Want to Write for Harlequin? We’ve Got Inside Tips

Harlequin Editorial Director Joanne GrantWe at RT firmly believe that everyone deserves love. If you are someone looking to write one of those love stories, today we’ve got tips for you from Harlequin Series Editorial Director Joanne Grant. Remember us when you’re famous, won’t you? Take it away, Joanne!

Submission Wish-List from the Desks of Harlequin Editors

With 17 series romance imprints and all of them actively acquiring, there are plenty of writing opportunities at Harlequin, whether you are seeking a home to start you career, or somewhere to build your readership.

All of our editors are looking for diverse stories and authors, and submissions that wow them — but where to start? I have selected five requests direct from the editors along with some top tips to make your submission stand out from the crowd!

NEW! Sexy Contemporary: The most active acquisition area right now is for our digital first sexy contemporary imprint (name to be announced!). This will be Harlequin’s hottest series to date with romances that push the boundaries of sexual explicitness with fun, fearless heroines and the sexiest heroes alive!

TOP TIP: for this Series we want explicit romances not erotica. But we can always rein you in if you go too far 😉

Harlequin Western Romance: what is trending for this imprint? Multiples! No, not the math kind, but the baby kind: twins and triplets specifically! All in a Western setting of course…

TOP TIP: dialogue that sparkles and chemistry between your characters that crackles will pull the reader into the story.

Harlequin Special Edition: would love to see switched-at-birth/mistaken identity stories as well as stories with an action adventure slant.

TOP TIP: the best way to get noticed in our slush pile is with a killer opening paragraph!

Romantic Suspense: In addition to classic themes like serial killers and law enforcement, the editors would like to see something a bit different, such as a legal thriller romance. Imprints to look at would be Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Harlequin Intrigue and Love Inspired Suspense.

TOP TIP: make your synopsis as compelling to read as your story!  Being able to sum your story up in an enticing nutshell is likely to catch an editor’s eye.

Amish Romance: If this is your speciality and you missed the #AmishBlitz do not worry, the Love Inspired imprint team still want to hear from you, as Amish Romances continue to be as popular as ever.

TOP TIP: When writing a romance we want to feel the emotion which is why the classic ‘show don’t tell’ is still so important, oh, and avoid that info dump at your peril!

One final tip: there is no substitute for great research, so reading current books from the imprint you are targeting is always a good place to start!

You can find more about Harlequin submissions here, and the publisher’s So You Think You Can Write page is also a great resource! Joanne is at @JoanneMGrant on Twitter (of course, RT is at @RT_Magazine). 

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