Free Romance Writing Competition 2018

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Without doubt, romantic fiction has always been one of the most popular book genres worldwide, but what does a love story involve, and could you be the next bestselling romance novelist?

We are running a free writing competition to give aspiring romance authors the chance to have their short story published in a romantic compilation we are releasing on Valentine’s Day 2019. We are always seeking new talent, and this could be your opportunity to become one of our growing stable of authors.

Send us your contemporary romance submission before 30 November for the chance to feature in Whispers of the Heart, a selection of feel-good love stories. This collection will let the reader escape to glamorous locations and experience the passionate emotions that come with falling in love.

We are seeking a fresh approach, for example:

  • A surrogate pregnancy
  • Runaway groom
  • Ethnic romance
  • Social issues (perhaps falling in love with a refugee or someone with a disability)
  • Funny internet dating
  • Dystopian romance
  • Finding love after tragedy
  • Chance encounters that lead to something more

We are not looking for the next Fifty Shades of Grey, so no explicit bedroom antics. Nevertheless, we do want excitement and sensuality, after all, falling in love is about passion and intense emotional connection. Page-turning fiction makes us smile. With that in mind, delivering a good hook and bold writing are key ingredients. Do we like diversity? Certainly!

What type of submission are we looking for?

  • A good romance writer knows a romantic novel is all about the heroine. She needs to be a likeable, memorable character and someone readers can connect with. The story should take the reader on her journey!
  • The hero is also important. He doesn’t have to be a millionaire but needs to be trustworthy, have a strong personality, and must draw the reader in, flaws and all.
  • Exotic foreign locations are good as they add to the escapism, but we are equally happy to read romantic stories set in Leeds or the Welsh valleys.
  • The story should be emotionally intense. Your writing should captivate your audience. Readers want the couple in your story to overcome obstacles, have a deep connection and their own unique background, with the key focus on love.
  • We are not averse to reinvention of a classic or modern theme. If you wish to rewrite Twilightor Pride and Prejudice feel free. However, be authentic – don’t imitate someone else. Make sure you give your creation a unique twist; plagiarism is not the way to go.
  • We are looking for romantic manuscripts between 5,000–12,000 words.
  • The authors chosen to feature in the compilation will receive an equal share of 60% of the royalties.

Help with writing romance

Writing romantic fiction isn’t a doddle. To assist, we have compiled an adorable blog post, including a number of handy tips.

Competition submission guidelines

We only accept electronic submissions. After all your hard work, don’t make the simple mistake of ignoring the guidelines. The more professional your submission looks the better. It will certainly receive our attention if you’ve made an effort. Before submitting, check spelling, grammar, and punctuation in all documents.

When you’re ready, and using the format below, email competitions@whisperpublishing.co.uk with the following:

  • A query letter.
  • A short biography. Include details of what inspires you to write and your writing history. If you have won any competitions or awards, let us know.
  • Your manuscript (Times or Arial font, 12pt, 1.5 or double spacing) in Microsoft Word or PDF file format (.doc, .docx or .pdf).

Please send the documents as attachments and not in the body of the email.

We are accepting entries from 12 October until 30 November inclusive. Use the subject heading Romance Writing Competition 2018 when making contact.

Get writing … and good luck!