Erotica Competition

Submit an entry

Send your erotica through to, with Erotica Entry in the subject line, or submit through the form below.

The competition closes September 17, with results announced in Salient the following week.


Writing good erotica

Tips from Laura Borrowdale (Aotearotica)

Erotica is fun to read and fun to write, although what we mean by ‘fun’ can be open for interpretation. It’s a place to explore emapthy and interest in others and their experiences, and shed old hang-ups or embarassment. If you’re keen to try, think about these guidelines.

1. Firstly, erotica is writing like any other writing and all the rules about good writing apply.

2. Sex must have purpose. We aren’t reading simply for the sex; we need context and the sex scenes need to drive or illuminate the characters and the plot.

3. Good erotica is specific. And it more ways than one.  It isn’t just that we need detail about the physical act, but we need detail about the people involved, their thoughts and hopes and fears. Specificity makes it real, and interesting

4. Metaphor good, euphemism bad. Metaphor can help to create new and surprising effects and illusions, but euphemisims lapse into cliché so fast, and really, if you can’t bring yourself to use the right words, what are you doing, writing about sex?

5. Consent and condoms are sexy, and real, and also funny, just like sex.

6. And, FYI, humour doesn’t kill the mood, if you’re doing it right.

7. Avoid ‘tricking’ the reader. There’s a relationship of trust between the reader and the writer, and suddenly revealing an unexpected gender or act breaks the trust between you and them.

8. Write what you like. If you get turned on, someone else will too.