Mother’s Day Chocolate Stories
April 26, 2019
Stories of Summer Romance
May 28, 2019

Call for Submissions – Summer Romance Theme!

My Box of Chocolates – Bite-Sized Stories of Summer Romance

Do you love chocolates?  Well, Tellables has a big box of chocolates for you–except you’ve never had chocolates like these before. This box of chocolates is a collection of very short stories by independent authors (just like you!) told by an imaginary chocolatier character that plays on Alexa-enabled devices.

Have you ever visited a chocolate shop where a chocolatier is making candy?  The shop smells sweet with a counter full of all flavors, shapes and sizes of chocolates for sale by the piece or the box.  It’s an inviting place where customers enjoy chatting as they sip the richest hot chocolate, topped with a mountain of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  

Today, one of the chocolatiers enjoys listening to stories told by the customers. Summer is approaching, calling up visions of past summer romances in the minds of some of the clientele.  

Follow these guidelines and you could have your story published in the “My Box of Chocolates” skill on Amazon Alexa.

Writing Guidelines and Tips

Your challenge is to write a very short story (275 words or less) with the theme “summer romance” that will be told by one of four imaginary chocolatiers. Imagine one of the regular visitors to the chocolate shop. What summer romance might they have experienced in their past? How did it turn out? Can the protagonist see humor in the situation now? Your story can be pure fiction or based on real-life. Write the story from the perspective of the chocolatier who is retelling the story.

When you’ve completed your story, use the submission form on the Chocolate Box Stories page to submit to the editorial team.

When you submit your story, you’ll see a field for the candy description. Each story comes with a matching chocolate that represents the story. This section is optional. If your story is selected for publication, the Tellables team will help craft the candy description. Just keep in mind that you can use this section to introduce the context of your story (leaving more of your word count for the actual story).

Every story also has several conversational elements. These elements include a comment, a question to the listener, and possible responses based on how the listener answers the question. These elements are all optional, but you’re welcome to fill them out when you submit your story. The Tellables team will develop these sections if your story is accepted.

Sample Summer Romance Story

Here’s a sample story to get your imagination going. The story attempts to be light-hearted and recounts a romance that was more annoying than enjoyable. Your story might go in a completely different direction. Just keep it G- or PG-rated.

Sample Candy Description

One of my customers is Janice. She’s happily married with grown children. It was with interest that I heard her story about a summer romance from her youth. It happened back in the seventies when she was a teenager. I made candy number 1 to match her story.

Sample Story

When she was sixteen, Janice left her midwestern hometown and flew to Italy as part of a summer student exchange. Her host family had a daughter named Isabella. Isabella was Janice’s age, but she seemed older. She came and went as she pleased, drank wine and danced with the boys. She never went out to dinner before 10 o’clock at night. For Janice, 10 o’clock was bedtime. But there was a saying: “When in Rome.” And even though it wasn’t Rome, Janice decided to follow Isabella’s example. Italy cast a spell over her. The sunlight seemed different, bouncing off tiled roofs and bright umbrellas lining the piazza. Janice put on Isabella’s dresses and went out into the evening. Isabella knew how to attract young men, yet keep them at arm’s length. Janice was less experienced. She met a German boy named Rudolf. He was big-boned and clumsy. But he was at the right place at the right time. Janice was a good girl and didn’t permit Rudolf to compromise her virtue. But on their first encounter, she must have offered too much encouragement. For the rest of her summer in Italy, the German was her shadow. He’d fallen head over heels. He sent flowers, hired musicians, wrote passionate notes that he taped to Isabella’s door. Janice was horrified. Isabella was very amused. It’s hard to sum up in a single sentence what Janice’s summer in Italy taught her. But she learned some valuable lessons. And to this day, she still can’t hear the name Rudolf without cringing.

Photo Credit: Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

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