Call for Submissions: Contemporary Cowboy Romance Anthology



Update: While we remain open to both novella and full length Western and cowboy romances for individual title consideration, Carina Press will unfortunately not be publishing a contemporary cowboy anthology as planned. So many thanks to all who submitted!

Submit your novella to our cowboy romance anthology!

Carina Press is pleased to announce a call for contemporary cowboy romances publishing both individually as novellas and as an anthology. Please see below for specific information on what we’re seeking, closing dates and submission guidelines.

The novellas should be from 25,000 to 40,000 words each and will be digitally published both individually and as a collection. We’re accepting submissions of new material only; nothing that has been previously published (including self-published) for this particular call, please!

Description/story focus:

We’re in love with cowboys: they’re rugged, they’re sweet, they’re daring, and they look damn good in a pair of blue jeans. We want to publish a range of Western romances that showcase everything we love about cowboys. Novellas should have contemporary Western settings that are key to the story, conflict or character development.

Stories should stand alone, though they can be part of existing series, should contain a satisfying romance as part of the central plot and storyline, and should conclude with an HEA or HFN. Heat level can be from sweet to the erotic, as long as the focus is on the romance. Make us sigh, make us swoon, charm us right out of our boots!

Submission link:

Closing date: May 21, 2017 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)

Decision made by: June 20, 2017

To submit:

  • Complete* manuscript in .doc, .docx or .rtf
  • Query letter containing a 2 paragraph description of the novella story, as well as introducing yourself as a writer.

*While Carina Press generally only accepts submissions of full, completed manuscripts, if you have previously published with Carina or another digital/traditional publisher, or if you have independently published multiple books with a solid positive rating history, please query us at about submitting a proposal. If we agree to look at a proposal in place of a full manuscript, the editorial team reserves the right to request a full manuscript prior to making a final decision, and all full manuscripts for accepted novellas would be due to editor 6 weeks after the close of anthology call.


Are same sex pairings permitted? Yes, we’ll absolutely consider same sex pairings or multiples in this anthology.

What’s the word count for this call? The word count is 25k-40k words.

What if I write more than 40k words or less than 25k? We’ll consider novellas that are within a few thousand words on either side (I know, we’re so strict) but if you write a lot longer, never fear, we’re acquiring longer books in this same genre outside the anthology call! If you write shorter, we hope you can add more plot, story, characterization to bring it up to 25k!

If I submit on proposal, when is the full manuscript due if my manuscript is accepted? Approximately 6 weeks after the anthology close date for each individual anthology.

Do I need to have a synopsis? A synopsis is not required for this particular call, but if you have one, please include it! In the event that we acquire your novella, we will ask for one at that point. What we do require is a two paragraph description of the novella story, to be included in your query letter.

When will the anthology and novellas be published? They will be released simultaneously in January 2018.

If I’m a returning author, should I submit to you or to my editor? Submit via the unique Submittable link for this anthology, please.

How do royalties work? These will publish individually as novellas, in which case you’ll get the full, individual royalties for your novella sales. They also publish as anthologies, for which you split the same royalty structure with the other authors–for the sale of the full anthology eBook only.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit

*Permission to forward granted*

27 thoughts on “Call for Submissions: Contemporary Cowboy Romance Anthology”

  1. Sarah McManus says:

    Hi, this sounds great! Just wondering as it says that same-sex pairings will be considered, is the word ‘Cowboy’ being used loosely here? Is F/F still ok?

    1. IG says:

      I had the same question, actually. Have you gotten a response?

  2. Samantha says:

    Yes, is this only for cowboys or are cowgirls FF pairings also accepted?

  3. Lauren says:

    Hello, I contacted the press and they said they would love to see some F/F pairings.

    1. IG says:

      Thanks so much for letting us know!

  4. Angela James says:

    Hi everyone, F/F or M/M pairings will be considered, as will multiples.

  5. Sally says:

    Might be a silly question, but for a western story does it have to take place in the western US, or is it acceptable if it is a cowboy misplaced in an area with horses and a western feel, etc. He’s still a cowboy doing cowboy things, but it’s like a fake western area?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sally, we’re open to non-US locations!

  6. If I read it right, this is only for Novellas not books-60,000 words? Kim

  7. What are the particulars on cuss words? Is there certain ones to avoid? True cowboys have fowl mouths. Thanks Kim

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Kimberly, there are no restrictions on cursing. Though I think you mean foul (as I don’t think true cowboys have chicken mouths, lolol)

      As for this call, it’s for novellas for an anthology, so the word count is lower. However, you are welcome to submit longer cowboy works to us, they just wouldn’t be for this particular anthology. If it’s a contemporary, you would submit it under the contemporary romance category. More details on how to submit are on our “write for us” page, clickable link at the top.

  8. Helen says:

    Does non-USA locations include space westerns, as long as there are cowboys?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Helen, since this is a call for contemporary romance, the space western location would make your project science fiction. We wouldn’t look at it for this anthology but you could submit it via the Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance category, for separate consideration.

  9. KIm says:

    Hi, there is an “S” on the end of Novellas. Do I write more than one? Or is this a combination of stories and authors? Tank you

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Kim, no, you only need to write one novella. We’re putting together a multi-author anthology.

  10. Rebecca says:

    Hi there. I see that cowgirls are acceptable in a F/F pairing – which is what I’d like to write. In terms of ‘contemporary’, does this preclude historical settings? Such as colonial Australia? Or the USA in at the height of western expansion? My apologies if it’s a silly question, I just want to be sure about the scope of contemporary.

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Rebecca, I replied to this on Twitter, I think but I’m going to also respond here in case others are curious. Contemporary does absolutely preclude historical settings. If you say the word historical then it’s not a contemporary romance. they’re two separate subgenres of romance! Contemporary is here and now and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re absolutely open to different settings, but the time period has to be contemporary.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Thank you :) I figured as much, but I’ve seen some Australian editors use the same word for anything up to a hundred years ago so I thought it best to be very sure. Perhaps because colonial history in this country is more recent? Who knows!
        I’ve set this F/F Australian outback story I’m working to submit for this open call very much in the here-and-now.

  11. Hello, can you still send in the first page and have it critiqued by an editor? I am sure you have answered this before. Thank You

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Kimberly,

      The first-page critique is an opportunity we offer once every few months. There will be an opportunity to enter your page later in April so keep your eyes on our social media for when it’s opening!

  12. Contemarary Western Sorry

  13. Good Morning, what is the word count for the first page critique

  14. Kimberley Bailey says:

    I know this is probably the dumbest question ever, but how polished do the novellas for this anthology submissions call need to be? I know they need to be polished. I was wondering to what extent do they need to be.
    Thank you,

    1. Angela James says:

      Kimberley, we always encourage authors to self-edit and present a polished manuscript, but we also don’t expect perfection–you’d be working with an editor on four different stages of edits if we acquired your book. So just make sure to give us your best story!

      1. Kimberley Bailey says:

        Thank you so much! I am behind in my novella, but I am trying to get it finished and, hopefully, submitted by the deadline. I was asking so I would know about how long I should give myself to go over it.

  15. Good Morning, If I’m denied can I submit again for the novella? Thanks

    1. Kerri Buckley says:

      Hi Kimberly,
      You’re welcome to submit more than one novella for this call or, if the novella you submit is not accepted, to submit through regular channels throughout the year.
      Kerri Buckley
      Sr. Editor, Carina Press

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