“I write because I’m afraid to say some things out loud.” ~Gordon Atkinson,


This week I’m continuing my overview of publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America annual conference in New York City with a look at the Spotlight on St. Martin’s Press.

Editorial Director of Romance Monique Patterson began the spotlight with an overview of St. Martin’s. The company was founded in 1952. It is one of the five largest trade publishers in North America and is dedicated to publishing commercial and literary fiction and nonfiction of all kinds. St. Martin’s has a diverse romance publishing program. They are always looking for new voices for the romance program.

Like pretty much every other publisher these days, St. Martin’s is expanding its digital publishing program with a new digital imprint, St. Martin’s Swerve. Swerve has an online submission portal here  and the first Swerve title will be published in January 2016. Authors who are selected for Swerve may choose from a royalty and advance arrangement or no advance and higher royalty rates.

The editors in attendance spoke briefly about the types of books they are each looking for. Senior Editor Rose Hilliard acquires all kinds of romance, but said she particularly loves small town romances, romantic young adult stories, humor, stories where animals are featured and she loves alpha males in romance.

Associate Editor Eileen Rothschild really loves romance with high concept plots and dark edges, but she also enjoys small town settings and humor. She likes “high octane adventure” and alpha males. Don’t send her historical romance.

Assistant Editor Elizabeth Poteet does not like dark romance. She loves Southern settings, sexy but emotional stories, small town contemporaries and humor, especially Southern humor. She’d love to see some romantic comedy or romantic suspense for Swerve. She also loves books with stalkers.

Associate Editor Holly Ingraham is looking for a strong narrative voice and emotional stories. She loves sassy heroines and humor in stories. She would like to acquire contemporaries, especially if set in a metropolitan area. She’s interested in acquiring romantic suspense with a strong, alpha-male hero, maybe military. She also loves cowboys. She is also looking for mystery – some cozies, amateur sleuths, and she likes a little romance in her mysteries. For Swerve she would enjoy some lighter paranormal, with humor.

Monique likes very emotionally intense stories and is open to darker stories. She doesn’t do lighter, sweeter romance. She is also interested in “very high concept” women’s fiction.

St. Martin’s does consider both agented and unagented manuscripts, though agented material takes precedence.


The fun continues with my free online read for Harlequin intrigue. Chapter Five posted this week — three more chapters to go. Black Canyon Betrayal ties into my Ranger Brigade series for Intrigue. Read the novella free here. 



Spider Road Press has issued a call for suspense novellas by women authors for an upcoming anthology. Approaching Footsteps will be released in 2016 and will feature four novellas. Editor Patricia Flaherty is seeking more literary suspense stories between 9,000 and 13,000 words by the deadline of November 1. Payment is $150.  Find all the details here.


Harlequin Books’ So You Think You Can Write program is nearing its close for 2015. The deadline for submissions is September 21. Submit your first chapter on Wattpad for a chance to advance further in the contest — perhaps all the way to a published book. Get the details here.


House of Erotica is seeking manuscripts for a variety of upcoming anthologies, including:

To Obey Her — stories of FemDom BDSM, 3,000 to 6,500 words. Contemporary settings, diverse characters, Deadline September 21, 2015.

A Dose of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem — Mystery, crime and murder mixed with romance. Any heat level. 5,000 to 15,000 words. Deadline October 31, 2015.

For more information, go here.


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