The Winners of the 3rd Interactive Romance Writing Contest are here!

In our 3rd writing contest—with the challenging theme “slow burn”—we received a total of 32 stories from 30 different authors. We were extremely happy to see all the new talented authors who have decided to jump into interactive stories with us! A big thanks to everyone who participated!

We had such a hard time picking only 3 winners among all the lovely stories, so we also decided to give out two honorable mentions.

And now, behold…the winners!

1st place, 500€ - The Beehive by Ilia Starr

In this LGBTQ+ sci-fi love story, two long-standing enemies are locked up together in an intergalactic prison. As we watch their unexpected feelings unfold, Ilia Starr keeps us on our toes with slowly escalating suspense and makes us fall in love with the characters by introducing us to the history of their rivalry. 

While this story is darker than most of the entries we received for this contest, the darkness only adds to its charm. The plentiful and meaningful choices upp the excitement—we had real trouble deciding which delicious option to pick!—and definitely make you want to read the story again.

We feel that The Beehive best embodies the “slow burn” theme of the contest and is a great example of how interactivity can have the readers biting their nails. Big congratulations!

2nd place, 200€ - Love and Lavender by Bree Forestell

Our jury unanimously agreed that this was a lovely and light-hearted read that immediately pulled us in! 

In Love and Lavender, Tamar, a semi-immortal love goddess, decides to help out a stranger, Noelle, get to her ex-girlfriend's wedding. During the long drive we get to know the characters, and the author really makes us agonize with Tamar whether she should keep helping Noelle reunite with her ex or give in to her growing feelings towards her. We kind of wished we could have stayed with this slow burn longer!

The sweet and likeable characters immediately made us emphasize with them, and we really liked the novel twist of Tamar being a semi-immortal love goddess! With beautiful prose and several different endings, this is a story worth coming back to. Great work!

3rd place, 100€ - The Last Lightcall in Lucksend by Ilia Starr

In this fantasy romance story, Ziska, a young half-elf girl celebrates the eve of the Lightcall festival. While preparing for the minstrel contest she desperately wants to win, Ziska befriends two mysterious strangers, and together with an old friend, this newly formed group grows closer as the evening darkens.

Ilia Starr demonstrates their great storytelling skills with intriguing characters and great foreshadowing—we loved the fortune teller! We especially want to thank the author for giving the reader such versatile options when it comes to Ziska’s romance. While we slowly get to know the other three characters, we’re given a lot of choice over which relationship to pursue, all the way to the end. We found that this made the story very engaging—an excellent use of interactivity. Well done!

Honorable mentions: On Stormy Seas by AJ Hartson and Incorrigibly Yours 1&2 by Artku

We want to commend AJ Hartson for the clever use of interactivity in their story On Stormy Seas. On top of being technically well written and providing the reader with many choices, this exciting pirate story also allows the readers to decide on the gender of their main character and their mate. This is a great example how interactivity can draw the reader in and make it feel like the story is made for them.

Incorrigibly Yours part 1&2 nailed the “slow burn” theme beautifully. While we get to experience the main characters slowly gravitating towards each other, the story also tackles several difficult subjects related to family, friends and breakups—which makes for really memorable scenes in the story. We were impressed how Artku manages to intertwine and structure all these topics under the roof of one single story.

A huge thank you to all the participants and congratulations to the winners! The winning authors will be contacted personally.

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