“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 HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, 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