FAQ’s For Writers

MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

Is Romantic Shorts looking for new stories?
What’s the best way to get Romantic Shorts to publish my work?
What’s an unsolicited manuscript?
Do I need an agent?
What genres are Romantic Shorts accepting right now?
Does Romantic Shorts ever ask for themed works?
How long are Romantic Shorts’ stories?
What kind of format does Romantic Shorts accept?
How do I submit my manuscript?
How long does it take to receive a reply to a query or submission?

CONTRACT DETAILS

What kind of contract terms does Romantic Shorts offer and expect?
How much does Romantic Shorts pay for a story?
What if I don’t like the contract?
What if something happens that’s not covered in the contract?

COMPETITION ENTRIES

Does Romantic Shorts ever have Writers’ Competitions?
How do I submit a competition entry?
How much does it cost to enter a Romantic Shorts’ Writers’ Competition?
Why do I have to pay an entry fee?
How do I find out if my entry has been selected?
What happens if I win?
What’s the difference between a competition entry and an unsolicited manuscript?

WRITERS’ PAGES

Who writes the writers’ biographies?
What if I don’t like, or want to change, my Authors’ Page?
Is there a forum or a chat room where I can connect with other Romantic Shorts writers and editors?

PUBLISHER INFO

How long has Romantic Shorts been around?
What kind of privacy protection can I expect from Romantic Shorts?
How can I trust Romantic Shorts?
What else do I need to know about Romantic Shorts?
I don’t see my question here?

MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION


Is Romantic Shorts looking for new stories?

Effective February 2017, Romantic Shorts is currently closed for submissions. Please check back for updated status July 2017. 


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What’s the best way to get Romantic Shorts to publish my work?
Read the Submission Guidelines thoroughly. There is much information there to help the prospective writer. We wouldn’t be so picky if it didn’t actually matter.

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What’s an unsolicited manuscript?
Typically, writers begin their venture into publication by submitting a query letter to a publisher describing their work/idea in the hopes that the publisher will ask to see a sample, often, the first three chapters of a novel. If the publisher likes that, the writer may then be asked to submit the entire manuscript – then a ‘solicited’ work. This process can take weeks, even months, with the frustrating hope of getting past the first or second stage. The work of querying numerous publishers in the hopes of catching someone’s attention can be gruelling.

Some authors have better luck in attracting a literary agent – a professional who reviews the works of several clients/authors, and pitches their ideas to the most appropriate publishers, with whom the agent will likely already have a relationship. While enlisting the help of an agent neither guarantees success nor is mandatory to achieve it, having someone do the grunt work of selling your work for you, leaving you free to enjoy the creative process, has its perks.

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Do I need an agent?
Romantic Shorts does not accept manuscripts submitted by writers’ agents. There are plenty of publishers out there for the established writer. We would prefer to work with new and newish authors and learn together.

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What genres are Romantic Shorts accepting right now?
Currently, we are trying to fill our library with adult contemporary, historical, mystery, fantasy, and comedy romance stories. We are looking for descriptions of sexual intimacy somewhere in the 2 to 7 area on a scale of 1-10, with one being nothing more than hand holding and a kiss, and ten being what would generally be described as erotica. Be very careful in determining the difference between erotica and pornography. Erotica is explicitly sexual, but with a strong romantic/emotional component. Pornography is just sex and has no place here. Plot, romance, and characters must come first.

Once we have established a fairly mainstream base, we will gladly consider works that explore a wider variety of plot lines, (teen/young adult, ethnic, inter-racial, LGBTQ, etc.), although we have already accepted a few stories within these descriptions, simply because their quality is excellent.

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Does Romantic Shorts ever ask for themed works?
Not yet. In the future, as the supply of stories becomes more reliable, we will ask for holiday, baby, divorce, vacation, second-chance, etc. themes. For now, all are considered, but we’re just not focusing on any one specific area. Themes will likely be explored in a writers’ competition format.

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How long are Romantic Shorts’ stories?
Word length for our stories is 4,500-6,000 words. Far too short for a novella, and nowhere near micro. Whatever the standard is for a short story, we’ve chosen this length as it is about what the average reader can finish in about a half hour. Perfect for lunch, bedtime, or a good soak in a hot tub. Though we don’t recommend using computer equipment near open water.

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What kind of format does Romantic Shorts accept?
Because we will need to edit accepted works at some point, manuscripts must be submitted using software that we use here at Romantic Shorts. All manuscripts written in Mac Pages, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and most text editors (using .rtf suffixes) are acceptable. While we may be able to read and consider some other formats, we will not be able to accept such works as we cannot manipulate them for publication.

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How do I submit my manuscript?
All manuscripts are now submitted online as a file attachment to the submission form at Romantic Shorts H.Q.

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How long does it take to receive a reply to a query or submission?
Our current timeline for response to queries and submissions is 2-4 weeks. You should receive an email confirming receipt of your submission within about two weeks. If you do not receive this confirmation, please contact us directly via email so that we can resolve the matter.

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CONTRACT DETAILS


What kind of contract terms does Romantic Shorts offer and expect?
In a nut shell, we want to be able to use your story for a full year after we’ve accepted it. We’ll ask you to commit the story to us exclusively for the first year, and then allow us to archive and/or reprint it forever more after that. Right now, we figure that could include re-running your story as part of a seasonal or themed campaign, or a printed anthology, but also for it to remain within our online library for readers who may want to access it there. You, as the writer, always retain full rights over the work.

We’ll also ask for some standard points. We want your assurance that you wrote the story and that you own the right to offer it to us for publication. (We can’t be stepping on another publisher or writer’s copyright.)

We need to be able to edit your work as we see fit. Understand, however, that we won’t even accept a manuscript unless and until it is virtually publication ready. We will work with you extensively to resolve any considerable editing points if, indeed, we want to publish your work. As a writer herself, Alexandra Brown insists that writers be able to make all of the major decisions regarding their offspring. However, as we get down to the nitty-gritty and are about to publish, there are always last minute details that will need tweaking. If we have to run back to the author with every typo and tense change, we will never get anywhere. There has to be a certain amount of trust.

And of course, when your story is posted, we’re sure you’ll be going through it with a fine tooth comb – and we expect that you will let us know immediately if there’s anything we missed.

We ask that you, the author, take full and complete responsibility for any negative result of our publishing your work. We cannot be held accountable for your naming your protagonist after your nasty neighbour, for your having taken a passage from another published work, or for not clearing an idea with a friend. Of course if it’s just a matter of a reader not liking your story, we’ll stand behind you 100% on that. Again, the bottom line is a mutually respectful and responsible agreement.

Full Terms and Conditions for Submission are available online. You will be required to agree to them in order to submit your manuscript. (This is saving enormous chunks of time on our part with regard to contracts and paperwork.) You will know where to find the Terms & Conditions of Submission because you will have thoroughly read the Submission Guidelines page.

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How much does Romantic Shorts pay for a story?
Romantic Shorts is growing! Effective February 4, 2013, we are offering one time cash compensation of $50.00 (Canadian) to our writers. This is a major development for us and we are excited to be able to share this success.

As always, authors, especially new and unpublished ones, can use publication by Romantic Shorts to expand their portfolios. Our authors are asked to link their websites and blogs to our site, and we will provide links to theirs. Authors will also be key in helping to spread the word of http://www.RomanticShorts.com to friends, family, and potential writers and advertisers. Together, we can help each other to realize our dreams in the literary arena.

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What if I don’t like the contract?
If there’s a clear and obvious error or omission in the Terms and Conditions of Submission, please let us know as soon as possible. With the landscape of publishing changing almost daily, we expect that there will arise matters that aren’t currently addressed, or not addressed properly. With your help, we will be able to not only navigate this new land, but to pave the way for others to follow.

However, other than that, the T&C stand. It’s what we can offer right now. We consider them to be fair, realistic and equitable. You may disagree, but then you are not obliged to submit your manuscript. Which is not to be glib or disrespectful. It simply means that we have a very limited legal budget and cannot be running to the lawyers with every conceivable variation.

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What if something happens that’s not covered in the contract?
We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. If we sit back and do nothing until we are absolutely, positively sure that we’ve covered every possible option and are ready for everything, we will never get going. The plan right now is to go with what we’ve got, knowing how much effort we’ve put into getting it as right as we can, and learn from there. So far so good.

We stress, however, that the most critical corner of our reader/writer/advertiser triangle is our writers; you provide our product. It is in our best interest to develop fair and amenable relationships with all of our writers. This is the priority in all decisions, and problems that are heading our way in the future will be considered with that fact in the forefront.

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COMPETITION ENTRIES


Does Romantic Shorts ever have Writers’ Competitions?
Yes. It’s been a while, but we found the process to be quite a grand success. We plan to hold more Writers’ Competitions in the future that will centre around types of authors, themes, and events.

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How do I submit a competition entry?
Competition entries will be accepted online via our submission form file attachment. Check our Competition Announcement page and Competition Guidelines for more information about upcoming events.

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How much does it cost to enter a Romantic Shorts’ Writers’ Competition?
Depending on the competition, entry fees will typically range between $10 and $25 Canadian.

Canadian?
Yep. Dollars. Loonies. Bucks. Real ones, not Canadian Tire ones.

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Why do I have to pay an entry fee?
Entry fees are required, primarily, to prevent all but the most serious of entries. The fees are used to offset prize awards, and as income to help support and grow RomanticShorts.com.

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How do I find out if my entry has been selected?
Winning entrants will be notified by e-mail as prizes must be awarded before entries can be published. Successful entrants will be listed on the website as soon as they have been notified. Unsuccessful entrants will be notified only if Romantic Shorts is reasonably able to do so. While we would love to respond to every entry with comments and suggestions, the number of entries may prohibit us from doing so. Please check back to this website to confirm; updates will be available to give entrants an idea of when they can expect to see the results of a given competition. We cannot respond to queries asking for the status of an entry.

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What happens if I win?
Each competition announcement will include a listing of the prizes available to winning submissions. If your manuscript is selected, you will be notified and arrangements will be made to forward your prize award. As publication is reward of success, and agreement to the Terms and Conditions of Submission is a requirement of entry, all that remains is provision of the author’s biography.

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What’s the difference between a competition entry and an unsolicited manuscript?
While we consider all submitted manuscripts with as much attention as time allows, there is no guarantee that unsolicited manuscripts will be fully read or accepted. As well, if an author wishes to submit a work to us that doesn’t particularly fall within the competition requirements or timeframe, for example, he or she is invited to submit the manuscript for our consideration none the less.

Competitions, on the other hand, are an excellent way for us to reach many writers and their works at a time when we are trying to grow fast and healthy foundations. They also allow us to offer a small cash award to at least a few of our successful entrants. In addition, competition submissions are guaranteed to be read. The decision is yours. Feel free to query us with an idea if you feel strongly that you could be losing time with a standard competition submission. Queries will be answered as quickly as possible. Note, however, that manuscripts received as query submission will not be considered for any competition at any time.

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WRITERS’ PAGES


Who writes the writers’ biographies?
Our authors submit their own biographies. We ask for a 100-250 word description of the author’s professional and/or personal information, as he/she feels is appropriate, to include both with the published story, and on the Author’s Page. The Author’s Page, in addition to presenting the author, will include links to the author’s website/blog, other articles/sites, and to Romantic Shorts stories, both current and archived, as well as relevant photos the author would like to share with fans. The Author’s Page will give the author a permalink to all Romantic Shorts related sites and pages.

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What if I don’t like, or want to change, my Authors’ Page?
No problem. If it’s an urgent change, let us know and we’ll jump on it as fast as humanly possible. But if you just have things that you’d like changed, added, or deleted, because your qualifications or circumstances change, drop us a quick email and we’ll make sure that happens. Your Author’s Page will remain active at Romantic Shorts as long as you have at least one story in our archives. If your novel is published down the road, we’ll love to include a cover shot and link for you.

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Is there a forum or a chat room where I can connect with other Romantic Shorts writers and editors?
Yes! LIKE us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/romanticshorts Post a message on our wall, comment, interact with other writers, and friends.

Romantic Shorts also tweets regularly on Twitter.com @RomanticShorts

We also recommend that, as part of a healthy online presence, our authors engage in an active LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is more of a professional networking tool, allowing its users to connect with others who share similar interest, skills, and activities. You can find our Romantic Shorts LinkedIn Group Page here. Connect with us as a LinkedIn member – this is a group we’d really like to grow over the next year! You’ll also find a host of other writers, writers’ groups, and others having a hand in the publishing industry somehow. It’s not all about pictures of the picnic last weekend; it’s more about networking with like-minded professionals. We like it there. No sticky fingers and loud music…

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PUBLISHER INFO


How long has Romantic Shorts been around?
The idea for Romantic Shorts was conceived more than twenty-five years ago. Intended to be a monthly magazine, the cost was prohibitive. Now, Founder Alexandra Brown has been able to take advantage of the technology the Internet offers and embark on the realization of a dream. She began the necessary preparation for the website in May 2010. (The first step of many was changing the publication’s name from ‘Nooners’ – which didn’t come up as expected in the Search Engines – to ‘Romantic Shorts.’) We applied for the Trademark registration for the name in July 2011, and published Romantic Shorts’ first story in October 2011. The potential now for learning and growth is virtually unlimited, as the accomplishment so far is merely a beginning to a very exciting and rewarding venture.

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What kind of privacy protection can I expect from Romantic Shorts?
While we are still working on a formal privacy policy and terms of use for Romantic Shorts H.Q., we can assure you that the following protections are already in place:

  • All unsuccessful manuscript submissions will be deleted as soon as the author has been notified of the non-acceptance, or at the close of the competition in the case of competition entries. Queries are deleted as soon as replies are sent. Please make sure each communication you send to us via our website or email contains enough information for us to understand your concern as we will not save e-mail conversation threads that are not specifically related to an accepted author/manuscript.
  • Authors’ contact information will never be shared with any person or agency outside of Romantic Shorts without the expressed written permission of the author. If we receive communication that requires the attention of one of our authors, we will pass that information on to you instead of giving your information to the enquirer.
  • Authors whose work is published with Romantic Shorts will be asked to provide a brief (100-250 word) biography suitable for online publication with your work; the information contained in that biography can be as private as you wish it to be.

In short, we understand the concerns of having your private information available to the public via the Internet. We will do everything we can to protect your information as if it were our own personal identity.

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How can I trust Romantic Shorts?
The short answer would be copyright. You are the legal owner of everything you write. There are those who would use and abuse your work – copy it without your permission, etc. – whether it was online or sitting on a bookstore shelf. In the end, however, the law will side with the writer. Or whoever can afford the better lawyer, depending on the circumstances.

But when it comes to Romantic Shorts, rest assured that your story ideas are safe with us. A publisher who would betray the trust of an author will not be in business long. Reputation is everything. And reputation depends entirely on integrity. It is likely that there will be instances where we will butt heads with each other. But Romantic Shorts is committed to doing everything we can to make the relationships we build with our authors a mutually beneficial experience.

The bottom line? We need you.

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What else do I need to know about Romantic Shorts?
As Romantic Shorts is a new and unique venue for new and unique authors, a reciprocal, supportive network of authors and editors 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. If flexibility, understanding, and maybe a bit of patience are not in your repertoire, we’re not ready for you yet.

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I don’t see my question here?
Click here to ask your question using our Contact Form. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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