September 2013

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
― Philip Pullman


My last blog post looked at the Spotlight on Harlequin Series Romance from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta. This week, I’m focusing on Harlequin Single Title. Margaret Marbury, VP Single Title Editorial, opened the Spotlight. Harlequin Single Title has a number of new editors, as well as maintaining some of the long-time editorial staff.

In 2013 so far, 15 Harlequin Single Title releases have hit the New York Times bestseller list. They have had 13 starred reviews in Publishers Weekly.  She talked about the Harlequin Single Title “boutique” approach to publishing, with an individualized promotion plan for each book, career planning for authors and editorial involvement.  Harlequin has global distribution in 110 markets in 34 languages.

HQN, Mira and Harlequin Teen are expanding into digital first programs. Both existing and new single title authors will be eligible for this program. HQN, Mira and Teen digital first programs are looking for books that align with the types of books they are already publishing in the lines in print.

Tara Parsons, Executive Editor of Mira, spoke next. Mira publishes “big, mainstream fiction.” They focus on commercial fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers and paranormal fiction. They publish in hardcover, mass market and trade paperback. She introduced some of the Mira editors: Paula Eykelhof, Nicole Brebner, Erika Imranyi, Emily Ohanjanians, Leslie Wainger, Michelle Mead and Leanna Waldrip.

Whether for traditional or digital publications, the editors at Mira are looking for mainstream books that appeal primarily to women. They may be contemporary or historical. Books should be commercial fiction , with universal themes that appeal to a broad audience. They’re looking for fresh voices, unforgettable characters and great stories. “The kind of book you would pass along to your neighbor or your mom.” Mira publishes about 110 titles a year in all formats. Right now they are particularly looking for new authors for their Trade program.

Susan Swinwood, executive editor for HQN and Luna, spoke next.  She first addressed the difference between Mira and HQN. Mira is focused on mainstream fiction that may or may not have romantic elements, but HQN focuses on romance – all sub-genres – contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, etc. They publish primarily mass market, but also trade and hardcover. The romances may be sweet or scorching. They love small communities and cowboys. On the historical side, they love everything from medieval Scotland to Regency London to China’s Tang dynasty. With paranormal, they’re publishing a variety of series, as they are with romantic suspense. HQN does between 80 and 90 books a year, a combination of new books and re-releases. She particularly interested in emotional, layered stories, as well as more historical for the line.

In HQN Digital, they’re publishing New Adult titles.

Susan also oversees Luna, which publishes female-focused fantasy, including urban fantasy. She introduced Margo Lipshultz, Kate Dresser, and Kate Studer as part of the editorial team.

Executive Editor Natasha Wilson spoke about Harlequin Teen. They publish commercial young adult fiction aimed at girls 13 to 18. They publish thrillers, horror, steampunk, contemporary and historical fiction. They look for an authentic teen character and a strong voice. “I want a story that is one I feel like I haven’t read before.” They are looking for themes that resonate with teens. They are a small program, with about 36 titles a year.  They have long published digital first novellas and prequels, but this fall will add digital-first original novels. She introduced some of the Teen editorial staff on site: T.S. Ferguson and Annie Stone. Margo Lipshultz and Mary Theresa Hussey also acquire for the line.

The Harlequin Single Title lines usually take agented material only. The exception to that is that if you meet an editor at a conference and that editor requests your work, you can go directly to the editor without an agent.



My upcoming book, The Mountain Between Us, received a nice review from Publisher’s Weekly:

“Myers’s follow-up to The View from Here revisits the sleepy mountain town of Eureka, Colo., and presents its inhabitants with a new set of conflicts and obstacles. Maggie Stevens landed in Eureka after fleeing a bitter divorce, but now that it’s finally starting to feel like home, she’s been thrown another curveball: she’s pregnant and not sure her baby’s ski bum/bartender father, Jameso, is ready to settle down. Single mother Olivia Theriot is another relatively recent arrival: her boyfriend, D.J., has followed her to Colorado after returning from serving in Iraq. He’s ready to reconcile, but Olivia is finding it hard to let him back into her life. Meanwhile, Eureka’s mayor (and Olivia’s mother), Lucille, has fallen for a good-looking con man who empties the town’s coffers and flees. With the holidays approaching and a hard winter taking hold, everyone in Eureka bands together—and some unlikely alliances form—to deploy a crafty plan to replenish their treasury. New readers might find it hard to jump into the middle of the action, but Myers has found enough fresh escapades for her characters to satisfy fans of their first outing. A gratifying, if inevitable, happy ending leaves plenty of room for further adventures.”

The book goes on sale October 29.


Colorado Review, the literary magazine published by Colorado State University, is accepting short stories for its next issue. They are looking for literary fiction (no genre fiction) between 15 and 25 manuscript pages.  They pay $5 per printed page, up to $25. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2014. Find out more here.


Entangled Publishing is seeking more manuscripts for two of its imprints. For the Covet line of paranormal romance, the editors want 50,000 to 70,000 word manuscripts with alpha heroes, tough heroines and spicy romance. Specific things they’d like to see include: ghost stories, gargoyles, a contemporary gothic romance, witches, and mythologies from other cultures. Find all the details here. 

Brazen is Entangled’s line of sexy contemporary romance. This is Entantled’s best-selling line. The editors here would like sexy stories set in small towns; darker, edgier stories; wrong-bed stories; friends to lovers; enemies to lovers; cowboys and alpha blue collar heroes. Brazen is also offering an interesting opportunity. If you’d be interested in working with them to write books for which they already have ideas, submit an “audition” which includes your best sex scene between the hero and heroine, as well as some sexy banter between these two characters.  If the editors like what they see, they’ll give you a basic plot and characters and ask you to develop them. For information on auditions and for general Brazen submissions, go here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — reprint it, repost it and pass it on. Please give me credit at the source, and include a link to this blog. Thanks.  Cindi Myers





This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.“- Barbara Kingsolver


This week, I continue my series summarizing the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta, with the Spotlight on Harlequin Series

Kathleen Scheibling, Senior Editor of American Romance and Blaze began the spotlight with an overview of Harlequin series romance. Harlequin has 19 series, from steamy to heartwarming. Though Harlequin publishes many types of fiction, they’re probably best known for their series romance. Harlequin books are sold in 35,000 retail outlets in North America in mass market paperback. They also publish every title in digital format.

Harlequin is always looking for new authors, and has signed 39 new authors so far this year. Harlequin is very easy to submit to – find the guidelines online and submit via email. You don’t have to have an agent to submit to Harlequin series. You can follow Harlequin editors on social media to learn what they’re like and what they’re looking for.

Melissa Endlich talking about the variety of series in Harlequin and specifically the types of heroes in the series. In the Passion category – Presents, Desire, Blaze and Kiss. Heroes are “seductive, confident, and commanding.” Alpha Males.

Home and Family – Harlequin Romance, American Romance,  Special Edition and Heartwarming and Medical. These heroes are warm and dynamic, caring but not wimps. The boy next door.

Inspirational – Love Inspired, LI Suspense, LI Historical and Heartsong – sweet but strong, with a core of faith that is important in their lives.

Romantic Suspense – Harlequin Intrigue and Romantic Suspense. These heroes are strong and protective.

Romance With More – Super Romance. The heroes are complex and relatable. They are true to life while facing high-stakes scenarios.

African American – Kimani Romance. These heroes are sophisticated and driven, compelling, ambitious and wealthy

Historical – Harlequin Historical – passionate, strong and swoon-worthy

Paranormal – Nocturne – mysterious and sexy

Malle Valick spoke next. She is the director of editorial digital submissions. Cosmo Red Hot Reads is a new series that launched August 15. Two books a month, digital first, 30,000 words – contemporary, fun and sexy. Contemporary heroines have a great romantic adventure with hot sex. Cosmopolitain Magazine is cross-promoting this line.

Harlequin E is Harlequin Series’ line of digital first books. The editors are actively looking for a wide variety of content for the digital lines. Check out the guidelines here

Joanne Grant talked about Harlequin’s annual contest “So You Think You Can Write.”  Contestants submit first chapters, which are voted on by the public. Editors read the semi-finalist manuscripts and the public chooses the winner from three finalists. The winner receives a publishing contract with Harlequin. But editors have also brought several non-winners whose entries they liked. Find out more at the So You Think You Can Write website.


Pelican Book Group, a Christian publishing house, is launching a new YA imprint, Watershed, and is seeking manuscripts. The editors are interested in Christian fiction that will appeal to readers ages 14 to 19, 25,000 to 65,000 words. Stories may be in any sub-genre, including romance, mystery, westerns, action-adventure, science fiction/fantasy, and coming-of-age stories. Watershed titles will be published in digital format. They do not accept previously self-published work. For detailed guidelines, click here.


In addition to Young Adult manuscripts, Pelican is also looking for novellas for a couple of themed collections.

Easter Lilies: historical or contemporary romance, 15,000 to 25,000 words, based on a defining scripture (listed in the guidelines. Heroes and heroines should be between 25 and 35 years old. The story should also incorporate Easter lilies. Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2013.

Christmas Holiday Extravaganza: Stories 15,000 to 25,000 words, either romance or general fiction. Christian fiction with a Christmas theme. Deadline for submissions in May 1, 2014.


Read Short Fiction, an online literary magazine, is looking for short stories in all genres except erotica. They’re open to stories between 1,500 and 4,000 words, with a particular interest in shorter works. They pay five cents a word, up to $150. They accept only previously unpublished submissions. Check out the details here.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others — repost, reprint, etc. All I ask is that you give me credit as the source, and include a link to this blog.  Thanks!


Only six weeks until the release of The Mountain Between Us, book two in my Eureka County series. Find out more here. Check out this video for more.  Mountainbetweencoversmall








“I can’t help but to write, I have an inner need for it. If I’m not in the middle of some literary project, I’m utterly lost, unhappy and distressed. As soon as I get started, I calm down.” Kaari Utrio


This week, I’m continuing my summary of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta. This week: St Martin’s Press.

Jennifer Enderlin presented this Spotlight with her usual enthusiasm. She stressed that St. Martin’s is very interested in finding new authors.

She began with an overview of St. Martin’s press. They publish all types of fiction in all formats – women’s fiction, romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, young adult, new adult, thrillers, etc, etc. They publish 3-4 mass market romances a month. They almost always offer a multi-book contract, even to new authors. They are interested in developing and growing careers. “We buy what we love.”

She talked about St. Martin’s as a company. They are owned by a German billionaire, and though it’s a huge, multi-national company, the focus is still on producing good books. “It’s a company run by human beings, not bean counters.” She talked about what she’s looking for. She edits historical and contemporary romance, suspense and women’s fiction. She’s not looking for anything in particular but “I want to feel something, and I want to be surprised.” She wants a book where the story takes over. She usually works with literary agents, but she is open to email queries from unagented authors – expect a reply only if she’s interested. In your query, say who you are, what the book is and why you think it’s right for her. For example, you could talk about other authors she has edited that are similar to yours. If she requests material from you, you will get a personal response from her.

Monique Patterson spoke next. She edits 30 to 35 authors in different areas, including women’s fiction, romance, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense and erotica. She’s not interested in sweet romance and inspirational, but she’s open to pretty much anything else. When she picks up a submission, she wants to be transported. Sometimes she’s captured by the author’s voice. If she sees something in your work, but the project isn’t right, she will ask for something else. She is open to submissions from unagented authors, but she prefers a full proposal (synopsis and first three chapters) over a query letter.

Rose Hilyard edits all sub-genres in romance, erotica, new adult and young adult. She recently bought a new adult author who was unagented and previously unpublished, who she met at a conference.  In young adult and new adult she likes “really romancy” stories. She prefers agented material, but will consider unagented material though she admits she’s prejudiced against unagented work.

Holly Ingraham edits romance and young adult. She likes the variety, and is open to everything in romance. She’s also looking to expand her mystery list and wants some really good cozy mysteries with strong female protagonists. She is also interested in emotional women’s fiction. She accepts unagented email queries.

Heather Waters is the site manager for, a romance community site utilized by several publishers, including St. Martin’s. She is looking for short stories in any romance sub-genre, 10,000 to 15,000 words, plus serials to publish online. They do pay for these. Find out more here

St. Martin’s is open to self-published authors, to previously published authors, to previously unpublished authors, to both agented and unagented authors.


Harlequin Intrigue is actively soliciting gothic suspense stories for it’s new Shivers line — a digital only line of stories in the spiriti of Phyllis Whitney, Barbara Michaels and others. Sr. Editor Denise Zaza outlined what she’s looking for in this blog post.  She’s looking for sensuous stories with dark and dangerous heroes and scary thrills for the reader. Stories would ideally be between 30,000 and 50,000 words, but since they’re digital, editors can be flexible about the word count. Find the guidelines for Shivers here (and know that they are still actively taking submissions, even though the fast track period mentioned at the top of the guidelines has passed.)


Scandalous, Entangled Publishing’s historical romance line, is looking for novella submissions for an anthology to be released in 2014.  They’ve designed a book cover, featuring a woman’s photo (which you can see here). The title of a collection will be “Who’s That Girl?” Write a story about who you think the woman in the story is. Your story should be 20,000 to 25,000 words and be set in the early 20th century. Submissions are due by February 15, 2014.  Find all the details at the above link.


As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Reprint, repost, retweet, etc. All I ask is that you give me credit as the source of the information. Thank you.  Cindi