Institute for Writers presents



You know what the most popular genre in fiction is, right? 

Yep, romance fiction is the most popular adult genre, so there's a huge audience of people waiting for your romance story. And what does every romance novel have?  

The “meet cute.”

Enter the Institute For Writers writing contest and make us fall in love with your characters by entering your irresistible “meet cute” scene.

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What's a "Meet Cute"?

The phrase “meet cute” originated in Hollywood to describe the pivotal moment when the lovers-to-be come together for the first time. Singin’ in the Rain, with its classic example of big movie star Don Lockwood running from his fans and jumping into Kathy Selden’s car is a golden oldie. She acts like she barely knows who he is, so of course, he is intrigued. One of the reasons When Harry Met Sally has one of the most romantic, satisfying endings, is because of the initial meet-hate, and the repetition of it over the years until it blooms into deep love.

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $650 
  • 2nd prize = $350 
  • 3rd prize = $100 
  • 4th prize = $100 
  • 5th prize = $100 

Free Online Workshop 

All entrants are invited to a free instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge.

Free Critique

Our judge* is a bestselling romance writer who will critique each winning entry to get it closer to submission-ready! 

Here's what you need to know...

  • Entries can be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • Entries deemed pornographic or gratuitously violent will be disqualified.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on September 15, 2017.
  • 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 for free where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, potential in the market, interaction between the characters, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, clear contact information, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Meet Cute contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 60 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

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

*Our judge is USA Today bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt, writes contemporary love stories and paranormal romances. Her steamy, romantic comedy, Life’s a Beach, reached #65 on USA Today, #2 on Barnes & Noble and #9 on Amazon and iBooks. Her Club Inferno series from Random House’s Loveswept line has hit both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble top one hundred lists and the first book in the series, Heat, put her on the USA Today bestseller list for the first time. Her dragon paranormal romance series from Entangled Publishing, has been called “fun and quirky” and “endearing.” Partnered with New York Times bestselling author Jenna Jameson, Jamie’s hardcover debut, SPICE, continues Jenna’s FATE trilogy.

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