Short Story Contest: Hearts Crossing

Hearts Crossing Cover

What’s missing from this cover?

Your Name!

Introducing a new contest from White Rose Publishing.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, we’re giving you a picture plus a synopsis—and that’s worth 20,000-25,000 words plus a publishing contract. All you have to do is fill in the synopsis blanks to create your own unique plot, and then write the story to go with it.



  • Finished word-length must be between 20,000 and 25,000
  • Story must be have a contemporary setting
  • Must be an original, never-before published work, and you must own the rights to it.
  • Entries must not stray from the synopsis except where blanks are left for you to fill in.
  • Your hero and heroine must look like the couple on the cover
  • Entries must arrive on or before 30 September 2009
  • Manuscripts must be formatted per standard formatting rules (Times, 12 pt, double-spaced, 1-1 ½ in. margins, numbered pages)
  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Contest is open to both published and unpublished writers
  • White Rose Publishing and The Wild Rose Press authors are eligible to enter
  • White Rose Publishing and The Wild Rose Press employees are not eligible to enter
  • Story content must adhere to posted White Rose Publishing guidelines (as posted at 19 May 2009)


  • Anywhere there’s a blank in the synopsis you are free to be creative.
  • The title on the cover is Hearts Crossing—You are free to leave it that way or to make it Heart’s Crossing or Hearts’ Crossing
  • Although the setting must be contemporary, your story can be any romance sub-genre (e.g. Romantic suspense, comedy)
  • You may choose your own characters’ names.
  • With the exception of the hero’s and heroine’s ages, which must fall within the age-range dictated in the synopsis, you may decide the ages of your characters.


Hero: Joe Hero is an English teacher who teaches_______grade. He is the ___ th of eight children. He has four brothers and three sisters. He is ___years old (must be between 25 & 35). Joe Hero has a sad story. He lost his faith in God because_____, and he doesn’t desire ever to get it back again. Until he meets Jane Heroine, that is. He falls head-over-heels, but he’s afraid because he harbours ______secret that he’s sure will tear them apart if she ever finds out.

Heroine: Jane Heroine is ____years old (must be between 22 and 32). She’s an only child and is a landscape architect. She’s always been a strong Christian, but recently she’s begun to doubt her faith because_______________and now she must overcome that obstacle in order to help Joe Hero regain his.

When Jane and Joe meet for the first time at_______and for ________reason, sparks fly because____________. They begin to fall in love, but there’s more than Joe Hero’s secret waiting for them in the wings. Much to the chagrin of both Joe and Jane, J.Villain shows up. J.Villain is an Ex-______ of (Insert either Hero or Heroine)’s and J.Villain shows up because s/he________. This really throws a kink into Joe Hero and Jane Heroine’s relationship, but they overcome that, by__________, and so with Joe’s and Jane’s faith restored, J. Villain’s conflict all cleared up, Joe proposes to Jane and they live happily-ever-after.


Email your entry as a single Word .doc or .rtf attachment

Put: “Contest Entry: Hearts Crossing: YOUR NAME in the subject line.”

In the body of the email, include

  • A copy of the synopsis (the one provided with this contest) with the blanks filled in to accommodate your story.
  • Your Real name
  • Pseudonym, if applicable
  • Your contact Email
  • The title (If using one of the alternates with the apostrophe)
  • Word-count

Entries received that do not follow these guidelines will be discarded without notice. White Rose Publishing is not responsible for entries lost in cyberspace and not received.

Upon receipt, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have not received a confirmation email within three working days of emailing your entry, please send us an email.

Direct questions regarding the contest to: Individual entries will not be discussed.

Winner will be announced on the White Rose Publishing website and blog on or before 31 December 2009. If you have received receipt of your entry, please do not enquire about the contest until after that date. Only the winning entrant will be contacted directly.

Winner will receive a standard “Miniature Rose” publishing contract, and the story will be released in 2010.



  1. Thud.

    That was me, hitting the floor after I read about this contest. How fun! It reminds me of Mad Libs...remember that game?

    Anyway, I'm sure there will be plenty of entries. Who could resist not having to write a synopsis from scratch??

    Good luck to everyone. Putting on my thinking cap...

  2. I hope it's fun for people. I was talking about how diverse authors--how two authors could take the same basic plot and come up with completely different stories, and I thought, "Hey! We have to do that!" :)

    I've heard of Mad Libs, but never played. It's fun?

  3. Oh yes, Mad Libs are great for surviving long car trips with kiddos!

  4. Teri! I think you and I are contest junkies. What is it about a story prompt that makes my heart go pitter pat?! I think it's too many years in the classroom! LOL. I can't stand not taking part in an assignment.

    Nicola - LOL about the mad libs. There's nothing more fun than the stories you create just by flinging around random adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc. and fitting them into a story.

    we do it with the kids on car trips -- hours of entertainment and never the same story twice.

  5. Sounds a lot more fun than I Spy! LOL

  6. Hey Teri: Yeah, no doubt!

  7. Here are a couple of things people have emailed me about on the contest:

    Can an author enter more than once?
    A: Yes. You may enter as many times as you like.

    Can published and unpublished authors enter?
    A: Yes. The contest is open to anyone, except those who are employees of TWRP or WRP

    Any more questions, and I'll post the answers here as they come in so they are available to everyone.

  8. More questions answered:

    Does the story have to be set in the U.S.?
    A: No. the story can be set anywhere in the world. If you have to adapt things to fit a region, such as the hero can't teach a "grade" b/c that's not how the school system works, that's OK. We need to know what he age children (or university-level) he teaches.

    Do I have to use the word "Secret" when describing what the hero is plagued with from his past?
    A: No. The word secret is used solely to let authors know this is something he's afraid to tell the heroine for fear of her reaction to it.