The Romance Cliche Contest

Matilde turns to the door framed by velvet curtains. In the candelight, she sees Armande standing there, looking at her intensely.

“You’ve come back,” she utters in shock.
“I had to. I could never live without you,” he cries.
“But Anita…I thought you loved her!”
“I could never love her. My heart belongs to you and no other! It was a mistake! Please forgive me, Matilde!” he shouts and drops to his knees, head hanging.

She raises the back of her hand to her forehead and turns to face the window. “All this time,” she weeps, “I thought you never cared. That I was just another leaf floating in the wind with all the other leaves.” She covers her face with her hands and begins to sob.

He takes her into his arms, holds her closely, and says, “No, Matilde, I was floating with you. I always will.”

See what I did there? Sappy? Yes. Over the top? Of course.

But this the farthest thing from The Gray Wolf Throne. Cinda Williams Chima’s novel of love, loyalties, and courage in the face of never ending obstacles also focuses on an intricately woven and heartbreaking romance. Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her hands full on the romantic front, with three dashing men all interested in winning the brave young lady’s fair heart. Who will she choose?

Inspired by the all of the above, and going in the opposite direction of The Gray Wolf Throne, we’d like to put a little twist on this contest. Instead of writing a straight-forward romance, you are going to write a parody of popular romantic tropes and clichés. It can be as dramatic and over the top as you like, BUT must include at least two (2) of the following things:

– The lovebirds are forbidden from being together because of a family or class feud
– One major misunderstanding between the lovebirds that is resolved with screams, shouts, tears and then, of course, making out.
– Someone trying to drive them apart
– Evil relatives
– They must hate each other at first, then realize they are madly in love
– There is more than one love interest
– A former love interest is trying to win one of your main characters back (there can also be an epic showdown between the contending love interests)
– One overly dramatic, sappy parting scene a la Casablanca
– Longing looks thrown from across the room
– Heavy sighs and tears

How to Enter:

1. Read the full rules here.
2. Create your cliche-riddled piece on Figment.
3. Tag your entry with clichecontest.
4. Hit publish, and wait the 2 hours or so it sometimes takes for your entry to show up below.

You have 500 words to do this, though, so make every second count! You have until Monday, September 12 @ 6:00PM EST to submit your entry, and can vote until Friday, September 16 @ 6:00PM EST. The 5 top hearted entries will become finalists, and so will 5 others chosen at random from all the entries. They will be judged by your beloved Figmods, who are clearly experts on the subject.

The first place winner will receive a copy of the Seven Realms series, of which The Gray Wolf Throne is the latest installment, and a Figment tote bag. The second place winner will receive a $25 gift card to and a Figment tote, and the third winner (chosen at random from all the entries) will receive a $10 gift card to iTunes or Amazon, and a Figment tote as well.

Best of luck, figs!

17 thoughts on “The Romance Cliche Contest

  1. I saw Scarlett and Rhett and I sort of died. I LOVE LOVE LOVE GWTW. So much it’s unhealthy…
    I’ll try to enter this…

  2. I’m slightly confused. Do you write a parody on a published story (like Romeo and Juliet or Twilight) or do you write a parody on the topics you mentioned like evil relatives? Or can you do either?

    • Hi Alex,

      You would write a parody of romantic things that always crop up in literature. You must include 2 things from the list given, but can take those in any direction you like. You can also be inspired by other stories, such as “Romeo and Juliet,” but we ask that new content is created. I hope this helps, and please email me at if you have any other questions.

  3. This is awesome!!!! I wish I could enter… it’s painful to not be allowed in this contest, I’m dying here – it’s too hilarious!

    • Hi Magenta,

      You can parody the fluff that it’s in there (as in the cliches), but creating new content and characters is best. You can also used older ideas or characters of your own.

  4. Oh! This contest is now under the “vote now” section, but the description says the deadline is the 16th. I really wanted to enter, do I still have until Friday?

    • Hi Tristan,

      The entry deadline was for 6:00PM EST today (so about an hour and a half ago), and the voting deadline is until the 16th at 6:00PM EST. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

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