Romance Challenge - Uncharted

Romance Challenge

By Uncharted


Thank you to everyone who submitted. We have a cadre of readers who are excited to review these submissions! Our editors will choose a longlist, shortlist, and a winner in the next 10-12 weeks. Thank you for trusting us with your writing!

In our newest writing challenge, Uncharted invites all writers to submit their best romance stories for our consideration. We know there are so many subgenres in the romance category, but our main focus will be on characters who fall into all forms of love. We encourage you to submit work that utilizes traditional romantic tropes, but we will also eagerly receive stories that challenge those tropes, and even tease them in masterfully satirical ways.

We will graciously consider submissions that focus on:

  • Meet-Cutes.
  • Early 2,000s Rom-Coms.
  • Other’ed Couples. 
  • The Forbidden (Desire).
  • Destiney, Fates, and Designs. 
  • Will They Won’t They?
  • Shakespearean Levels of Tragedy.
  • Historical Romance (à la Outlander, Bridgerton, or Beverly Jenkins’s books).
  • Paranormal Romance.
  • Romantic Suspense.
  • Young Love, Mature Love. 
  • Queer Couples: Their Happiness, Messiness, and In-Betweens.  
  • Who Done It? (Murdered Love Interests; (Un)dying, Unrequited Love). 
  • Scandalous Romance.
  • “I’m Not Like Other Girls” meets The Tortured, 6’5” Billionaire.
  • The “Endgame” Couple (aka Who the Readers Root For versus Who Ultimately Gets Chosen for Love).

The possibilities and opportunities of this challenge are boundless, the spectrum of romance—infinite. However, as a reminder, romantic love, in some form, must be rooted within your submitted piece in order for your work to be considered properly.

You’re invited to submit to the Uncharted Romance Story Challenge from March 21 to March 31, 2024.


  • The deadline for entry is March 31, 2024. We will announce the shortlist, chosen by our editorial staff, within 1012 weeks of the contest’s close. All writers will be notified when the results are in.
  • Your $20 reading fee allows ONE romance short story of 1,001–5,000 words per entry.
  • We encourage multiple submissions—each story should be a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee.
  • Please submit short stories only—5,000-word count maximum.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests—we do not review reprints, including self-published work (even on blogs and social media). Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay—please notify us immediately and withdraw your entry if you find another home for your writing.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Uncharted.
  • Double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 (or larger if needed).
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable).
  • Please include a content warning to help safeguard our staff (if applicable).
  • We only read work in English, though some code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • We do not read anonymous submissions.
  • Work generated by AI will be automatically disqualified.
  • Work that does not adhere to these guidelines will be automatically disqualified.

Some Submittable Hot Tips:

  • Please be sure to whitelist/add to contacts this email address so notifications do not get filtered as spam/junk:
  • If you realize you sent the wrong version of your piece: It happens. Please DO NOT withdraw the piece and resubmit. Submittable collects a nonrefundable fee each time. Please DO message us from within the submission to request that we open the entry for editing, which will allow you to fix everything from typos in your cover letter to uploading a new draft. The only time we will not allow a change is if the piece is already under review by a reader.


You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide two-page global letters discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Uncharted. A significant portion of the editorial letter fees is paid to your feedback editor. Should your story win, no feedback will be offered, and your fee will be refunded.