Category Archives: For Writers

Tips, news, ideas, and stuff for Romantic Shorts Writers.

What We’re Looking For – the short version

We’re open for submissions! And in a nutshell, here’s what we’re looking for:

Short stories that center around a romantic relationship between any two consenting adults. There can be a physical/sexual/steamy/erotic component to the story, but it has to make sense. No sex just for the sake of having sex. Romance comes first. No porn.

Our stories are meant to be read in about a half hour, which falls between 4,500-6,000 words. That’s a hard min/max limit.

All Romantic Shorts are self-contained, one-off, fully complete stories. Nothing that’s part of a longer story. Nothing that will need a prequel, sequel, or any other kind of quel.

All submissions have to be print-ready. We don’t edit. Other than some minor formatting and smoothing, we publish as is. And if we can’t read your manuscript because of awkward structure and errors, then we can’t read your manuscript.

Romantic Shorts currently pays $50 CDN for a published story.

And, we ask for a one-year exclusive right to use your story. You retain the copyright at all times.

There’s more to the details, and you can find them here. Read the guidelines and the T&C carefully before deciding to submit your work. But, at a glance, these are them…

Alex.

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Filed under For Writers, Writing and Getting Published 101

How To Get Published At Romantic Shorts

Romantic Shorts is once again accepting manuscripts for publication. And it is very exciting to see the response to this! If the sheer number of submissions says anything about our potential, this is going to be fun!!

On the flip side, I’d forgotten the frustration at the volume of submissions that end up in the virtual trash can.

I’m not talking about stories that I write a personal response to, regardless of the fact that I’m actually rejecting them. Those are all works that are well written, but maybe aren’t a good fit for us: they don’t quite have the level of romance we’re looking for, maybe cross a line we’re not ready to cross, if at all, or seem a little too clichéd or overdone.

There are also the rejections that are pretty good stories, maybe even a good fit for us, but that require far too much in the way of editing. I try to be very encouraging of these and make suggestions as to courses or coaches or writers’ groups. Many, I’ve even offered to revisit in time if the writer has worked to improve the structure.

These are all interesting in their own right; I always learn something and am grateful for the trust and the interest the writer shows in the Romantic Shorts idea.

But it’s the submissions by people who blatantly and obviously completely disregard the Submission Guidelines that begin to take advantage of my time and good manners. For shits and giggles, here’s some examples of what I’ve found in my inbox this month:

  • 5 separate submissions from four different people, each with an appropriate file type, none of which are written in English. Five seconds on the site should explain why this is a problem;
  • 1 manuscript that is one, 22-page long sentence. No punctuation. No capitals. No spacing;
  • 4 – I hesitate to call them stories – that have no romantic component to them at all. In fact, it is likely that they would be rejected as scripts for pornographic films;
  • 2 that I think have left me somewhat scarred for life;
  • and 1 that was so remarkably close to Pride and Prejudice, including a bad attempt at the period’s syntax, that I read the whole thing hoping that maybe they’d surprise me with a different ending.

Suffice it to say that, overall, I am privileged to be able to work with so many gifted writers, despite the less-than-stellar interruptions. I had one day last week where I was about to give up when I tripped over a submission by one of our own Romantic Shorts writers. A half hour later, faith restored by a truly wonderful story, it was back to business.

Bottom line, Writers: Read and Follow the Submission Guidelines. Take a good look through the FAQ’s.

If you don’t understand, ask.

And before you hit the SUBMIT button, maybe get a friend – one who can be honest with you – to give your story the once over.

~~ALEX

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Filed under For Writers, Writing and Getting Published 101

What Happened To Alex Brown

In reconnecting with so many people these last few weeks as I get set to re-launch Romantic Shorts, the one question I’m running into almost as much as ‘Will you consider my story?’ is, ‘What happened to you?’

For now, let’s just say that that is a very long story. But in a nutshell, it’s been quite a trek. There was a lot of grief – still is, actually – but I’m stronger now. Mostly. I wrote a book. I’ve started reaching out to help other women who have had the rug pulled out from under them mid-life. And now I’m back to finish what I started.

Except that by finish, I mean finish starting.

Romantic Shorts has been my baby for a long time. I have great plans for it. And there is no way I’m letting this one get away.

If you’d like to read a little more, please visit my site at AlexStacey.com or check out my novel, A Road To Joy.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, What's New @ R.S.