Past Themes

Spring 2023 Issue: The Chemistry of Love

Theme: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

The world of STEM doesn’t just open up a lot of possibilities in life; it can also open up possibilities in love

So for this issue, we want stories of scientists whose relationship goes from professional to personal, two crime-scene techs who connect on the job, or a math teacher who falls for someone who hates arithmetic. As long as the stories show off great chemistry, we’re bound to fall in love.

Issue Featured Author: Elizabeth Camden

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Winter 2023 Issue: Sealed with a Kiss

Theme: Epistolary (told through letters)

There’s something special about a love letter you can read over and over. For this issue, give us a love story told through letters, emails, texts, or DMs.

Expressing love through the written word is timeless & universal…even other worldly! Whether it’s a soldier writing home about the girl he met at the USO, a long-lost love asking for a second chance, or someone finally getting up the nerve to message their crush on Facebook, give us sweet stories sealed with a kiss – but keep it under 1,000 words!

Issue Featured Author: Kimberly Duffy

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Fall 2022 Issue: Love Unleashed

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, and we love them — especially when they help us find romance. For this issue, we want stories filled with neighs, barks, and meows. But think outside the litter box. Give us unexpected pets like turtles, bunnies, fish … or even a boa constrictor!

Set your story in another time or a far-off place with pets that steal the show and warm our hearts. Try a mystery or suspense with an animal partner and some sweet romance.

Animals can create laughter or tears. Show us characters interacting with their favorite pets — just don’t forget to include lots of romance of the human variety!

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Summer 2022 Issue: Love Is Magical

Take us somewhere magical!

For this fantasy-only issue, we want stories that shimmer with the extraordinary—lush worlds and enchanting characters. Show us love in cursed castles, magical candy shops, and faerie gardens. 

Take us to a whole new world or weave something magical into familiar surroundings. Combine sparkling details with a swoon-worthy romance and we’re sure to be enchanted.

Issue Featured Author: Laura Zimmerman

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Spring 2022: The Trouble with Love

Nothing brings two people together like a little trouble.

We want fun, sassy, and endearing stories that will make us giggle and cheer for the couple finding love in the midst of a perplexing predicament.

We love stories of fake boyfriends, conspiring buddies, and not-so-detestable enemies. Witty banter, close encounters, and those all too swoony moments of realization make up some of our favorite moments.

Toss in some unpredictable and funny circumstances and you’re sure to have us falling in love.

Issue Featured Author: Betsy St. Amant

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Winter 2022 Issue: A Taste of Love

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what Valentine’s Day is made of. This winter, we want food stories served with a delicious kiss. Love in the kitchen. Romance at the food truck. Reunion over a Low Country Boil. Produce departments, sweet cafes, fiery chefs, ice cream parlors, and tucked-away gelaterias.

Whether it’s sweet, spicy, or somewhere in between, write us a romance that turns our blood into cocoa, and flambé our hearts.

There’s a whole world of tastiness out there—picnics on the beach, French bakeries, street food in India… and our hearts are racing just thinking about it.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Fall 2021 Issue: Falling in Love

Lowering temps and leaves, mugs of hot apple cider, cozy sweaters and flannel blankets…it’s fall. We’re looking for stories that make us want to cuddle with a special someone and watch the stars.

Give us hayrides and haunted houses, apple picking and corn mazes, thanksgiving turkeys and brilliant colors. And make sure to include a kiss or two that warms us to our toes.

Autumn is the best time for meeting the one, making promises, and Falling in Love.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Summer 2021 Issue: Inspired by Songs

Love songs have made the world a better place for thousands of years. Great lyrics tug at our emotions and inspire us with a simplicity that seems impossible, telling a short, short story just like flash fiction.

Give us your best stories inspired by your favorite songs of first kisses, sweet meetings, marriage proposals, first dates, reunited flames, and even those that celebrate a love that has stood the test of time. Put a fresh spin on it. Tell it from a different perspective or what happened before or after the song.

So set your playlist to love songs and be inspired. Be sure to tell us which song inspired you but don’t use any actual lyrics in your story.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Spring 2021 Issue: All Is Fair in Love… and Danger!

What could be more romantic than love … and danger? Both get the heart pounding and the adrenaline pumping!

For this romantic suspense issue, send us your best flash fiction stories about love on the run, hearts united in the face of danger. Think Castle or Bones. Show us spies falling for each other, partners – in love, or maybe in crime? A rescuer who needs rescuing, both physically and emotionally. A rekindled flame in the middle of a fire. Throw your hero and heroine into the trenches of war and see what develops.

Thrill us with your thrillers. But keep it under 1,000 words!

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Fall/Winter 2020 Issue: The Golden Age of Hollywood

Do you dream of love in black and white? Of silent film stars who use their eyes and hands to tell a story? Women, elegant gowns brushing the floor, and men with fashionable mustaches and voices as smooth as satin, gliding across a stage to accept an award. Or would you rather take an oldie and reframe it? Make it new and fresh? Have the girl get the guy this time.

Hollywood’s “Golden Age” (1920s-1960s) makes for an alluring setting. One that demands its stories be told through romance. We want flash fiction that evokes a sense of glamour and fame. Show us the fire that ignites between a leading lady and the hero’s…stunt double. The rom-com duo who go from enemies to lovers. Or maybe even have Scarlet end up happily-ever-after with Rhett or The Roman Holiday romance take place during the time of Caesar.

Whether you write your own, or rework a classic, make sure you send us stories that make us want to settle into our favorite chair and enjoy, for a moment, the daydreams of another time. Another place.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Spring 2020 Issue: Hindsight is 20/20

Since hindsight is 20/20, we here at Spark fully believe in second-chance romance. If the pangs of unrequited love run deep, how high will the flames of rekindled passion go? We want to see stories of childhood friends who dressed-up as bride and groom and then lost touch, high school sweethearts who left town and — for a time — each other, the one who got away, the kiss that almost happened. The summer camp romance, the pen pal who wrote in verse, the French foreign exchange student…ooh la la.

When the stars align, prayers are answered, and memories are dusted off and given another shot at love, there are stories that beg to be told. Stories that show love in hindsight, re-imagined and reignited, comes full circle. Stories that are the beginning of something beautiful tangled up with the happy ending we all adore.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Winter 2019 Issue: A Royal Affair

Subgenre: Regency

Nothing warms up a cold winter day like a crackling fire and even hotter romance. Throw in a duel, a marriage of convenience, or witty dialogue a la Jane Austen, and we’re sure to swoon. Whether celebrating the holidays in the English countryside, or joining in the festivities of the London season, we want to see heroes that melt our hearts, heroines that cheer our soul, and mistletoe-inspired kisses.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Summer 2019 Issue: Summer Vacation

Subgenres: Beach Theme, Chick Lit, Summer Lovin’

What says summer more than a vacation? Let’s head to the beach for some summer lovin’ or meet a lifeguard who needs rescued.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue

Spring 2019 Issue: Love and Sweet Tea

Subgenres: Southern Romance, Foodie, Gone with the Wind

Love is in bloom, and the sweet tea is plentiful. Let’s see some Southern romance, some foodie stories (a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all!), or even a modern-day Gone with the Wind.

Submissions Are Now Closed for This Issue