The Harlequin Romance Blitz: A Round Up!

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It’s been a week since we responded to the last Harlequin Romance Blitz submission and we’re still buzzing from the incredible response we received to our submissions call.

The final count was a whopping 563 submissions!  This is an unprecedented amount for this type of submissions call and a new record for our blitzes.

So, we wanted to say thank you to everyone who entered and for all your excitement and engagement surrounding the blitz and the events we held to promote it.  It’s a privilege to have such an enthusiastic and talented writing community to call upon when we’re looking for new voices for Harlequin Romance.

Requests to see more material were made to over 100 submissions and so we are looking forwarding to reading more of those and welcoming some new authors to the Harlequin Romance family.

We hope all authors found the feedback they received useful and if you didn’t get a request for further chapters then please don’t despair.  Applying learnings from feedback, as well as perseverance, is key to becoming a published author.  So do try again, we take submissions all year round at where you can also find our detailed submission guidelines.

There a few general tips we wanted to share that you might find useful for your next submission or even the next blitz:

  • Start with a Bang! When you have just one chapter to grab the editor’s attention make sure they’re gripped from the start so they want to keep reading. It is crucial that your hero and heroine meet in these first few pages so we can get a feel for their chemistry and that back story and exposition are kept in check. Secondary characters too, should be kept to a minimum so you have room to focus on your hero and heroine.
  • Focus your synopsis: When an editor is only seeing a small portion of your story, the synopsis is the road map that tells them where the story is going. It’s crucial to outline the characters’ emotional journeys, as well as the hooks and twists in store!
  • Target your submission: To give your story the best chance at publication it’s important that it ends up in the right editor’s hand. So, make sure you’re reading the guidelines as carefully as possible and that your story fulfils the series promise and contains all the elements required by the line you’re submitting to.

Thanks again to all the authors who entered, we have loved the opportunity to see your work.  Thanks also to our fabulous editors and their heroic efforts in reading and responding to every single entry.  2018 is going to be an exciting year for Harlequin Romance!

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  1. Kimber Li

    Question: Targeting Submissions

    I’m having a very hard time figuring it out. I read and enjoy Special Edition most out of the contemporary romance lines.

    But, I’m told my story is Romantic Suspense.

    I enjoy reading Love Inspired Suspense very much and their covers are my favorite, but my story has nookie and such. I can’t leave that out because the consequence is pivotal to the plot.

    All due respect to the regular Romantic Suspense authors, but my hero is a happy-go-lucky Beta Hero. Not a Navy Seal or a sheriff.

    Do you editors ever send a submission over to a more appropriate editor in a different line?

  2. Deborah Taylor

    Thank you to Harlequin for the great opportunity and to all the editors for their hard work in turning around a huge amount of submissions in such a short time. Best of luck with your writing journey to all those who submitted❤️

  3. 563 submissions! You and your co-workers must have logged some serious overtime to get through all of them by the deadline. Wow, well done you!
    Thanks for running the Blitz, and thanks for the new forum page, so many helpful authors.

    • Ann Malley

      The feedback is spot on, Chrissie, you’re right. I’ve been in crit groups that banter back and forth over what is and isn’t good. Being able to go straight to the source for an objective check is invaluable.

      A golden opportunity for any R&D.

      Thanks, Editors.

  4. Ann Stewart

    I cannot fathom the number of hours that went into providing feedback to over 500 hopeful authors! Thank you for your willingness to grow authors. Hopefully, your payback comes in the form of many best sellers in the future.

  5. I’d like to echo the thanks and appreciation for all the work the Romance Team put into editing and offering feedback to those of us who submitted. I really appreciate the opportunity the Blitz gave, and wish everyone who entered best of luck with their follow-up. Over five hundred submissions is impressive, and to give feedback with such a short turn-around time is awe-inspiring. Thanks again Harlequin Romance Team.

  6. rachelh

    Thank you so much for the blitz! I really miss the contests, blitzes and of course the annual SYTYCW bash. I hope you will continue to offer blitzes and contests in 2018 🙂