Worst. Valentines Day. Ever. (a second chance romance anthology)

You may be familiar with “Worst Holiday Ever: A Family Drama Romance Anthology”. Guess what, folks? It’s time to do it again :) The first anthology was about holiday family drama, usually with a humorous spin. This anthology will collect stores of lonely hearts, people with crushes, people who can’t stop thinking about old flames, etc. who find happily-ever-afters despite what might have been an ill-fated Valentine’s Day.


Interested? Here are the story guidelines:

  • 10,000 or fewer words; if it needs to be longer (up to 12,500 words), I need it ten days before the deadline because proofing will take longer.

  • Submissions must involve Valentine’s Day, though you can be creative. Maybe you’re submitting a paranormal and one of your characters is cupid. Twists are welcome as long as they have some connection to the theme.

  • No "falling in love” or “coming-together-for-the-first-time” arc is necessary--these stories can be second chances, fuck buddies (e.g., if you can’t be with the one you love on Valentine’s Day, love the one you’re with), etc.

  • Humor or super-sweet are the emotional chords the anthology will aim to strike. On the humor side, the tone can range from farcical to dry wit. If it’s on the emotional side, restore people’s faith in love and make them love Valentine’s Day again.

  • The story should feel satisfying but it's fine if it ends with a zinger instead of a buttoned-up "Valentine’s Day turned out awesome!" moment.

  • Using characters from your own/existing universe is fine (side characters with UST that didn’t merit their own book are perfect for this anthology; so are second chance romances).

  • Synopsis and projected word count due December 15th

  • Full text due January 10th. Proof/ARC will be sent to authors by January 20th. Publication date would be February 5th.

the right mix of stories

The primary goal is to harness the talent of a few formidable authors to yield a really fun read. Given the short time frame, I'll be limiting the group to experienced writers who can hit the deadline and simply send me something good. My target (read: the most I can manage) is 8-10 authors whose stories combine to let readers enjoy satisfying, vicarious expriences of Valentine’s Day. Ideally, it will contain:

  • A range of characters from varying ethnic, racial, and religious cultures

  • A range of pairings (M/F, M/M, F/F)

  • A range of romance genres (YA, suspense, historical, paranormal/speculative)

  • A range of settings

I know, I know...it sounds like a strange mish-mash. If done well, the collection should show that Valentine’s Day in cultures that celebrate it holds experiences and emotions that aer universal.

...and the Administrative and financial DETAILs:

  • This book will be indie-published/managed through my KDP account; co-authors can add their names via Amazon Author Central so that the book shows up under all of our profiles.

  • Business will be done through my LLC and a simple but clear legal agreement will be drawn up for the transparency and protection of all parties.

  • I've fronted the money to have a beautiful cover designed (see above—the cost of the cover was $100), will do secondary proofreading and formatting myself, and will spend up to an additional $400 on marketing. If others in the group want to do broader promotion of the book, the group can chip in on a marketing pot. Receipts/costs/decisions around all upfront services will be made transparent to the group.

  • After the book earns back launch/prelaunch costs not exceeding the aforementioned $500, all remaining royalties will be distributed evenly among participating authors. Again, sales reporting will be made transparent on a monthly basis and I will distribute royalties to all authors monthly during any period when the royalty amounts to $15 per author or more. In other words, if the book only earns $2.75 per author in royalties in April (when nobody cares about holiday books) I'm not going to print up twelve checks for $2.75 each. Regardless of distribution timing, monthly reports will be provided.

  • No exclusive rights to any story contained within belong to the anthology itself. Authors will be asked not to publish their stories elsewhere during a release push of 60-90 days. Following this period, authors may reprint or reproduce their stories wherever they'd like.

Final thoughts

The final thing you need to know is that this will be a drama-free project and a bullshit-free zone. I will send gentle reminders as we approach deadlines and will solicit no-pressure feedback on the book cover and other key assets. I will be transparent and communicative, but I won't overwhelm you. You've got stuff to do. Finally, because this won't be a huge anthology, it's currently being floated to a hand-picked group of prospective authors. If you know someone else who would be great for it, e-mail me and let me know!

So SIGN UP. Like, now.

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No long survey. Just tell me why you're interested in this anthology and what you might whip up. You don't need a story concept right this second. Just tell me enough to convince me you can pull one together.
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