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