Competition Guidelines

Unless specifically stated within the competition announcement, all Romantic Shorts Writing Competitions are open to all writers.

Each entry must be an original, unpublished work, in English, and created as a complete work unto itself. Excerpts from, or chapters of, full length novels, submitted as short stories, will not be considered. Familiarize yourself with our website and our Submission Guidelines before deciding to participate to ensure a good match to our House. The top three considerations for all submissions are:

1. Your story is a good fit for Romantic Shorts™.
2. It is a great story.
3. It is exceptionally well written.

Your manuscript will be digitally submitted via our online Competition Manuscript Submission Page, found only by clicking on the red button below.

It will be written as a .doc, .docx, .pages, .rtf, or .txt document, BUT SUBMITTED IN .PDF FORMAT. No other format will be accepted for competition submissions. (In order for us to review your work, we require 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 one of the listed formats – Word or Pages are most preferable as they are the two programs that we use – you will not need to re-type your document if it is accepted for publication.)

Both Microsoft Word and Mac Pages offer the option to convert your document to .pdf through the PRINT function. If this is unfamiliar to you, you can search online for instructions on how to use this feature. Alternatively, you can click here to access this Online PDF Converter. While this is a free option, Romantic Shorts™ always encourages making a donation to those who provide such valuable service.

The competition entry form will ask for a unique, but non-identifying username. Please choose something you will recognize while also adding our email address: hq@romanticshorts.com to your contact list. It would be a shame to be chosen as a winning entry only to have the news land in your spam folder.

The first page of your manuscript submission must be a cover sheet that includes all of the following information:

  • the name of the competition that you are entering;
  • the deadline date of your competition;
  • the username you entered on your online entry form;
  • YOUR STORY TITLE – ensure that this matches your online entry form exactly;
  • the number of pages; and
  • the number of words.

DO NOT include anywhere within your .pdf submission:

  • author’s name or pen name;
  • cover letter, introduction, preface, or other explanatory information;
  • author’s biography; or
  • any other identifying information or marking.

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

**Email addresses are collected separately from uploaded submission files. They will be matched to those files, using the submitted usernames and story titles, when we need to contact the author, after winning selections have been made. 

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

Authors of all submissions agree to be bound by Romantic Shorts™ Terms & Conditions of publication by submitting their entries. These T&C constitute the publishing contract between Romantic Shorts™, the publisher, and the entrant/author. They have been found to be fair and amenable in the past. Should you have any concerns about your rights and responsibilities as a Romantic Shorts™ Author, please contact us. In addition to being able to provide you with clarification where necessary, we are also keenly interested in improving our relationships with our authors and welcome any insight into areas we may be lacking.

Judging is conducted by anonymous review. All stories are reviewed by a three person panel of Romantic Shorts™ staff. ‘Review’ in this instance is intended to mean: a thorough reading of every entry, by each of the three judges. Depending on the number of entries received and time permitting, however, review could conceivably be modified to mean: your story better grab the reader from the first sentence, or it might not get the attention it deserves. As you’re putting a considerable amount of time, effort, and emotion into your work, as well as a non-refundable entry fee, we would presume that the previous sentence is therefore, redundant. 

In the future, the judging panel may be expanded to include both Romantic Shorts™ Authors, as well as readers who have won the privilege through some sort of Readers’ Contest. 

Should you be offered publication, you will be asked to provide biography information, which can include images, links, and information suitable for your Romantic Shorts Author’s Page

As Romantic Shorts™ is a unique venue for 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™. Please be aware of this as you make your decision to work with us.

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 with a separate entry form and fee. Manuscripts received as general submissions will not be considered at any time for any competition. 

Entry fees will reflect the scope and frequency of each competition, and start at $20.00 CDN. The primary purpose of the entry fee is to ensure the submission of serious entries only. Secondary purpose is to offset prize awards and website costs.

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 Daylight Savings.

All entry fees and prize awards will be given in Canadian dollars. All entry fees are non-refundable.