Here’s more info on writing conferences and contests, plus an interesting definition of erotic romance vs erotica – useful if you’re going to include sex scenes in your fiction. It’s notoriously difficult to write well, but if you’re going to do it, you may as well be informed. 🙂
Erica Verillo publishes a monthly list of upcoming writers’ conferences, on her blog, Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity and it’s worth a look if you’re interested in attending one. Here’s what she has to say this month: “This August there are more than two dozen writing conferences, many held online, but some in person or in a hybrid format. These writing events offer everything a writer might want: intensive workshops, pitch sessions with agents, how to market yourself and your books, discussions — there is something for everyone. For a full list of conferences held throughout the year see Writing Conferences. If you miss an application deadline, put it on your calendar for next year. And here’s a handy tip she offers – Quite a few conferences offer scholarships, so apply early. Plan ahead!
From Authors Publish: Pocket Fiction is a new British online publisher of short fiction and poetry (100 to 5,000 words). They offer stories that take 5-20 minutes to read – during coffee breaks, commutes, and in waiting rooms. They also produce a podcast where writing from the journal is read aloud. Podcast episodes (on Spotify) are under 20 minutes, perfect for a short daily break. All writing published in the online journal is considered for audio production, unless the author requests otherwise. Find their submission guidelines here.
Also from Authors Publish: a list of 25 magazines that accept creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction can include memoir, personal and literary essays, and narrative writing on a vast array of topics – memory, culture, travel, literature, food, race, illness, the environment, and much more. Almost all of them also publish other genres, like fiction and poetry.
Whether you’re an author or a reader, you owe it to yourself to check out this list of book festivals and fairs that authors can attend in 2022. Scott Lorenz of Westwind Book Marketing says they’re an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, and meet readers. (And if you’re a reader, it’s a great way to meet authors!) In addition, book fairs usually want speakers, which can help authors get noticed. His list for 2022 includes fairs all over the country, with happenings throughout the year. Check it out here.
America’s Romance writers are an active community with chapters across the country. Most chapters run contests for new romance writing – here is a small selection of upcoming ones. The New Jersey Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book is for unpublished romance authors. Enter in five categories with manuscripts of up to 40,000 words. The winners in each category get $2000 and every entry gets feedback from at least 2 published authors. Deadline August 1.
The Romance Writers of America’s New York City chapter is looking for entries for its First Chapter contest. They want the first chapter (25 pages or fewer) of an unpublished romance. This contest is open to all published and unpublished authors. Deadline August 31.
The Emily is organized by the League of Romance Writers, and their contest 0pens for submissions on September 1 and closes October 2. It’s for both published and unpublished authors. The maximum word count is 5,600 words including the prologue, if applicable. They do accept erotic romance, but not erotica – and they provide an interesting and useful definition of both.
So, in case you weren’t feeling hot enough in this heat, here it is: EROTIC ROMANCE is a subgenre of romance.
~ Like all romance, it has a hero and a heroine referred to as the h/h (or a same-sex pairing), also referred to as the h/h.
~ The h/h each have their own individual character arc and their own individual plot arc.
~ These two (2) plot arcs are interwoven to create the story arc.
~ The love story is the central plot, and the story must have a happy ending (either happy-for-now or happily-ever-after).
~ A romance is classified as erotic when the story contains explicit sex scenes.
On the other hand, EROTICA is a subgenre of general fiction.
~ It probably won’t have an h/h or interwoven plots. More likely, it will have a single protagonist.
~ If there is a love interest, that person is more likely a secondary character.
~ It may or may not have a happy ending.
~ The sex exists primarily to support the protagonist’s character journey, not the love story.
~ If the couple does not end up together at the end, it’s erotica.
~ If the love story is not central, it’s erotica.
Before entering any contest, do your homework to check that they’re legitimate. I’m pretty sure the ones I’ve mentioned are, since most have been running for years. But you can and should check Writer Beware (sponsored by the Science Fiction Writers Association, though this covers all genres) for scam alerts. Or check the ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) list of contest ratings here.
Thanks for reading! And until next month, keep writing…