Institute for Writers presents



Click Here to Enter

Feel the emotion!  

Are you ready to practice your holiday romance writing skills? The Institute for Writers is challenging you to write an emotional scene––using any emotion you might find in a romance novel–– with a winter holiday twist.

This scene can take place anywhere in your book, but it can be no longer than 1,000 words.

Submit a touching, funny, or sad moment (or any moment that is truly emotional) between two romantic interests during a holiday season. It can be sexy or sweet, but it has to be emotional and the emotion must come from what they’re experiencing during the winter holiday.

Deadline Extended to January 4, 2021

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $1,000
  • 2nd prize = $200 
  • 3rd prize = $100 

Online Workshop 

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped in our live webinar by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

Here's what else you need to know...

  • Your entry can be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Your excerpt can come from any point in your book, but it must contain an emotional moment between two people involving any winter holiday.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished and not currently under contract with a publisher.
  • Target readers are adults.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • No sexually explicit, pornographic, or gratuitously violent entries will be accepted.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on January 4, 2021.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop (it's free!) where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, potential in the market, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, one inch margins, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Holiday Romance writing contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

Second Story members of the Writers' Block get to enter IFW and ICL contests for free. Click here to find out more about the Writers' Block.

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

I'm In, Let's Do This >>

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