Category: Writing Opportunities

#WritingChallenge: LISTEN to create stronger dialogue

By Deirdre Strong dialogue will draw readers into your book and catch an editor’s ear. There are a few things that make your dialogue stand out in the slush pile and feel fresh and contemporary: The dialogue sounds natural: The speech isn’t overly formal, and doesn’t read like a Wikipedia entry explaining the characters’ feelings.…

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#WritingChallenge: Pitch your big city romance!

Last Monday Editorial Assistant Megan Broderick wrote a great post on Top 10 Reasons to Write a (Non-Billionaire) City Romance. Small-town romances are something we see a lot, especially in our Home and Family categories such as Special Edition, Western Romance, and Heartwarming. But as much as editors love to see tried and true hooks,…

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#Writing Challenge! Create a Western anti-hero

by Deirdre and  Western Romance editor Megan Long We all have an image of the classic Western romance hero. That law-abiding, straight-shooting, white-hat-wearing rancher or sheriff who sweeps the heroine off her feet, saves the family ranch and rides with her into the sunset. But what would happen if he weren’t quite so admirable? What…

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#WritingChallenge! Update the Marriage of Convenience

by Deirdre When I asked a group of Harlequin editors for romance tropes they’d love to see refreshed, one favourite was the marriage of convenience. Although the MoC is most often associated with historical romance, contemporary romance readers love it too. But making the marriage of convenience trope work in a modern romance – and…

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Announcing the Love Inspired #AmishBlitz!

Love Inspired is always seeking new authors and you could be one of them! Do you have a Christian contemporary romance that celebrates all things Amish? If so, we would love to see it! We publish clean Christian romances that are 55,00 words, with a faith element. The romance must be the focus of the…

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Announcing the Love Inspired #AmishBlitz!

Love Inspired is always seeking new authors and you could be one of them! Do you have a Christian contemporary romance that celebrates all things Amish? If so, we would love to see it! We publish clean Christian romances that are 55,00 words, with a faith element. The romance must be the focus of the…

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#WritingChallenge! Update the Meet-Cute

by Deirdre How do your hero and heroine meet? We see a lot of “literally bumped into each other” in Harlequin submissions. The hero rounds a corner and bumps into the heroine on the sidewalk. Or the heroine spins on her heel in the office and slams into her new boss – the hero. There’s…

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#WritingChallenge! The Alpha Hero

by Deirdre This week some of our editors got into the Halloween spirit and participated in the Toronto Harlequin office’s annual Halloween costume contest. Taking a cue from Harlequin’s “Romance When You Need It” ad campaign, several of the editors dressed as Harlequin Heartthrobs. You can spot some of our favourite heroes (and maybe your…

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#WritingChallenge! Secret Babies

by Deirdre Did everyone get a chance to read our interview with Harlequin Nocturne Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle? If not, go ahead and read it now – I’ll wait. Ann Leslie has some great advice on romance writing, and the importance of marketable hooks: “First and foremost, I’m seeking a romance with an engaging…

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#WritingChallenge! Weave backstory into your scene

By Deirdre As Editorial Assistant Grace Thiele says in her blog post on creating backstory, “emotional conflict is the true beating heart of romance, and characters cannot be conflicted without having actually lived. Without a real emotional journey, and complex, rounded characters that we believe will be genuinely changed by love, the reader cannot be…

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