Submission Rules for the
Love is a Choice
CALLING ALL WRITERS OF
SHORT FICTION AND POETRY
Read to the bottom before submitting
Anthology Releases: Late January 2023
Genre: Any (erotica will not be considered)
Reader Age Range: Around 18+ (Upper YA, NA, Adult). Appropriate for younger ages but geared for 18+ audience.
Categories: Falling in Love, Enduring in Love, Lasting in Love, Bonus
Payment: Accepted authors will receive a discount on the book. No payment.
Length: Poetry can be any length. Short stories between 500 and 5k words.
Due Date: June 18, 2022, midnight in your time zone
Love is a choice. Regardless of the category, each story must show your characters choosing to love someone even when it’s hard, requires sacrifice, or involves the risk of stepping into a new relationship. On the flip side, you can show them choosing not to love and the consequences of that choice. We are NOT looking for stories about someone in an abusive relationship that refuses to get help and expects to fix the other person or relationships that stay abusive and toxic. We’re looking for stories about other hardships that rock the boat, and that require your characters to fight for one another to make things thrive. This book is a celebration of the kind of love that is healthy, honest, and real. There is plenty of content out there already that romanticizes toxicity, and it is not our goal to add to that pile. While the relationships might not always work out, the stories should still end on a good note, whatever that might look like. We are not looking for tragedies.
Falling in Love: This category is about when characters first start to fall in love. Either they’ve just met, or they’ve only now realized they have feelings for each other. But somewhere in their story, something goes wrong, and there is a clear choice to LOVE even when it might be hard.
Enduring in Love: This category is about young couples that are already together. Maybe they have a kid or two. Maybe they’re newlyweds. Whatever the case is, they’re already a couple. Something must threaten their love, but either they successfully choose love in the end or they fail to. (This could also look like a character choosing to walk away from an abusive relationship.)
Lasting in Love: This category is for your characters that have been together for years. They’re probably grandparents or parents to older kids. They’ve been happily (or unhappily) together for what feels like a lifetime, and they must hold fast to the choice to choose love.
*There will also be a Bonus Section for stories that fit the theme of "love is a choice" but feature non-romantic forms of love. This may be the love of a parent, love for a friend, or even love for a stranger.
You may submit to each category and use the same characters for each one. This is not a requirement, but if you’d like to follow your characters through the whole anthology, go for it.
Submission Guidelines (MUST READ):
Not a requirement, but the most important thing to note: Please polish your entry as much as you can before submitting it. Get beta readers; have others read and critique it (who aren't Anne or Lara); get an editor if you can. If you don't love your entry, chances are, we won't either. Entries that require much developmental and major line editing are unlikely to be considered.
FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES WILL AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFY YOUR ENTRY FROM ACCEPTANCE — NON-COMPLIANT ENTRIES WILL NOT BE READ.
We want to read each entry anonymously to avoid bias, so we require that your name DOES NOT appear on any of the pages in the document itself. However, we DO need your name to appear in the email the story is attached to and also in the document's title.
In the document, put only the title of your story, the category it falls under, genre, and the word count. All four elements MUST be included. Do NOT put this in the document's header, so it shows up on every page. It should only appear once at the beginning of the document.
Times New Roman, Double Spaced, each new paragraph indented. (Poems don't need to be double spaced or indented.)
See image for example.
You may submit with either Google Docs or Word. Submitting through another format will not be accepted. All accepted entries will be edited on Google Docs only as this is the best format to allow our authors and editors to collaborate.
All entries need to be submitted with EDITOR turned on. PDFs cannot be accepted. We need to have access to edit the actual document, so we can adjust formatting if needed for reading. Entries sent as "view only," "comment only," or "suggest only" will not be accepted. (We will not change anything in your document, other than potentially formatting.)
Your entry needs to fit into ONE of the categories clearly. Entries that border on more than one category will NOT be accepted.
Middle-Grade stories will not be accepted. While all stories must be clean and appropriate for younger readers, only stories targeted at an older Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult readership will be accepted.
Our definition of clean for this anthology: NO sexual content. It may be implied, but do not show it on the page. Keep swearing minimal. (Some swearing is fine, especially if your character would swear, and we will address any swearing we think is too much in the editing process, so this won’t disqualify you.) Violence is fine as long as it’s not gratuitous or unnecessarily graphic.
You can enter as many submissions as you want. No limit.
Stories/poems that have been previously published are fine to submit, although unpublished stories will be prioritized when deciding which stories get accepted. There will be a contract locking in your rights and our right to publish, if you're accepted. Authors will retain full rights to their stories to publish again in the future.
Please email submissions to email@example.com, or hit the Submit button below.
Accepted pieces will be THOROUGHLY edited before publishing. Twenty Hills Publishing will not publish your work until we believe it is fully edited and up to our standards. Authors who are unwilling to have their work edited will not be published.
Not all entries will be accepted, but send them all!!! We love reading your submissions and we are so excited to see what you come up with.
Acceptance and rejection letters will be sent out by July 31st at the latest.
Thank you in advance for your stories and poems. It is you, the authors, who make these anthologies possible and bring these projects to life!
-Anne J. Hill & Lara E. Madden