Frequently Asked Questions

I made a submission for the mentorship program before the Oct. 15 deadline. Can I submit a manuscript for a different story to a Harlequin series before the winner is announced?

As long as it is a different story you are submitting, yes you can submit a manuscript to the series romance line of your choice as normal via Harlequin.submittable.com while submissions for the mentorship program are being reviewed. Please do not submit the same story twice.

If you are offered a publishing contract for your series manuscript, you would forfeit your submission to the mentorship program. Our intention is that the mentorship winner will be an unpublished author.

Why did you create the mentorship initiative?

We are actively working to increase diversity and inclusion in our romance publishing program so that readers see themselves reflected in the books we publish. This mentorship is part of a range of initiatives we’re undertaking to reach out to authors from underrepresented communities.

Who is eligible to make a submission? What do you mean by “underrepresented authors”?

We are looking to work with authors from a wide range of backgrounds, communities and cultures, including (but not limited to) people of color, members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ communities, Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, and other diverse and own voices.

What about people who are neurodiverse, such as writers with autism?

We welcome submissions from authors who identify as neurodiverse.

Why can only Canadian and American writers make a submission?

For various reasons, we decided to offer the first phase of this initiative to writers in North America and we hope to offer mentorships in more regions in future. As always, we welcome story submissions from authors anywhere in the world through our regular submission process on Harlequin.Submittable.com.

Is there an age limit?

Writers must have reached age of majority in their place of residence to apply.

Does it cost anything to make a submission?

There’s no submission fee.

What is meant by “published” authors, and can I apply if I have submitted a manuscript to Harlequin in the past?

Your submission is eligible as long as you have not been previously published in print, digital or audio by a commercial publisher. Self-published authors and writers who have published a poem, short story or academic work in a magazine or journal, for example, are eligible.

Can previously published authors and Harlequin authors apply?

Previously published authors are not eligible for this program. We are looking to work with unpublished or self-published authors from underrepresented communities to further broaden diversity and representation reflected in our romance publishing program.

Can I make multiple submissions?

No. We will accept the first submission we receive from you. Once your submission is uploaded, it cannot be modified.

Where can I make a submission?

Submissions will be accepted from September 1 to October 15, 2019 at Harlequin.Submittable.com. Please use the submission page for Romance Includes You Mentorship.

If I’m selected, do I have to finish my novel for publication during the 12-month mentorship period?

We hope that the manuscript can be completed within the 12-month period but we understand that this is likely your first novel and flexibility may be needed. One of the goals of your quarterly calls with your editorial mentor will be to assess your progress and help manage deadlines so that you can finish your manuscript in a timely manner. 

What are all the Harlequin series romance lines called?

Harlequin is offering a publishing contract with one of its 12 Harlequin series romance lines or Carina Press as part of the mentorship. On the Harlequin.Submittable.com page, you will see our series imprints listed. They are:

  • Harlequin DARE
  • Harlequin Desire
  • Harlequin Heartwarming
  • Harlequin Historical
  • Harlequin Intrigue
  • Harlequin Medical Romance
  • Harlequin Presents
  • Harlequin Romance
  • Harlequin Romantic Suspense
  • Harlequin Special Edition
  • Love Inspired
  • Love Inspired Suspense

You can learn about Carina Press here.

Does Harlequin publish stories with multicultural or diverse characters?

Yes. Harlequin features characters covering a wide range of racial, ethnic, sexual and cultural backgrounds, and written by authors from many backgrounds. We believe that readers should see themselves reflected in the books we publish and are working to increase diversity and representation across our series romance lines.

Does Harlequin publish LGBTQ romance?

Yes, Carina Press publishes LGBTQIA+, f/f and m/m stories. It has published LGBTQ romance since 2010. We are actively seeking to increase diversity and representation across our publishing program.

Is the mentorship program only for would-be writers of romance fiction for adult readers? What about writers for the young adult audience?

We are not accepting submissions for general and young adult fiction and nonfiction in this program. We are looking to work with writers who want to write in the romance genre for adult readers and are offering a publishing contract for one of Harlequin’s 12 series romance lines or Carina Press, which publishes a wide range of romance and LGBTQIA+ fiction.

If I’m selected, can I offer the manuscript completed during the mentorship to another publisher?

No, if you sign a publishing contract with Harlequin then you are under contract with us. If you are selected as the winning candidate, you are under no obligation to accept the mentorship opportunity and publishing contract, and you will be given a chance to review the terms and conditions before signing. 

Can I submit the same story to the mentorship initiative and to Harlequin series simultaneously?

No. If you are eligible for the mentorship program, please choose whether you feel you would benefit from the mentorship opportunity or if you prefer to submit your story proposal directly for publication consideration. We welcome story submissions anytime directly or through an agent for our series romance lines and Carina Press for consideration at Harlequin.Submittable.com. Mentorship submissions start Sept. 1, 2019.

I’m not eligible for the mentorship program but I would like to submit my manuscript to Harlequin. How can I submit?

We’re always looking for new talent. We welcome all authors to submit manuscripts through Harlequin.Submittable.com as part of our regular acquisition process. Authors can submit manuscripts directly or through an agent for our series romance lines and Carina Press for consideration. Submissions for Harlequin Trade Publishing imprints must be made through an agent.

Are there opportunities to publish with Harlequin for writers with diverse backgrounds who don’t write romance fiction?

Yes. Harlequin has seven fiction imprints that publish a wide range of fiction and narrative nonfiction through the Harlequin Trade Publishing program. Harlequin welcomes writers from all backgrounds, communities and cultures to submit to us through an agent. Find out more here.

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