worry about that now...maybe not ever.
You'll take on any kind of fiction huh?
I don't know a single agent other than a scam artist who says that. Not one.
If you'd like to take that as a challenge, send me the website of an agency that says some form of "we look at all kinds of fiction including genres" and I'll post it with an apology. Two limitations: it can't be your own, and it can't be a scammer. All disputes can be adjudicated by Victoria, Ann or Dave. (You might not know who those folks are yet. There are links to their sites on the right hand side of this blog.) Or the Snarklings (those are the people who read this blog). They're pretty smart. One of them found you and gave me the heads up with a giant howl of laughter.
The other clue that it's not an award is the "prize". A year of representation. A prize you can't decline if you "win". We have words for prizes like that here in NYC. It rhymes with Scooby and it's full of doo doo too.
Just to make this really really clear for you: reading manuscripts and choosing manuscripts to represent is what I do all day, every day. It costs a writer thirty nine cents to send me a letter and thirty nine cents to receive a reply. We don't call offers of representation "awards". We think of more like..yanno...a business.
You've got one too many things going on here Brigitte. Run a contest for an award with a prize-go for it. Limit the entries to unagented people-have at it . I'll even release any of my clients from our agreement if they want to enter because unlike you, my contracts are 30 day notice by either party, and lots of us operate on a handshake and goodwill. The contest and prize are no problemo. It's the representation thingie that makes you walk and talk like a scam artist. I don't know if you are...but you know that cliche about the duck? Well, it's a cliche for a reason.
If you're the same Brigitte Weeks who used to write for Book World, and Guideposts, what the HELL are you doing here??