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Open To All Retreaters

RWR invites all Retreaters, Presenters and Crew of our Rainforest Writing Retreats (past and present) to submit to the 2023 Short Fiction Anthology.

We want sweet to mild spice ROMANCE stories (happy endings only). The proposed cover is to the right, so think about love in the sun. BUT more importantly, we want diverse characters and loves. Think outside the regular cookie-cutter couple and show the reality of diversity (diverse in tiny or significant ways) in our love community. Stuck for ideas? You could include diversity of character's physical abilities, mental health issues, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, weight, ethnicity or more!

What we don’t want: We don't want writers forcing diversity and creating stereotypes they don't understand. We don't want to offend our readers! We suggest writing about quirks, issues or reality beauty that you relate to or have knowledge through people you care about or through your profession or studies. RWR will use sensitivity readers to help make sure we have quality representations.

This anthology will include 20 stories, we usually get many more submissions, so we are unable to publish every piece submitted and our judges will be selecting the most creative, engaging and suitable short stories and poetry to be included in this publication.

How to Submit

Submit your romance short story of up to 4,000 words, or a poem of no more than 1,000 words to:

Submissions close midnight (Brisbane time) 29th July, 2022. You know who was late? Juliet was late waking up for her Romeo. Don't be like Juliet. Be like the guy who jumps out of the taxi in NYC and runs through traffic all the way to the airport to slide past security and tell your crush you love them before you lose them forever (Don't be late with submissions).

Please adhere to the guidelines below to give your story the best chance of acceptance. Some stories have been dismissed before because they failed to meet the basic guidelines.


  • You must have ATTENDED our retreat to be included.

  • Make sure your name and contact details are included. If your writing name is different from the name you booked your retreat in, make sure you let us know so we can validate your Retreater status.

  • Acceptable word count is between 500 words to a maximum of 4,000 words for short stories. Poetry has no minimum word count but cannot be more than 1,000 words.

  • This romance anthology is aimed at adults – children’s stories will not be accepted.

  • Mild sexual scenes that move the story forward are acceptable but full erotica will not be accepted for publication.

  • Romance stories must have a happily-ever-after or at least a happily-for-now ending.

  • There is no fee for submitting but not all stories will be included.

  • EDIT your story before submitting. Make it the best that you can to increase your chance of acceptance.

  • Format standard detailed below, stories that do not adhere to this format will not be accepted.

  • As we cannot take all stories submitted, do not be disheartened, keep submitting to our future anthologies!

Format Standard

  • Story must be attached to submission email as a Word document (.doc or .docx) we do not accept PDF or other files.

  • Title of the story and author name must appear in the header of every page. Page numbers must appear in the footer.

  • Your font must be Times New Roman, size 12.

  • Paragraphs are to be fully justified.

  • No empty lines between paragraphs, instead, use paragraph formatting to indent the first line of each paragraph. Your very first paragaph should not be indented.

  • New scenes do not use any icons between scenes. Simply leave one blank line. The first line of a new scene is NOT indented.

  • Poetry will have its own stylistic format and will not need to adhere to this structure.

  • If your story has a visually stylistic design, please also submit an image of how this should appear, however, still submit your text as detailed above in our format standard.


By submitting to this anthology you are granting RWR permission to publish your story in this anthology as a print book, ebook and possibly an audiobook. Stories will be published by Hot Doggy Press. Authors still retain the rights to their story.

Judges decision on which stories are to be included will be final. We cannot include every story, so sadly, some will be rejected. This does not mean your story is not good, just that it was not the best fit for this publication at this time.

All work selected for publication will be reviewed by our editors and by other anthology writers. Feedback will be attended to by the author. RWR reserves the right to make edits on the final draft prior to publishing.

All authors included in the anthology will be expected to help with editing by offering a full critique to three other submissions. You will be guided through this process by our RWR Crew.

This is not a paid submission. RWR will produce the anthology and Authors can purchase at a discounted rate so they can resell their copies. No further royalties are payable on the anthology or reprints for print, digital or audiobook editions.


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