Competition Guidelines

Unless specifically stated within the competition announcement, all Romantic Shorts Writing Competitions are open to any unpublished (unpaid) writer. The entrant will not have had a book, article, short story, etc. in any genre, of more than 500 words published by a commercial or school affiliated press or online publisher, and is not presently under contract with any publisher to do so.

All entries must be original, unpublished works, in English, and created as a complete work unto itself. Excerpts from full length novels, submitted as short stories, will not be considered. Familiarize yourself with our website before deciding to participate to ensure a good match to our House.

Your story will be digitally submitted via e-mail attachment to us, written using either Microsoft Word or Mac Pages, BUT SUBMITTED IN .PDF FORMAT. No other format will be accepted for competition submissions. (In order for us to review your work, we prefer a .pdf version of your manuscript as this is equivalent to a print copy and cannot be changed. If we accept your submission, however, we will need to edit it. Having created the original document in Word or Pages – the two programs that we use – you will not need to re-type your document if it is accepted.)

Your e-mail message will include:  (Click here for an email sample to help you with the layout of your message.)

  • in the subject line, you will include the name of the competition that you are entering – “/” – and your story title;
  • the body of your e-mail message will include 2 things: 1. your online entry fee “TRANSACTION ID” number (found at the top of your printed e-receipt, e-mailed to you from PayPal, right below the date – payment of entry fee must be made online and can be made through PayPal by clicking on the link below), and 2. the e-mail address you used with PayPal, if it was different from the one you are using to submit your entry;
  • your .pdf formatted entry document as an attachment to your e-mail;
  • no other comments, formalities, or notes.

Ensure that the e-mail address used to submit your entry is accurate, current, and checked regularly, as ‘Reply’ e-mail will be the only means of contacting the author with the results of the competition.

Include on the first page of your submission document, (your .pdf formatted entry document, included with your e-mail as an attachment):  (Click here for a Competition Submission Sample to help you with the layout of your document.)

  • the name of the competition that you are entering;
  • the deadline date of your competition;
  • your story title;
  • the number of pages;
  • the number of words;
  • your online entry fee TRANSACTION ID number, from your e-receipt. (Payment of entry fee must be made online and can be made by clicking on the link below.)

DO NOT include anywhere within your submission:

  • author’s name or pen name;
  • cover letter;
  • author’s biography;
  • any other identifying information or marking, with the obvious exception of the sender’s e-mail address.

***Entries showing any information about the author within the submission document will be disqualified.

Winners will be notified by reply e-mail, at which time prizes will be offered and arranged.

Authors of winning submissions will be required to submit an agreement to your story’s publication online at You will be asked to provide biography information, which can include images, links, and information suitable for your Romantic Shorts Author’s Page, and to permit publication and/or archiving of your story and Author’s Page for a period of one year from the original publication date. At the end of that year, your story will be deleted from our files, if you so choose; any author wishing to withdraw their work(s) from the Romantic Shorts archives after the one-year publication period will be required to provide a written request via e-mail; your story will be removed with 14 days. At all times, the author retains all rights to the story. It is our hope that any author, once published at Romantic Shorts will include a note of recognition (in the form of a web link, dedication line, etc.) of our support in any future publication/production of the story in any form.

As Romantic Shorts is a unique venue for new and unique authors, a mutually supportive network would serve to benefit all of us. The demanding writer who suffers from a healthy sense of entitlement will not be happy working with Romantic Shorts.

All unsuccessful submissions will be deleted at the close of the competition. Romantic Shorts will make every effort to contact authors whose work has not been chosen, subject to the number of works submitted.

Multiple entries are permitted for one or more competitions, but each entry must be submitted in a separate e-mail message with a unique entry fee transaction ID number.

Entry fees will reflect the scope and frequency of each competition, and start at $10.00 CDN. The primary purpose of the entry fee is to ensure the submission of serious entries only. Secondary purpose is to offset prize awards.

Each competition will detail its own prize list, typically including a cash prize for one or more of the top entries, and publication on the Romantic Shorts website.

Entry deadlines will be in effect according to our office location, in Ontario Canada, Eastern Standard Time, which is GMT -5:00, supporting US Daylight Savings.

All entry fees and prize awards will be given in Canadian dollars.

You will find links here to PayPal for online entry fee payment,
and to submit your Competition Entry.