These sub genres have been provided as suggestions to aid the contest author in choosing their sub genres. The author is welcome to include all sub genres that pertain to their manuscript in their file name. Crossover sub genres and multi-sub genres are welcomed. Initials and a brief description of common sub genres have been provided below.
CR- Contemporary Romance: Romance novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship; it will include a modern setting, modern language, and diction, and a general focus on the emotional development of a relationship.
ER- Erotic Romance: Romance novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth, and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.), will have graphically described sexual encounters/scenes, more than one sex scene, and unique tropes (ex. Ménage).
HR- Historical Romance: Romance novels that are set prior to 1950. It will include a dated setting (ex. Wild West, Edwardian period, Regency era), language and diction from that era, and characters occupying roles not found in common society (i.e, duke, duchess, earl).
PN- Paranormal/Science Fiction/ Fantasy Romance: Romance novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot. All three will tend to have action-packed plot lines, but romance is still key to the story.
For paranormal, expect a setting in the modern world with slight differences (ex. Magic may be present, known and unknown to characters) and romantic relationships with supernatural beings (ex. werewolves, angels, demons).
For Sci-Fi, expect a setting in the future or near future and/or dealing with new technology or futuristic elements (ex. living on another planet) and expect romantic relationships that may not always have human/human pairings (ex. aliens/non-human love interests).
For Fantasy, expect a setting in a world separate from what is currently known, where a magic system or creatures that are known are merely a normal part of life. There may be crossover with modern technology, but most branded terms (ex. jeans) are given new and unique descriptions.
SE- Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements: Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs are an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may be set in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system of any culture. They can incorporate any type of belief system, spirituality or culture, and they can mesh with other genres (ex. Historical, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, etc.). They will include characters who have strong religious convictions or who end the book with strong religious convictions, any explicit sexual content is typically avoided (or if it appears, it is light), and there will possibly be tropes on the issue of faith or beliefs.
RS- Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. Some characteristics are a fast-paced, heart-pumping plot, some facet of crime that might jeopardize the romantic relationship, most will focus on current crimes and scenarios but they can range from historical (gothic) to present day.
YA- New Adult/Young Adult Romance: Romance novels in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot. For New Adult expect to see post-high school characters as they journey through the struggles and beginnings of adulthood (ex. First job, college life, financial independence, living away from home for the first time, empowerment, loss of innocence, and fear of failure, etc.). For Young Adult expect to see teenage relationships or issues related to young adult lives, tropes typical of a young adult (ex. Empowerment, coming of age, love at first sight, bullying, etc), but love is still the main force behind the plot.