Category Archives: For Writers

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

Submissions Status Update

Effective February 2017, Romantic Shorts will be closed for submission of new manuscripts.

Which isn’t to say we’re closed.

There is a slight backlog of manuscripts to consider – and, wishing I had a magic wand to convince writers to fully read and understand submission guidelines would make this task a LOT easier. Of every 100 manuscripts I read, 80 don’t fit our house: they’re just not romances. Another 15 are unreadable: please please please take a grammar course, if not have your story professionally edited! And of the remaining 5, sometimes one is a good one.

I suppose I should take the tack that most publishers do: throw them out and reply with a form response.

But the writer in me just can’t do that. If there’s any speck of light at all in the writing or the story, I’ll do my best to encourage, guide, and coach writers who have placed their hard work, effort, and heart in my trust. And that takes a lot of time.

But there’s also the crap #$@* that sees the site having been hacked. Again. (Though that is still a little flattering…)

And then there’s the opportunity that’s come up for me personally/professionally. I can’t pass that up right now.

And finally, the possibility (though ever so minuscule it may be) that something amazing may be on the horizon for RS.

So, for now, I’m not accepting new manuscript submissions. I will get to the ones on file as soon as humanly possible. And I will update here in July.

Have a wonderful Spring, everyone! And write on!!!

Alex.

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Seeing Writers Grow Is Worth Everything

I originally set out on my quest to build Romantic Shorts for a slew of good reasons: for me, for my family, to build something from nothing, to help others, writers, their careers, their families, readers, to meet people… You get the idea.

As I’ve been spending more and more time back online, still wading through hundreds of email messages, some as old as three full years now, I’ve been tiptoeing gently, a little wary of the kind of response I’m going to get from people who expected a reply from me a lifetime ago. As it turns out, this is one of the most exciting tasks I’ve ever taken on.

Opting for a humble and honest approach, I’m responding to all of those emails, queries, and manuscript submissions, one by one, and, more often than not, finding myself moved to tears. You guys are amazing people!

Everyone has been so understanding, so supportive, and incredibly friendly. Having to reject a story submission almost three years after its author saw fit to entrust me with it is a daunting prospect. But all have led to short and long conversations about where they are now, what has changed, and how far life has led them. And I am having great fun learning how life has gone on while I hid. I didn’t expect this.

But the one who prompted me to write this post, young Christopher, has me smiling sunshine this morning. At 18, Christopher sent me a story that, while it showed hints of promise in the writing, was not a fit for Romantic Shorts at all. I emailed him yesterday with my reply, hoping to encourage more than not, but had to reject the story on many levels.

I woke this morning to his reply. He has since grown up. Kept writing. And has taken that awkward little story and fleshed it out into what now looks like a promising novel. He sent me the first chapter. His writing has grown far more than I’d think two years should allow. His ideas are fresh and enticing. And his future as a writer looks quite exciting. I found myself reading his update feeling a pride that has nothing to do with me.

It seems that, even in my absence, Romantic Shorts has been working away, out there in cyberspace, plugging along without me, doing good, helping others, and making a bit of a difference.

And after all, isn’t that what we all want from our children?

It’s a good day!

Alex.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought

Success and a Happy Dance!

And so I’ve done it! At the risk of having someone point out some sneaky glitch that may have craftily escaped my careful and meticulous attention – which would be most helpful, by the way – Romantic Shorts is once again up and running at full speed. Updated, linked, and cobwebs removed, it’s all set to begin again.

The relief is beyond satisfying. The sense of accomplishment is quite gratifying. And my overall impression of the quality of the site is much higher that I remember it being previously. Reading page after page, story after story, with the fresh eyes of a long break and a stronger soul, I’m feeling very proud of all of us! We’re really building something quite remarkable. Yay us!!

Now, finally, it’s time to brew the coffee, pull out the favourite blanket, and spend the rest of the winter reading through manuscripts. I’ll be starting from the bottom of the pile. Some are woefully neglected, and I’m fighting some serious remorse and guilt over that. Their authors deserve recognition of both their talents and their patience; I’ll be trying to set that straight with them as I go. With the great luck I’ve come to expect, their stories will all be of the best quality, and I’ll at least be able to hide my shortcomings behind some good news!

First, just a couple more cartwheels. Then off to work!!

Alex.

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