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The Cupid Awards

Opens: Nov. 1st

Deadline: Dec 1st



The Cupid Awards is a contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Romance Writers Guild and is open to all Short (5000 words or less) UNPUBLISHED romantic works of fiction in digital form.

Who Can Enter

Any UNPUBLISHED short romance story no more than 5000 words that HAS NOT WON 1ST PLACE IN THIS CONTEST is eligible to enter.

Open to Authors Worldwide!

Note: All entries must be:

  • Save entry as a document with category number & entry title, ex: cat1sensualnights.doc

  • Microsoft Word .doc or .docx form

  • Edited

  • Title at top

  • No names on the actual entry

  • Size 12 Font

  • Double spaced

  • Times New Roman or Courier New Font.

  • No minimum word count, no longer than 5000 words 

  • A complete romance story with beginning, middle, and HEA resolution that fits the heat level requirements for the category entered.

  • Absolutely NO AI-written stories allowed.

  • Contest Open to Submissions:

    • November 1st

  • Contest Deadline:

    • December 1st

  • Entries go to Judges:

    • Dec. 15

  • Scores Back from Judges:

    • February 1

  • Winners Announced Virtually:

    • February 14

Important Dates

7 Categories will each have 1 Winner

  • Winners receive a crystal heart ornament(must pay shipping to receive)

  • Winners receive a website winner badge & will be promoted across OKRWG social media (Facebook & Instagram).

Entry Fee:

  • Member: $10 for each entry, up to 2 entries per category

  • Non-Member: $15 for each entry, up to 2 entries per category


Send Payment via PayPal to

Questions? Contact the Contest VP HERE


Category Descriptions

All Unpublished Romantic Fiction in complete short story format no more than 5000 words. Must meet category guidelines, and be unpublished work.

Category 1: Short Erotic Romance

Heat Level: 5 Flames

As opposed to straight erotica, which focuses primarily on the sex rather than on the plot or characterization, erotic romance is about the emotional journey lived through sexual experience. This sub-genre pushes boundaries, uses graphic language(including F-bomb), contains multiple sex scenes explicitly described…and because it’s romance, it has a happily ever after. Erotic romance can bring in BDSM, sex toys, anal sex, menages, and multiple partners. These are stories that cannot be told if you take sex out of the equation. UNLIMITED SEX SCENES.

Examples: EL James or Sylvia Day Novels

Category 2: Short Scorcher Romance

Heat Level: 4 Flames

The equivalent of NC-17 in the movie world. Sometimes described as one level shy of erotic romance. At this heat level, there’s explicit sex, indelicate language(including F-bomb), and graphic depictions of a sexual nature used to further the story. Scorcher might also include sex toys, mild BDSM, and other light forms of kink. UNLIMITED SEX SCENES.

Example: Nalini Singh or JR Ward novels

Category 3: Short Steamy Romance

Heat Level: 3 Flames

The equivalent of an R-rated movie. The majority of romance novels fall into this heat category. With steamy romance, you can expect action-packed love scenes where the reader goes along for the ride. There is graphic sex on the page, and what is happening between the couple is described with specific language, but emphasis is more on the emotional than physical. Swearing, but no F-bomb. Steamy romance doesn’t fade to black. Instead, it follows the participants right through the door and climbs into the bed along with them. NO MORE THAN 2 SEX SCENES

Example: Linda Howard or Linda Lael Miller novels

Category 4: Short Sensual Romance

Heat Level: 2 Flames

The equivalent of a PG13-rated movie. Kissing, touching, and intimate scenes are shared usually with focus on feelings and emotions rather than body parts. Sexual tension and love scenes might be included in the story, but most descriptions of physical intimacy still happen “behind closed doors.” NO EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

Ex. Nora Roberts novels

Category 5: Short Sweet Romance

Heat Level: 1 Flame

The equivalent of a PG-rated movie. There might be no contact at all except for some hand-holding or a chaste kiss at the end when the couple gets together. Mild sensuality might contain intimate scenes and sexual situations, but they’re not described in the story. You know it happens, but you don’t read about it because it happens off the page or fades to black. NO SEX SCENES.

Example: Hallmark Movies

Category 6: Short Young Adult Romance

Heat Level: 1 Flame

The equivalent of PG13-rated movie. The characters are in their teens, sometimes early twenties. Like a sensual romance, there may be kissing, touching, and intimate scenes, but the focus is on feelings and emotions rather than body parts. Sexual tension and love scenes might be included in the story, but most descriptions of physical intimacy still happen “behind closed doors.” NO EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

Examples: Rainbow Rowell and Stephenie Meyer

Category 7: Short Non-Romance with Strong Romantic Subplot

Heat Level: Any

This category is for any genre that contains a significant romantic subplot. The romantic subplot can contain any heat level, but it must be appropriate to the age level to which the books were written. I.E. No erotic scenes in a YA book, etc.

Examples: Brandon Sanderson and Sarah J. Maas

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