Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”
Melinda Haynes


This week I’m summarizing the Spotlight on Harlequin Single Titles. Harlequin publishes single titles romance, women’s fiction, fantasy and erotica in trade paper, mass market and hardcover in its HQN, Mira, Luna and Spice imprints, and stories for teens in Harlequin Teen.  

Presenting the workshop were Margaret Marbury, vice president of Single Title Editorial, from the New York Office; Valerie Gray, Executive Editor of Mira and Spice in Toronto; Tara Parsons, Senior Editor of HQN and Luna in New York and Natashya Wilson, Senior Editor of Harlequin Teen.

 Ms. Marbury started by emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the author and the editor with Harlequin. Harlequin Single Title plans a one to three-year publication strategy from the author. The sales force works to get the print books in every kind of book seller and they also do digital editions of every book.  She would love to see books set in the recent past, as well as more “really fantastic historical fiction” stories. She also loves humor in books, emanating from amazing, funny characters. 

Natashya Wilson spoke about Harlequin Teen. They publish commercial, single title young adult fiction line with a target audience of girls 13 to 18. They do primarily trade titles with the occasional hardcover. They publish contemporary and historical, fantasy, paranormal and steam punk. They are looking for an “authentic, strong teen voice.” They have published a lot of debut authors, as well as successful adult novelists’ first books for teens. She accepts agented authors only unless you pitch to her at a conference and she requests your manuscript. 

Tara Parsons talked about HQN. She mentioned the many NYT bestselling authors on the HQN list such as Linda Lael Miller, Kristan Higgins and Gena Showalter. They are moving some of the Spice authors into HQN, so they publish everything from historicals to contemporary, to super sexy to paranormal and romantic suspense. Luna is evolving to add science fiction, urban fantasy,  and dark fantasy as well as continuing to publish high fantasy. They’re also open to horror, futuristic and dystopian stories. The books should have a strong female protagonist.  HQN and Luna only accept agented submissions, but they will accept query letters only from unagented authors. While there is some crossover between Mira and HQN, if your story has a strong romance at its core, it’s more suitable for HQN. Tara is on the lookout for romantic suspense and paranormal romance and for Luna she’d love to find a science fiction author like Patricia Briggs. 

Valerie Gray spoke about Mira Books. Mira publishes contemporary and historical romance, thrillers and commercial women’s fiction. They publish a wide variety and types of stories. They’re willing to experiment with different types of stories. This year one of the big initiatives in Mira is to grow their trade paperback program, particularly in commercial women’s fiction. Margaret defined commercial women’s fiction as “women’s fiction with a broad audience.” It should be fresh and new, high concept or universal to a large number of women. They don’t want “quiet” books – quiet to her means small.  Their books are almost all set in North America, which doesn’t mean they aren’t open to other settings, but the manuscripts they get are primarily North American set. They are publishing debut authors as well as established authors. Valerie would also love to see some humorous and more historical fiction. Mira accepts agented submissions only.


My historical romance, Educating Abbie, has been nominated for a Bookie Award. Check it out (and cast your vote!) here.


Only two more weeks until the release of my new historical romance, West With the Wind. You can pre-order your copy now here.  And while you’re at it, check out my other historical titles. They’re all available for the new, lower price of $4.99 each.


White Cat Magazine pays five cents a word for short stories for its new web publication. While the focus of the magazine is primarily on suspense stories,  they’re open to short stories in all genres except erotica. Short stories should be no more than 2,500 words. They pay a flat rate of $25 for flash fiction to 1,000 words. Find all the guidelines here.

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