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Announcement of Winners

Romantic Shorts

is pleased to announce the winners of our

New Year New Story Writers Competition

It is a common comment after the judging is finished and the winners are to be announced.

“The judging was difficult. All of the stories are worthy of a first place finish. Our decision was quite difficult.”

And we think, “Yeah, yeah, stop trying to make everyone feel good and get to the good stuff.”

But in this case, we had a most remarkable turn of events for our competition. Because we specified “unpublished authors,” we did ourselves a bit of a disservice. We received queries, engaged in conversation, researched, asked, and deliberated at length. The big question, “What exactly, in this age of technological advance in publishing, is a published author?” We drew a line in the sand and decided that, because of the clear ambiguity of the term, we would go with what we have, and, in the future, will not make any division amongst our writers, accepting entries/submissions from all authors.

And so, after all was said and done, we received four entries that actually qualified for the competition. If we also look at the number and quality of the non-competition submissions, sent to us simply with the query to consider publication, we are most pleased with the response to our first Writers Competition!

Enough already, get to that good stuff you mentioned!

The winners of the
New Year New Story 2011 Writers Competition
are as follows:

Winning a cash prize of $40. and publication by Romantic Shorts

A centuries old curse unites good and evil,
future and past, prisoner and guard.
The power of love can release these captives from their tortured fate.
But only if they can find each other and rediscover their feelings.
Will the cards finally lead them to their heaven on earth?
Or will they be forced to relive their quest yet again?

Rosetta Stone by Ashley Long

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Winning a cash prize of $50. and publication by Romantic Shorts

Having mortgaged her very self for her marriage and children,
Laura finds herself trying to accept ‘content’
as an acceptable measure of her life.
Until a handsome stranger she knows too well
shows her that passion conquers acceptance,
and opens a door to a new beginning.

A Day In St. John’s by Deborah Schenberger

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Winning a cash prize of $100. and publication by Romantic Shorts

While VP Evangeline Martin knows exactly what she wants and how to get it,
the off duty side of this walking contradiction
has no idea what her heart truly desires.
At least, that’s how Cedric sees her.
But when her life is threatened and it falls on him to protect her,
it’s difficult to say whose heart is in more danger
and which darkness holds the greater risk.

What The Darkness Proposes, by Kirsten Blacketer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And, winning our top cash prize of $250. and publication by Romantic Shorts

In the true spirit of Romance,
this story deftly takes the reader on a journey through the past
in the mind of a man in love.
As we follow his memories to a time and place where his heart was free,
we hope and want for the girl on the train to be his one.
We are left with the feeling of our own first loves:
the joy, the anticipation, the excitement, and the fear,
and we connect with him in a way that leaves us in awe
of the strength of those tender moments spent with our hearts on fire.

Play Me A Song, by Jeannine Wynne

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It is our profound pleasure to introduce these new authors to you. Congratulations to our writers!

Watch for their winning entries, as well as many other addictive romantic short stories, to appear at RomanticShorts.com beginning in August. Biographies and links to our authors’ pages will be released shortly. Readers can subscribe now to catch the launch of our much anticipated publication by clicking over to our Reading Room. Watch for announcements, polls, and perhaps the odd contest as we prepare to provide you with some of the most eagerly awaited reading on the Web.

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Our First Writers' Competition is Now Closed

A hearty thank you to all of our competition entrants! How promising to receive not only entries for our ‘New Year New Story’ Writers’ Competition, but also so many unsolicited submissions from published authors, who were not invited to participate in this inaugural competition aimed at the not-yet-published. The feeling of accomplishment and potential from Romantic Shorts’ perspective is so encouraging – the start of something quite exciting.

Welcome!

We will be closely reviewing submissions over the weeks to come and look forward to working with our writers to create a distinguished, high quality, and rewarding venue from which to promote their works.

Together, we will strive to provide excellent entertainment for dedicated readers – building our own audience who will, in return, promote the talent of our writers.

I sincerely hope that all of our contributors are now feeling the anticipation and excitement of joining us on this journey.

Here we go! This is going to be some wild ride!

Alex.

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How to Measure Success

As we’re winding down to the last week and a half before the deadline of our first Writers’ Competition, I have to admit, I’m feeling the butterflies. Emotions are high on our end as we anticipate the results of three months of diligent searching for some very unique authors. We still have no idea how this will play out. We have a handful of entries already. And we’ve had several manuscripts submitted outside of the competition. All just a taste of what we could be in for over the next few months.

The excitement of seeing a submission in the mailbox is difficult to explain. There’s a clear sense of wonder at the reality of something that, up until six months ago, didn’t even exist. An overwhelming sense of awe at the fact that this is working!! There are people out there. We’ve connected. People I’ve never met have seen this vision and decided to join me. The responsibility weighs heavy, but the uncertainty keeps all senses on alert. There are so many possible outcomes.

And of course, for every possible outcome, there must be a plan in place for what we do next.

What if we only receive 5 viable entries? With seven prizes on the line and our need for dozens of stories, how will that work out?

Fifty entries would be fabulous. Ideal.

One hundred? Better still.

With five hundred, we could jump ahead a full year in our publishing plan.

With a thousand, we’re in deep, deep kaaka. What the heck would we do with a thousand stories!!

But then, that’s a problem I wouldn’t mind having.

There’s an awful lot of fear. I’ve been at this for quite some time now. I overheard the husband voice a concern the other day that I’m spending too much time on the computer. He’s always been so supportive of every idea I’ve ever run with. No matter how much it cost or how promising he thought it was. Silly man. So I sat him down and showed him how far Romantic Shorts has come along. Walked him through the emails, the website pages, the entries, the stories. He was quite dumbfounded. He’d seen me plugging away day after day, night after night. Come to think of it, he’d said, he hadn’t seen a crossword puzzle or television show on my screen for months.

Yesterday I heard him telling a co-worker all about my new business.

After almost 12 years as a stay-at-home mom of a brood of kids who have not only changed my life, but changed my very character, I’ve often felt that I’ve lost myself in the mix. I’ve found myself wondering who I will be when the kids are gone. What will I do when my credentials as a building inspector no longer hold up? How will I feel when I’ve left myself with nothing because I finished the enormous job of raising all of these adopted/special needs/gifted/athletic/talented kids, but never managed to see even one of my inventions/novels/ideas take flight… It’s been a very long and personal journey for me.

So to hear the man I love tell my story with pride, describing a genuine sense of accomplishment, without my having to prompt him from the wings, was a moment I treasure. I saw a validation of my efforts. I heard confirmation of my potential. I felt strength in my resolve. It was a perk I hadn’t expected.

Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks, I have come to realize that I’ve finally come too far with one of my ideas. I have made commitments.  I have a created and idea that is now living, breathing on it’s own.

Sure it’s a baby and will need my tender loving care for the forseeable future. But that’s a job I’m eager to tackle. My kids are old enough. They don’t need me so much. And with all of this happening right under their noses, I have the added benefit of teaching them one of the most valuable lessons they will ever learn in life.

Mom’s following her dream. We’ve heard about it. We’ve been looking at those dream-house plans – on the wall, on another wall, in the trash, back on the wall, covered in coffee rings, covered in decor magazine clippings, under the clear vinyl tablecloth – all of our lives. She’s always talking about another idea. She’s always talking to us about making decisions for our future. “You don’t have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. You just have to decide what you want to do first.” Now she’s finally decided what she’s doing next.

They’ve been watching. They’ve been learning. And now they’re rooting.

Fear, butterflies, worry, excitement, awe, confidence, and confusion aside. By my definition of success, I’m well on my way!

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