50 Editors

Meet the 50+ Editors from Harlequin and Mills & Boon who want to hear about you and your book.

These days editors have many roles in the exciting dynamic world of publishing.
One of the most important is to find talented authors who can write great stories. Could that be you?

  • Adrienne MacintoshTwitter: @adrienneapple

    Since joining the company in 2005, Adrienne has worked on a number of imprints and special projects, giving her a great appreciation for the wide variety of stories Harlequin publishes. She is currently an editor for Harlequin American, Blaze and Heartwarming—which can be a very interesting combination!

    Adrienne lives in Toronto and is renowned throughout the company for her sweet tooth and black thumb.

  • Allison CarrollTwitter: @AllisonPCarroll

    Assistant Editor at HQN, Allison Carroll is a Montana transplant who once upon a time packed all her belongings in a U-Haul and drove cross country to NYC in pursuit of a sneak peek at all the books. Her introduction to and love of all things romance began at Dorchester Publishing and continued at St. Martin's Press Heroes and Heartbreakers. Allison joined the Harlequin family in 2012 as part of the editorial teams for Desire and Romantic Suspense, and has recently transitioned to HQN, where she is actively acquiring for the imprint.

  • Allison LyonsTwitter: @Allison_Lyons

    Allison Lyons is an Editor for Harlequin Intrigue. She’s been at Harlequin for more than fifteen years and has had the opportunity to work with a variety of authors and lines that span the three editorial offices. Allison started reading books by Danielle Steele when she was too young to understand them. But that didn’t stop her. Each story gave her insight into what made two people fall in love. And it especially taught her that they wouldn’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of that romance. Who knew it was planting the seed for a career editing those very types of stories! Since books about love and romance are timeless, Allison knows she’ll never get bored. And now that she understands just what she was reading all those years ago, maybe it was worth hiding those books from her mother.

  • Ann Leslie TuttleTwitter: @Ann_Tuttle

    Since joining Harlequin in January 1997, Ann Leslie has acquired for nearly all the company's imprints and series lines. Currently the Senior Editor for Nocturne and a member of the digital team, she enjoys the opportunity to acquire editorial she loves and to work closely with a highly talented group of writers. Prior to joining Harlequin, Ann Leslie worked for Charles Scribner’s Sons and got her start in publishing editing George Washington’s correspondence for the University Press of Virginia. She earned her B.A. from the College of William and Mary and her M.A. at the University of Virginia. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and young daughter and is thoroughly enjoying the chance to bond over books with her daughter.

  • Anna Baggaley

    Anna Baggaley is Assistant Editor for the UK editorial team and is looking forward to celebrating five years with the company in January 2013. Always a fan of a pulse-racing, edge-of-your-seat romance, Anna loves looking after the UK Intrigue line and sinking her teeth into the Nocturne series. Anna is also unashamedly addicted to all things teen and looks after MIRA Ink, Harlequin UK’s young adult imprint, which has been described as “a badge of quality for young adult fiction” by Newbooks magazine.

  • Birgit Davis-ToddTwitter: @BirgitDT

    Birgit Davis-Todd is pretty sure she has the best job in the world. A Senior Executive Editor at Harlequin for many years, she’s had the opportunity to work with countless authors. Whether she’s editing a veteran USA TODAY bestselling author or reading a manuscript from a brand-new writer, Birgit finds every day creative and fulfilling. One of her favorite parts? Making THE CALL. Phoning a writer to offer a book contract is all about making that person’s dream come true. “Not unlike the happy endings found in all the books we publish,” she says with a smile. Birgit is based in Toronto and oversees the American, Blaze, Heartwarming and Superromance series plus More Than Words, Readers Choice and the Harlequin anthologies. She enjoys sailing Lake Ontario with her husband and two sons in her free time.

  • Bryony GreenTwitter: @BryonyGreenHqn

    Bryony Green is the senior editor for Harlequin Romance/Riva/Modern Heat.

    After completing her media degree, Bryony Green thought she was destined for a career in journalism until she landed a job as an editorial assistant at Harlequin Mills & Boon. Now a mum of two young boys, her home is overrun by superheroes (plastic, often missing heads or limbs, all over the floor and usually tripping her up). Meanwhile, work is overrun by super, gorgeous sexy heroes (all fictional, she hastily reminds her husband). She says the best part of her job is working with such talented authors, and finds the best thrill is finding a new voice for one of the series!

  • Carly ByrneTwitter: @carlymbyrne

    Carly Byrne works in Harlequin Mills & Boon's London office as Editor on the Harlequin Presents team, as well as acquiring for the other series. Carly joined Mills & Boon after completing an M.A. in popular literature, and what could be more popular than Mills & Boon romances! A diehard fan of everything romantic, with a particular penchant for a rugged hero in a Stetson (!), Carly can't believe she actually gets to read romances for a living!

  • Carly SilverTwitter: @CarlyASilver

    Carly Silver is an editorial assistant in series, working with Special Edition and Kimani Romance, as well as other lines. After graduating from Barnard College, Columbia University, she achieved a lifelong dream when she started work at Harlequin in January 2013. Carly loves hunky heroes, from men in kilts to cowboys that fall head-over-boots in love; a cute dog or two in a story doesn't hurt, either!

  • Charles GriemsmanTwitter: @CharlieGrim

    Editor Charles Griemsman has been with Harlequin for the past eight years. Though currently his primary focus is on the Harlequin Desire series—where he's worked with a number of USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors including Maya Banks, Michelle Celmer, Charlene Sands and Heidi Betts—he also has a hand in providing editorial support for Harlequin Special Edition and a number of its authors. A Washington, D.C.-area native and Princeton University graduate, Charles is an inveterate Pisces—when he's not reading books, he's doing laps in the local pool.

  • Charlotte Mursell Twitter: @Charlo_Murs

    Charlotte Mursell is an Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She joined the company after completing her BA in English Literature. Hopelessly addicted to the happy-ever-after, she feels very lucky to fall in love with a different man (albeit fictional) every single day…and still can't believe it counts as work!

  • Claire CaldwellTwitter: @cpmcaldwell

    Claire Caldwell is an Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Heartwarming and Gold Eagle. She loves the variety of working on both clean romances and action-adventure stories (though it has led to some strange Google search histories). Claire holds a BA in English and French literature and an MFA in Creative Writing, and she's always on the lookout for wholesome, contemporary romance manuscripts of 70-75,000 words.

  • Dana GrimaldiTwitter: @DanaGrimaldi

    Dana Grimaldi is an Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Heartwarming and the Gold Eagle action/adventure series. As a member of the Heartwarming team, she's on the lookout for clean romance stories that readers can feel comfortable sharing with their daughters or granddaughters. Dana loves photography and can often be found taking photos of gardens or animals—both the man-eating and sneaker-eating varieties. Her bookshelves have a special home for the works of W. Somerset Maugham, Isaac Asimov and Margaret Laurence, not to mention the largest collection of CDs since the invention of the mp3 player. Her favorite part of working at Harlequin is getting to read compelling books by new authors.

  • Dana HopkinsTwitter: @Dana_Reads

    Dana Hopkins loves life at Harlequin as an Assistant Editor with Editorial Assistant responsibilities for Blaze and American Romance. She started her career working in higher education textbook publishing, but much prefers editing fiction, her first love! An avid reader, Dana is happy to be part of the Harlequin E acquisitions team, too. Dana is a supporter of independent magazines and enjoys volunteering as a talking book narrator at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Dana is a sucker for a great, involving story with well-developed characters and a lush setting that can sweep her away. When she’s not reading, you can find her at a drop-in dance class or haunting Toronto’s many tea shops.

  • Denise ZazaTwitter: @DeniseZaza

    Denise Zaza is the Senior Editor for Harlequin Intrigue and an all-around series romance specialist. She acquires primarily romantic suspense and mystery for the genre fiction market. As well, she developed the guidelines for Harlequin Shivers, gothic fiction, and Harlequin Intrigue Noir both of which are digital first companion series to Harlequin Intrigue.

    Prior to joining Harlequin Books in 1995, Denise worked at a nonfiction house acquiring hardcover and trade books. She spent her early career in publishing at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. She holds a B.A. from Fordham University.

  • Dianne MoggyTwitter: @diannemoggy

    Dianne Moggy is Harlequin’s Vice President of Series Editorial and Subsidiary Rights. She has been with the company for more than twenty-five years and has worked on Harlequin’s men’s action adventure programs, and the company’s Series Romance and Single Title businesses. She was instrumental in the launch of MIRA Books in 1994 and was the Editorial Director of the single title programs, including MIRA, HQN Books, Luna Books and Spice for 14 years. Most recently, she has provided strategic direction and editorial support to all of Harlequin’s Overseas’ businesses. Dianne has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University and is a graduate of the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course.

  • Elizabeth MazerTwitter: @Elizabeth_Mazer

    Elizabeth Mazer is an Associate Editor for the Love Inspired program. She loves diving into new stories, especially when they offer engaging characters who can make her laugh, and plots that go in unexpected directions. In the twenty minutes or so a day when she’s not working, sleeping or commuting, she likes to curl up in her shoebox of a Brooklyn apartment with a new book or an old movie.

  • Emily KrupinTwitter: @EmilyKrupin

    Emily Krupin is Assistant Editor for the Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical imprints. Her first sampling of publishing and editing began with various internships at publishing houses for children's books and at a literary agency, freelance editing, and previously serving as Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College she worked with higher education textbooks, and is now thrilled to return working with novels. Standout submissions include a strong heroine, an equally dynamic hero, and a compelling plot that draws you in from the very first chapter. She's actively seeking new authors for the Love Inspired Suspense line. Outside of work you can usually find her unabashedly sprawled out in a pile of books at the local bookstore.

  • Emily RodmellTwitter: @EmilyRodmell

    Emily Rodmell is an Editor for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical. She has a journalism degree from The University of South Florida and completed the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. A lifelong reader, she started out as a newspaper editor, but found her true love in editing books. She's originally from Florida, but now works in the New York City office and loves everything about the city except for the winter weather and the rent prices. She has acquired more than thirty-five new authors in her career and is always on the lookout for the next great story. Her greatest thrill is finding a new author with unique ideas that surprise the reader but still have the essence of what Love Inspired is all about.

  • Flo NicollTwitter: @flonicoll

    Flo Nicoll is an Editor for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She joined the company after finishing her literature MA and deciding to put her chronic addiction to romantic fiction to good use. And what better place to start than Romance HQ?! Working for Mills & Boon is a dream come true for Flo—and she still can’t believe she’s lucky enough to read happy endings for a living!

  • Gail ChasanTwitter: @bumpit08

    A New York native (yes, Brooklyn counts), Gail Chasan’s worked at Harlequin for a long time—nineteen years and counting. But she still loves the thrill of discovering new talent, or—just as important—enjoying a beautiful book written by one of the many incredible authors in her domain. (Clearly, she will go out of her way to avoid using the word stable in this sense.)

  • Giselle RegusTwitter: @Gigiquin

    Giselle Regus is an Assistant Editor for Love Inspired. A native New Yorker, whose favorite hobby is to travel and explore new places, Giselle had the chance to do just that when she decided to pursue her passion for publishing by getting her M.A. in publishing at Oxford Brookes University, in Oxford, England. Giselle joined the Harlequin family in 2010 as part of the Single Title editorial team, and made her move to the Love Inspired team in 2013. She's the proud editor of ten authors and is actively acquiring for the LI, LIS and LIH lines. She enjoys epic love stories with engaging characters, smart dialogue and unexpected plot twists. She hopes to find stories with all this, plus the wholesome, uplifting message Love Inspired is all about.

  • Glenda Howard

    Glenda Howard is the Senior Executive Editor for the New York Series group at Harlequin, a global publishing company. She is responsible for overseeing the editorial and strategic direction for the various NY series, which includes Harlequin Kimani Press, Harlequin Special Edition, Harlequin Nocturne, Harlequin Desire, Harlequin Intrigue, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired Heartsong Presents. Glenda is also the editor for several authors including New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Brenda Jackson, Essence bestseller Donna Hill and popular YA author Earl Sewell.

  • Isabelle GormezanoTwitter: @GormezanoM

    Isabelle Gormezano has recently joined the Modern/Presents team as Editorial Assistant and it's taken no time at all for her to fall in love with the stories and romances! After studying English Literature at the University of Bristol, Izzy has entered the world of Harlequin Mills & Boon at full speed and is thrilled to be involved with SYTYCW. She's eager to discover the next great romantic author and she cannot wait to read your submissions!

  • Joanne GrantTwitter: @JoanneMGrant

    Joanne Grant is Senior Executive Editor at Harlequin UK. She manages Harlequin Presents as well as overseeing her team of enthusiastic, talented editors.

    Joanne joined Harlequin in 2003—as an avid reader and a romantic at heart, where else would she work?! Reading romance novels in the bath is her guilty pleasure and she never tires of watching Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, or Patrick Swayze utter that line in Dirty Dancing.

    She lives in the leafy suburbs with very own hero (her husband's a detective), an ever growing collection of shoes, and a lovably large (but not fat!) ginger and white cat.

  • Johanna Raisanen

    Johanna Raisanen loves being an Editor at Harlequin. She gets to read romance novels for a living—what could be better? Johanna acquires and edits for Harlequin American Romance so it’s a good thing she also loves those hunky cowboy heroes! She especially enjoys when a manuscript makes her cry—in a good way. When she’s not reading, Johanna goes to the movies to watch interesting and entertaining films and eat peanut M&M’s. She also enjoys hiking in the woods, working with mosaics and hanging out with her friends.

  • Julia WilliamsTwitter: @JuliaWillHMB

    Julia Williams has been editing books for more years then she cares to mention. Quite by chance while working on teen fiction at Scholastic, she realised she was a closet romance addict, and that her formative years spent reading Jean Plaidy had been put to very good use. Since then she hasn't looked back, and has even written some romantic fiction of her own. After several years in the freelance wilderness, she is thrilled to be working as an Editor on the medical team at Harlequin Mills & Boon, which feels very much like her spiritual home.

  • Karen ReidTwitter: @KReidAssocEd

    Karen Reid is an Associate Editor with Harlequin Superromance. Karen began her career at Harlequin in 1999 as a proofreader and joined the editorial team in 2001 working as an editorial assistant with Superromance. Since then she's worked with the Feature & Custom Publishing group, as well as on the Worldwide Library mystery and suspense programs, and the Gold Eagle action/adventure line. Rejoining the Superromance team in 2012 brought Karen full circle, and she's been enjoying every minute of it! When not looking for the next great romance author or fine-tuning a happy ending, Karen enjoys hanging out with her two boys, watching way too much TV and keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip (her guilty pleasure).

  • Kathleen ScheiblingTwitter: @kscheibling

    As the Senior Editor of American Romance and Harlequin Blaze, Kathleen Scheibling spends most of her days thinking about cowboys. In her mind, they all look like Paul Newman or Gregory Peck, which is as it should be. She has only been on a horse a couple of times but has seen many, many western movies. Make that all kinds of movies. Despite her penchant for the outdoors, Kathleen spends an inordinate amount of time in the dark watching the latest releases, foreign films, documentaries and old classics. If you mixed Clark Gable's charm and wit, Channing Tatum's physicality and grace and added the silliness of Groucho Marx, and you just may have her perfect man.

  • Kathryn CheshireTwitter: @CheshireKat3

    Kathryn Cheshire is an Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She joined the company in 2012 after graduating from the University of Edinburgh and travelling around the globe. After her teenage years of being a love cynic, she has now decided that life is far too short, and firmly believes in happy ever afters and love that lasts a lifetime—perfect for spending her days in Romance HQ!

  • Kathryn Lye

    Kathryn Lye has been an editor with Harlequin for 17 years. She loves working with new authors and building great, lasting relationships. She primarily acquires for Heartwarming, Harlequin's clean, contemporary romance line. As for her personal reading pleasure, autobiographies and cozy mysteries are often her favourites, although most of her free time is spent trying to keep up with her exuberant 4 year old nephew.

  • Laura BarthTwitter: @LauraBarth2011

    Laura Barth is Associate Editor for American Romance and Blaze. She is also very involved in the third-party Mystery and Suspense program. Laura is excited by finding new talent and enjoys helping prospective authors develop their skills. Flawed, relatable characters, a strong conflict and a unique writing voice will win her over every time. A fair-weather hiker, cyclist and balcony gardener, Laura loves spending time in nature and can often be seen zipping about on her shiny red bicycle, terrorizing Toronto pedestrians.

  • Laura McCallenTwitter: @LauraMcCallen

    Laura McCallen is the Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Presents (Mills & Boon Modern). After completing her MA in Early Modern History she started her career working in higher education textbook publishing before making the leap into the (much more exciting!) world of fiction. Now a proud member of the UK Modern/Presents team, Laura can hardly believe she gets to spend her days reading stories of passionate love affairs and marriages of convenience set amidst glamorous international settings with feisty heroines and, of course, the sexy alpha hero!

  • Leslie Wainger

    In her thirty-plus years as an editor (she started at 7 *g*), Leslie Wainger has edited hundreds of books by dozens of authors, among them many bestsellers and award winners. Despite that, she’s still excited to start every new book and acquire every new author, because she thinks getting to read a good book ahead of everyone else in the world is the definition of exciting. Other things that fill her time? Training her dog in agility and doing pet-therapy work with at-risk children, volunteering at the Bronx Zoo and her local humane society, and traveling to exotic destinations like Madgascar, Egypt and Tanzania.

  • Linda FildewTwitter: @lindafildew

    Linda Fildew is a Senior Editor for Harlequin Mills & Boon, responsible for the Harlequin Historical/Mills & Boon Historical Romance lines. She has a background in art history and considers her job has neatly come full circle: after more than thirty years with the company, holding a variety of editorial roles, she is back with her first love, Historical, the line which she helped launch in the UK as Masquerade in 1977. She puts her longevity down to an abiding love of the books and the authors with whom she works. She encourages submissions for all time periods, from ancient civilizations up to and including the Second World War, although she personally has a particular soft spot for Viking heroes and embittered, battle-scarred loners, be they warriors or outcasts from the Regency ton.

  • Malle VallikTwitter: @MalleVallik

    Malle Vallik is the Director of Digital Editorial Initiatives for Harlequin. In this new role, she leads the development of Harlequin’s Digital First editorial acquisitions. As well, she focuses on improving the publisher/author relationship including the development of author services like an information portal, concierge team and more. She is currently on the board of directors of the International Digital Publishing Forum.

  • Meg Lewis

    Meg Lewis edits authors across all of the Mills & Boon series, as well as tending to the needs of the Harlequin Romance series. Out of the office she enjoys cooking and entertaining and going for bike rides and long walks.

  • Megan Haslam

    Megan Haslam is an Associate Editor for Harlequin Romance. Megan joined the company over four years ago, after finishing her degree in English literature and history, and has not looked back since! Working with authors and being part of the creative journey is always rewarding and reading romances which sweep her away on a daily basis is a dream come true.

  • Megan Long

    Megan Long is the Associate Editor for Harlequin Superromance. The best part of her job is discovering strong new voices to add to our author family. What she looks for in a book is fresh, interesting writing that breaks free of cliché. The plot can be traditional, but it should offer some new twist or perspective to keep the story original. And don't forget the intense conflict that will keep the reader guessing! When she's not working, Megan can usually be found spending weekends at the cottage with her husband and very spoiled dog, most often with her nose in a book. Her other passion is film and every September she lives for the Toronto International Film Festival.

  • Melissa EndlichTwitter: @MelissaEndlich

    Melissa Endlich is the senior editor of Steeple Hill Love Inspired and Love Inspired Classics. Melissa's love affair with romance novels began when, as a young adult, she stole her mother's copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's A Rose in Winter and swooned over the dreamy hero. And she's been swooning over dashing knights, hunky cowboys and sexy single dads ever since. Though she's a native New Yorker, Melissa is also a romantic who believes in true love. She feels blessed to have landed her dream job at Harlequin Books, and still loves working with her amazingly talented authors every day.

  • Nicola CawsTwitter: @NicolaCaws

    Nicola Caws is the Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical Romance team. She's always had a voracious (and possibly unhealthy) appetite for reading and romance, so it seemed only natural when, after graduating with a BA in English Literature from the University of Exeter, she joined the company in December 2013. Luckily here at Romance HQ she can feast on words to her heart's content – she's delighted to be part of such a wonderful team! Outside the office she enjoys live music, the theatre and travelling.

  • Patience BloomTwitter: @PatienceBloom

    Patience Bloom (formerly Smith) is the senior editor for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. In addition to devouring true crime and romantic comedies, she also loves reading the latest celebrity memoir. At Harlequin, she tends to work on a wide spectrum of romances—from Love Inspired to Special Edition to HQN, with a specialization in suspense. A strong heroine and cranky hero overcoming deadly obstacles tend to keep her turning the pages most.

  • Paula Eykelhof

    Paula Eykelhof is an Executive Editor, working with both single titles and series books. She has run several different lines, including Superromance, American Romance and Everlasting. She's been with the company for more than 25 years—lots of experience!—and has edited a number of New York Times bestselling books.

  • Pippa RoscoeTwitter: @PippaRoscoe

    Pippa Roscoe is an Associate Editor for the Presents team for Harlequin Mills & Boon’s London office. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in comparative literature led to a four-year dalliance in TV working for the BBC’s Holby City. However, she’s finally found her home at Harlequin UK and considers herself to have the best job in the world.

  • Piya CampanaTwitter: @piyacampana

    Piya Campana covets the sequestered single seat in the subway car for maximum e-reading enjoyment during her commute. After completing an English and Media Studies degree and a graduate certificate in publishing, Piya Campana landed at Harlequin at first in a proofreading role. Now, as Assistant Editor/Editorial Assistant for Superromance, she feels extremely lucky to still be putting her love of reading to good use. Submissions that stand out to her have a big-story feel, emotionally complex characters and fresh spins on tried-and-true hooks. Outside of work, Piya may be found taking photos in an amateur fashion, preferably while traveling, eating or both.

  • Rachel BurkotTwitter: @Rachel_Burkot

    Rachel Burkot is an Associate Editor for Kimani. She loves the variety of daily tasks involved in book production—and the opportunity to read on the job! After hiding a book under a desk in school and getting in trouble for reading during class, Rachel decided that helping authors make their books as strong as possible would be the ideal career. She is especially drawn to three-dimensional, flawed but sympathetic characters, particularly strong females, and evocative, emotional language. When she's not editing, Rachel can probably be found in a New York City park or beach, catching live music, or rereading an Emily Giffin book. Rachel is always on the lookout for new authors and fabulous, unique stories across Harlequin's many lines!

  • Shana AsaroTwitter: @Shana_Asaro

    Shana Asaro (formerly Smith) is the Associate Editor for Love Inspired. She loves the variety of books she gets to work on, the fantastic authors she’s built relationships with and the excitement of finding fresh, new voices. Fiction has always been her first love, and she almost can’t believe her good luck that she gets paid to read it every day. Although she now works on Love Inspired’s sweet, Christian romances, Shana has worked with authors on a variety of other lines, having started her career with Harlequin on Desire and Romantic Suspense. For writing tips and a look inside an editor’s daily work life—as well as, at times, discussions about movies, TV shows, Starbucks lattes and the music of Adele—you can follow Shana on Twitter.

  • Shannon BarrTwitter: @EAShannon

    As an Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Intrigue and Nocturne, Shannon Barr is thrilled to be living her dream of getting paid to read romance! A Wisconsin native, Shannon moved to the Big Apple in pursuit of this dream to attend the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, after graduating with a BA in English, with an emphasis on book publishing. Since joining the Harlequin team in 2013, Shannon has been delighted to have the opportunity to work with her senior editors on many different genres of romance. When not reading, Shannon can be found roaming the streets of Brooklyn with her 10-year-old puppy, Gracie.

  • Shannon CrissTwitter: @ShannonCriss

    Shannon Criss is an Editorial Assistant for Kimani Press. She assists the Kimani team with reviewing submissions as well as manuscripts from both their newer and veteran authors. She has loved the romance genre since childhood, enjoying children’s fairy tales, and now seeks that classic element in the manuscripts and books she reads today.

  • Sheila HodgsonTwitter: @SheilaHodgsonMR

    Sheila Hodgson is the Senior Editor for Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. When she’s not managing the program, spreading the word about how great the Medical Romance stories and authors are, and looking for new writing talent, she loves walking in the countryside with a dog; anyone’s dog will do! (She is between pooches at the moment.) Sheila once trained to be an actress and a dancer, but gave it all up for her love of fiction, which started with Jane Eyre. She also loves TV drama, movies and cooking, which she tries to do for others as much as possible—in the hope of keeping some control of her curves!

  • Stacy BoydTwitter: @Stacy_Boyd

    Stacy Boyd is senior editor of Harlequin Desire. Before focusing on short contemporary romance, she acquired and edited a wide variety of fiction, including romance, suspense, fantasy, YA and even NASCAR novels. She is a past winner of the PASIC Editor of Merit award and currently works with an amazing group of award-winning and bestselling authors. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son, and spends her free time volunteering at her son's school and training for her first 5K run.

  • Stephanie DoigTwitter: @stephaniedoig

    Stephanie Doig began her career at Harlequin in the proofreading department, nurturing her compulsive side by correcting other people’s grammar. She found this incredibly satisfying, and soon moved to the digital department as a copy editor for Harlequin.com. While there, she converted to the digital way of life (ebooks 4eva), and she spent a year as the editorial assistant for Carina Press and Harlequin Series Digital First. She now works as the interim author concierge on HAN, covering for Miranda Indrigo while she is on maternity leave.

  • Susan LitmanTwitter: @Susan_Litman

    Susan Litman came to Harlequin after spending several years working in film development in New York. She is an editor for Special Edition, and also acquires for lines including Romantic Suspense. Some of the authors she has the privilege of working with include New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shirley Jump, USA TODAY bestselling authors Judy Duarte and Karen Rose Smith, and award-winning authors Brenda Harlen, Gail Barrett, Vicki Hinze, and Loreth Anne White. In her spare time (what's that?!) she reads cookbooks, watches Top Chef, The Americans and The Walking Dead and still obsesses over the unresolved mysteries of LOST.

  • Tahra SeplowinTwitter: @calixofcoffee

    Tahra Seplowin, Editorial Assistant for Romantic Suspense and Desire, was born and raised in New York City. She fell in love with romance novels as a tween and never looked back. She's worked at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, Entangled Publishing, and is now with Harlequin, where she is happily and very actively looking to acquire fresh new voices. She can be found on twitter as @calixofcoffee and would be delighted to see your manuscript via Submittable.

  • Tina JamesTwitter: @tinacjames

    Tina James is Executive Editor for the Love Inspired franchise. She also manages the Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical lines. From the moment she learned to read she could usually be found at a bookstore or the public library searching for a good book. Tina is actively seeking new authors, especially for Love Inspired Suspense, which offers great opportunities for both published and unpublished romantic suspense authors. She’s looking for stories with vivid and likeable characters, strong emotional conflicts and compelling openings.

  • Victoria CurranTwitter: @VictoriaCurran2

    A former journalist, Victoria Curran honed the craft of storytelling in the magazine industry, where she fit epic-length stories into 3,000 words or less. An Editor for Harlequin since 2003, primarily for Superromance, Victoria is now Senior Editor of Gold Eagle action/adventure books and Harlequin Heartwarming, a new line of romances. She works within Harlequin’s Feature & Custom Publishing group and is actively acquiring bigger, emotionally satisfying contemporary romances that readers can feel comfortable sharing with their daughters or granddaughters.

Leave a Comment


  1. Carolyn Paul Branch

    Johanna Raisanen – I have an American Romance for you this year. The novel I tried last year didn’t make the finals, but I am focused on the right line for me this time.

    Many thanks to Harlequin for this opportunity to learn and write!


  2. Thanks for the opportunity to ask a question. I’m not sure what line to target for my current WIP. It is primarily a romance that takes place in a small town, but there are a lot of suspense elements – someone is after the heroine. I thought the Romantic Suspense line, but I want it to be a small town interconnected series, each with a romance and suspense elements, so I’m not sure that fits. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  3. Can one participate in the So You Think You Can Write Contest at the same time that harlequin is reviewing another piece of their writing for one of harlequin’s e-book lines?

    Also, can one participate in the So You Think You Can Write contest if another publisher is reviewing their work for publication, whether it be in print or in e-book format? (I do not mean them reviewing the same work that would be submitted to the So You Think You Can Write Competition)

  4. When you submit your story to Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest is it automatically submitted to the Wattpad Contest, or do you have to submit it to Wattpad seperately?

    Also, I have looked at the writing guidelines, but I’m trying to decide between harlequin blaze and harlequin desire (trying to decide which one my story fits better). Is there anyway that you all can tell me what specifically separates the two from one another?

  5. Mary-Theresa Hussey

    Bren–you might have to do some reading. Depending on the level of romance and suspense it could be Romantic Suspense, Intrigue, Superromance or even Heartwarming. It’s all in the execution!

    Heather–yes, you can still participate in SYTYCW if you’ve got a manuscript in with us or with another publisher. As long as the manuscript you’re submitting to the contest has not been published elsewhere you’re free to send it on!

  6. Johanna Raisanen

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m glad you found the line that works for you! Best of luck.

    American Romance is one of our Home and Family lines, and our specialty is cowboy heroes. And that’s one of the reasons I love working on AR! LOL!

    Looking forward to a great week. If anyone isn’t sure about what Harlequin line is the best fit for your manuscript, join me and some other editors for the live chat called Series Matchmaker at 2 p.m. EST. We’ll help you find a home for your story!


  7. Stacy Boyd


    When trying to decide if Blaze or Desire is a good fit, here are some things to consider.

    Desire novels are set in a world of wealth, glamour and power; the hero is always alpha (with a heart of gold); the conflicts are very high-stakes and emotional; and while the sensuality level is high, the language is euphemistic and romantic.

    Kathleen may be able to speak more to what Blaze is looking for right now, but I believe that line is much less euphemistic than Desire when it comes to sexual descriptions; the stories usually center on a sexy premise (e.g., the Wrong Bed series); and the characters are more “every day” heros and heroines.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Kathleen Scheibling

    Hi Heather,

    Blaze doesn’t feature alpha heroes — Desire does. That’s one difference. Also, our heroes tend to be down-to-earth guys. Mostly (not all) blue collar. Lots of military men, cowboys, and more. Blaze is the sexiest of all of our series, and we tend to get a bit graphic! Yes, we are not shy in Blaze. If you read a Desire and a Blaze, I bet you’ll notice the differences right away. Both can be romantic and steamy — but in a different way.

    Hope that helps!

  9. Mary-Theresa Hussey

    Cindy Rae–

    Hopefully you’ll have a complete manuscript!

    Though the early stages are first chapters, the top ten manuscripts need to be completes.

    That said, if the Heartwarming Editors really like your chapter they may be able to wait for the complete. Still, it’s good to have the finished work for them as soon as requested!

  10. Hi Heather,

    Here’s the scoop on our partnership with Wattpad!
    Harlequin is launching a New Adult Romance series and we’ve partnered with Wattpad to offer a bonus writing contest—in addition to our SYTYCW writing contest. Visit http://www.wattpad.com/SYTYCW for details. Starting September 23 writers can submit the first chapter and a 100-word pitch aimed at the New Adult Romance series. Submissions will be posted exclusively on Wattpad for comment and voting. Harlequin editors will judge the top 25 manuscripts and select four winners who will be published in the New Adult Romance line.

    On Thursday, Sept 19 at 12pm join Malle Vallik and the Wattpad team here for a session on the contest and the New Adult series.

  11. I thank you for the feedback. It was very helpful. I’ve read a lot of Blaze, and now I’m going to read some Desire to see which my story fits best with because the one I was considering entering is one I’m currently working on, and it’s reading a bit like a Blaze, but the character backgrounds seem to be a bit like Desire. So I will finish it up, sample some Desire, and see. Thank you again for the feedback.

  12. Hi Heather,
    Reading from both series is a good plan! And fun!

    A word of advice to everyone stopping by this week. We open for contest submissions on Monday Sept 23rd. Enter you first chapter and 100 word pitch right away and don’t delay since the editors will be reading chapters–and choosing finalists–from that day onwards.

  13. charlotte

    I’m going for medical this time, but part of me wants to give up the dream of writing for m and b. As the first chapter submission day draws nearer i keep wavering between entering and not going for it. 🙁

  14. Siren Allen

    @Charlotte ~ Glad I’m not the only one feeling pre-submission jitters. 🙂 I keep reading over my first chapter and wondering…..is this good enough? Is it exciting enough for the Nocturne Line? But, I am not going to chicken out like I did last year. This time I WILL enter the contest!!!

  15. Anne Kane

    @Siren Allen and Charlotte – I’m sure we’re all nervous. I know I’ve had to restrain myself from rewriting that first chapter so many times! I forget who said it, but we don’t want to look back on life and regret the things we didn’t do.

  16. charlotte

    Just took my spaniel for a walk and gave myself a good talking to. Siren you will enter just as I will, Just wondering if my chapter grabbing enough and good enough. I can’t mess with it anymore I’m seeing black spots before my eyes.

    Your right Anne if i don’t do it i will regret it. Good luck to everyone entering 🙂 x

  17. Pam Binder

    I have several books I would like to enter in the SYTYCW contest. They represent different series. New Adult, Nocturne, Historical Undone, Historical and Luna. Again, the are all different projects. Can I enter a different book in a different series?
    Thank you. Pam

  18. Hi, I am wondering if I can enter a Young Adult romance? If so, which series do I target? I understand Harlequin Teen requires an agent to submit, so do I enter it under Harlequin Digital First Teen Romance? Please help! Thanks.

  19. Mary-Theresa Hussey


    The rules are only one entry per contestant (though I believe the New Adult contest can be a separate entry). Too, it’s strictly for our series, so Nocturne, Historical and Historical Undone are the only lines you’d be able to submit to.

    At this time we are focused on the series with only the Shivers line from Harlequin Digital First program. There will not be a Digital First Teen category this year. That said, you can, of course, submit directly to the Harlequin Digital First Teen program through the Writing Guidelines page!

    Good luck!

  20. Hi. I have a question about the editorial shift in Harlequin Romance. Since the shift to more aspirational stories and heroes I was wondering what were some of the core differences between Harlequin Romance and Harlequin Presents other than the sensuality level? What authors or books are the best examples of the new editorial shift? Thanks

  21. Laura Barth

    Hey, everyone! If you’re interested in writing for Blaze or American Romance, be sure to enter your first chapter and a pitch in the SYTYCW contest, which begins Monday.

    I can’t wait to read your stories!

  22. Bryony Green

    Hi Kim,
    Thanks for your question. You’re right, Harlequin Romance will be offering much more aspirational and international settings as well as much more focus on the central couple (rather than family and babies) – that’s from January 2014. The sensuality remains a core difference but it’s more than that. While stories in Presents offer that drama, passion and intensity, in Romance it’s all about the depth of emotion and the transformative power of love. We’re looking for new voices for the series so hope to see something from you! Bryony

  23. Johanna Raisanen

    What a great week it’s been! I hope we find many new authors to welcome into the Harlequin family.

    For everyone who is entering the contest, GOOD LUCK!

    And if you’re not quite ready to submit to the contest, remember we’re always looking for fresh, exciting voices. I’d love to sign new authors to Harlequin American Romance and Harlequin Blaze!

  24. Hello again
    I have searched in the rules and I can’t find the answer to this question: can I enter the first chapter of a manuscript I entered in the contest last year, that has been significantly re-worked? Changes have been made to the first chapter as well as the entire manuscript. Is this allowed?

  25. @Kirsty
    Yes, since you have revised the chapter and the manuscript it’s fine to submit again this year. After all, that kind of work really makes it a new story. Good luck and remember the contest submission form will be up and live at 10am EST on Monday, September 23!

  26. Eliana Robinson


    I was delighted to discover the contest was on again, and that this time I can enter.

    The news however came at a personally devastating time. A few short weeks ago a ghastly mistake was made by someone else and they destroyed every bit of work I had, along with everything else I owned. So entering the contest when all my stories are gone, is without a doubt a hard thing for me to do but I feel the need to jump back on the horse (so to speak) is a very important thing to do at this point. I did however amount the carnage find a list from one of my lost novels and am endeavouring to re-write the story as the story works/builds around the list.

    However my next problem is that at first I believed my story best suited the intrigue genre. Now on a closer inspection I’ve discovered that maybe it would be best in another genre, though I cannot discern which one.

    ‘Twenty-Two Gifts Of Christmas’ is a playful, festive novel with a light sprinkling of intrigue. Though the story doesn’t allow for more elaboration on the intrigue aspect. Nor can the story really progress with eliminating the minor intrigue aspect. Any ideas on a more befitting genre to choose? One where the intrigue eliminate takes a bit of a back seat perhaps.

    Eliana Robinson

  27. RE: 2013 Harlequin submit 1st chapter

    I know this is elementary, but do I need to number the ms pages? I haven’t worked with this particular computer programme and I cannot figure out how to number the pages.


  28. Pamela Martin

    I would so love to be any one of you editors, what a dream job (or at least in my opinion)!! 🙂

    I’m wondering if the wattpad contest is separate from the SYTYCW contest, and if we can post an alternate submission to that contest?

    Many thanks!!

  29. I just submitted my first manuscript, “In The Company Of Bridget”. The heroine is close to my heart – she is both strong and vulnerable. I hope you enjoy it.
    Editors, I would love your feedback.

  30. Mary Theresa

    No, don’t worry about numbering pages. It will all appear on screen in a block!

    Not dumb! But you’re a little ahead of yourself! This stage is for readers to comment and editors to choose the top 50. Once we’ve chosen then narrowed it to 10 it will be back to voting. For now, just give feedback to your choices!

    Sadly, no contest like this for LUNA will happen! But we have been acquiring urban fantasy and fantasy in the Harlequin E program, so we might be opening it up next year!

    It is a great job, I have to admit! Though it’s probably not quite what you think… I am not sure about the WattPad contest, and will see if someone else knows.

    Congratulations, B Buena! We’ll be popping in, but I’m not sure how much direct commenting we’ll make. But I’m sure you’ll be getting feedback from others as well.

    Good luck to all!

  31. Georgina Fawcett

    Yay, another chance for people to show their originality and have a chance of publication! Thank you Harlequin, what would we do otherwise!
    But, whoops! I clicked on the wrong imprint and need to change it to Harlequin Intrigue. Is this possible? I hope so, I’d love Alison Lyons to take a look at my novel, “When Faith Breaks”

  32. Hi! I’m not entering, but I have a full in the regular submissions pile at Harlequin. Should we expect to wait a bit longer to hear back on regular responses while sytycw is going on? I figure the editors are real busy! Thanks.

  33. Margaret-mary Jaeger

    I am so excited to be entered this year in SYTYCW2013. Thank you to all of the wonderful Editors who are reading through all the entries. This is an amazing load of work and Bless you all for. Doing it.

  34. LeTeisha Newton

    This is so exciting. It really is. Already over 200 entries, with the week just really started, and the editors can only pick 50?! That’s so hard. But I wish you guys the best of luck, and everyone entering (including me). Now I’m off to do some more reading!

  35. Hello again, another dumb question from me…. do the editors actually read all the first chapters, or do they go by the comments others post, and the number of “likes”?
    As I don’t do social media (a wee bit of FB but no twitter or anything else) the number of people who will read my story due to “getting it out there” is going to be limited. Does this put me, and other like me (I’m sure I’m not the only social-media dunce?) at a disadvantage?

  36. Kirsty,
    I’m right there with you.
    No Twitter
    No Fcaebook
    Just writing…
    My novel – In The Company of Bridget. I love the story and the characters and want to share them with everyone, but like you, Twitter and Facebook are not my things.
    So…fingers crossed. I too really hope the editors DO read all the entries.

  37. B Buena – after a lot of searching I finally found your story (and lots more pitches that caught my attention so I read those first chapters – took me ages!) and it was a great read!
    My story is Anna’s Cowboy. I’m finding it really hard to get my story out there, but find the few comments I have really encouraging.
    Good luck!

  38. Kirsty, I loved your chapter. It made me really want to get to know Anna and Todd better and to watch their relationship develop.
    Also anxious to see how Anna handles things with her Dad.

    I left a comment on your submission page.

  39. My Story ‘Twenty-Two Gifts of Christmas’ sadly has only a few comments, will this limit my chances? Is the contest based upon both comments and later votes? or is it just votes? Also can I be assured that an editor has actually read my entry? It is my understanding that someone from Harlequin would in fact have read it, as all entries are read by editors at some point in the contest. Is this understanding incorrect?

    Wish Kind regards

  40. Eliana – mine also has only a few comments, and I have seen other first chapters with no comments so far. Like you, I am hoping that this will not impact against us, and that the editors actually do read every submission. If the key to winning is having a huge social media following, then I won’t win!
    There are some absolutely fantastic first chapters in here – I have been reading non-stop, and some writing is truly terrific!
    I can’t find your story as yet, Eliana, but I will keep looking.
    Good luck!

  41. Dottie Taylor

    Loving the contest this year, I’ve read many of the entries!! All are so good! Don’t envy the editors trying to decide which stories to choose!

    Dottie 🙂 (Lillie J. Roberts)
    entry: Rose Red and Synder White
    cat: Harlequin Nocturne

  42. Kirsty – Thank you so much for your comments I appreciate it and yeah I share your hopes to that it’s more than media popularity. I have heard many say they’d love to read my story and others but are ill inclined when they are only on the internet. So I believe a books popularity (and therefore worth of publishing) can only be half estimated in this contest. Fingers crossed for the both of us! By the way what is the title of your entry I’d love to have a read!

    Many thanks


  43. Eliana – My story is Anna’s Cowboy.
    Thanks, and good luck!

    Are there any other NZ contestants in here? Or books set in NZ? I have seen a couple set in Aussie, but haven’t come across any set in NZ so far.

  44. To any and all,

    I entered into the 2011 New Voices Writer’s contest with my Paranormal Romance ‘Waiting on Sundown’ recently events have accrued and I’ve lost everything I owned. Including all copies of every book I’ve ever written. My novel entered in this year’s contest ‘Twenty-Two Gifts Of Christmas’ is a desperate re-write. It was my hope that I’d be able to find a copy of my lost novel online still and have been devastated to find the site is no longer running. Would anyone happen to have a copy of my 2011 entry ‘Waiting on Sundown’?

    Any crumbs of my book would be heartily welcomed.


  45. Hi Everyone,

    Just stopping by and see there are lots of comments about social media and the editors. I can assure you that every entry is read by the editors–and they have already started. Sure we look at the comments posted with each entry–and we love all the buzz on social media. But we are reading every entry to find great stories and good writing.

  46. @Donna
    Just wanted to say it’s okay for you to enter the contest even though you have a full ms in with one of the series. It can be the same story. The editors are continuing to read all the submissions that come in thru the usual channels but are also reading the chapters. Yes, it’s a busy time for all of us but that’s our job–to find great books.

  47. Mary Theresa

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss–I’ve sent an email to the UK office to ask about the manuscript, but I know we delete them in SYTYCW after the contest is over. Hopefully they will be able to find it.

    And I agree with Birgit! We’ve got a list–that’s getting longer every day!–with all the entries, and each one will be reviewed by the editors. Feedback is at an individual basis, but everything will be read.

    I can’t look everything up individually, but can say that “Zealand” appears in Intimate Enemies, The Surgeon’s Christmas Promise, Just Breathe, Artistic License and The Woman in the Red Dress. (I do love search functions!)

  48. Mary Theresa

    Oh, and for Amateur Writer–and others–sadly because of the international rules, restrictions and regulations in hosting conferences we’ve had to limit the locations the entries can be from. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t write for us–check out our writing guidelines and submissions for all the details!

  49. Angela Anderson

    For the entries if we have a prologue is that our submission?

    What if the prologue is mainly used for insight on sub-main character and doesn’t really show the story, but its also important information for the story to work?

  50. Angela – I’m not an editor, only a fellow hopeful – but I am sure I read somewhere that you can submit a prologue as part of your first chapter, but it counts towards the 5000 word limit. So if your prologue and first chapter together fall below that, I am pretty sure you can submit them both. Good luck!

  51. Dear Editors Birgitta and Mary Theresa,
    Thank you for your responses assuring us that all entries are reviewed by the editors.
    We’re all extremely nervous – it’s been great getting your quick responses addressing our concerns.
    You give us hope!

  52. Paige Pickett

    Good morning!! I’m so excited about this contest!!
    I submitted my chapter just the other day targeted for the Love Inspired Suspense line. The title is Code of Silence. I would love and appreciate any feedback from the love inspired team and anyone else who gets a chance to read it!!!!
    Thanks again for this opportunity!!

  53. Kelly Hyatt

    Hello everyone! It was suggested to me today to come onto the Editor board and explain that a negative comment on my sub is more personal in nature and does not truly effect the authenticity of what I have written. I want to assure that I am well educated in my topic.
    I sincerely appreciate the opportunity HQN presents and the warm kindness shown to a aspiring author. Thank you again. Kelly Hyatt

  54. Kelly – I read your submission (loved it & commented on it) several days ago and can’t wait to read more! I just went & read it again to see the negative comment you speak of above – and honestly, it says more about the commenter than it does about your writing. All your comments (with the exception of that one) are positive and encouraging, so don’t be discouraged by one negative person.
    Good luck!

  55. Missy Turner

    Hi everyone. So my chapter is submitted, but I am having a little trouble networking and getting my story out there. How do I go about doing that? Other than Facebook and Twitter is there a chat room for writers support.

  56. I am entering for a fist time and is my first ever book that I have written I would appreciate feedback it is called A legendary cut Sue S.
    Harlequin® American Romance®
    I read a lot of comments here. Kelly that was comment left on mine as well by a different reader

  57. Is there a policy on more explicit language/swearing in the Special Edition line? Obviously, swearing is inappropriate for the ‘cleaner’ lines, but I wasn’t sure if there were any constraints in the mainstream lines.

  58. Also, as the level of competition is high and obviously not everyone is going to get through to the next stage, are the full manuscripts that follow these first chapters still eligible to be submitted for consideration through the regular process? Thanks! 🙂

  59. C.L. Howland

    Sue S,
    I just looked at your entry comments and didn’t see any derogatory remarks…are you referring to this?
    C A Speakman
    How NOT To Be A Tabloid Cover Story

    If so, the title of C A Speakman’s entry is:
    How NOT To Be A Tabloid Cover Story

    I believe she was posting the title in case you wanted to read her entry. It’s not a derogatory remark. If you’re referring to something else, I apologize in advance.

  60. Hello All.
    Would love to get your input on my superromance submission “In The Company Of Bridget”.
    Please direct me to your submissions as well. It helps to include your category.
    Good luck to everyone!

  61. LeTeisha Newton

    Hi all! the submissions are really going great. Mine, Immortal Need, is doing pretty good on comments. I’m so excited to a part of this competition.

    I think one of the biggest things is the sharing and caring. In most competitions such is not the case. People bicker, argue, and even go as far to sabotage. This just goes to show how classy each and every one of us are!

  62. @Angela & Kirsty
    Yes, indeed you can enter the prologue and the first chapter as long as combined they don’t exceed 5000 words. A good prologue will set up any story nicely and compell the reader to keep reading. Generally they are short in length.

  63. Mary Theresa – Thank you so much for sending a message off to the UK branch. I really would appreciate anything I can salvage of my lost work. 487 novels is a lot to have wiped out on you. thank you greatly!


  64. Hi,
    I entered a new adult story on wattpad. This has been SO MUCH fun! I was wondering who will be the editors of those submissions. When I look through the editors none of them have New Adult listed unless it is under a different name and I’m missing it. Thanks!

  65. @Missy
    Great to hear you submitted your chapter. It’s fine to use FB and Twitter since they will help you reach family and friends. You can also chat on the community boards on harlequin.com–and also right here at 50 Editors. Lastly keep in mind that all the submissions will be read by the editors so while all the buzz and promotion is wonderful it comes down to you writing a story with promise.

  66. When you submit your first chapter and pitch and you go to your email to click on the link to confirm your submission. How do you know if it has been confirmed or not? Because it took me back to a blank version of the page that I used to submit my first chapter and pitch.

  67. H – I am pretty sure that when I submitted mine, and clicked on the confirmation link, it came up with a link directly to my submission that I could post on Facebook etc. There was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that it had worked. If you aren’t sure, perhaps you should try submitting it again? If it gets submitted twice I’m sure the editors could remove one of the entries for you.
    Good luck!

  68. C.L. Howland

    A general question. If someone “tweets” your entry, you can go to Twitter, put in #SYTYCW2013 and see it. If someone “likes” you on Facebook, where does that show up? Is there a specific page? Does it show up on your page or the author’s page, if they have one? I’ve tweeted a couple, but haven’t FB’d because I’m not sure where it’s landing. Thanks.

  69. B Buena

    Jusr read that the “Top 50” will be announced on/around October 21st.
    And I thought I was nervous before!!
    Have loved reading your submissions. Best of luck to everyone!
    Please stop by and read “In The Company Of Bridget”, my submission in the Superromance category. Thanks!

  70. Carrie Padgett

    My local writing teacher and mentor, Elnora King, worked “once upon a time” with both Birgit and Leslie Wainger. She speaks of them with great fondness. How wonderful to see they are still with Harlequin!

  71. Frances Brown w/a Claire Gem

    Does anyone know if the top 50 manuscripts chosen will also require a synopsis to be submitted at the same time? I want to be prepared, just in case. *fingers crossed*

  72. Lee Kilraine

    @ Frances Brown. Last year’s winner Jennifer Hayward said she did need a synopsis with the full so be prepared. I do not know any details as to the required/allowed length of the synopsis though.

  73. Karen Rollason

    Having had really great feedback from a New Voices comp a few years ago I was eager to enter this as the editors encouraged me then to write some more. I have been studying Creative Writing since then and writing the novel entered too so fingers crossed. It is a real butterfly in the stomach moment – finally releasing it from the caverns of my document folder. My intention was to send it off at Xmas and then I heard of this comp. I would like to ask, (and I’m not a defeatist in any way) but should it not make the final 50 can we still sub in the normal way. I think someone else has asked this too, but I couldn’t find the reply.

    My Novel is called The Night Bride – Nocturne for anyone who would like to pop by. I have also popped a link to my Pinterest page which shows pictures of things that inspired the novel.

    I am really enjoying reading the chapters and it is lovely being part of a community of people who all have the same focus xx
    Karen Rollason

  74. I am sure I read somewhere that we can submit our novel through the normal channels if it doesn’t make the top 50. I’m not an editor, only a fellow hopeful, so I apologise if this information is wrong. Good luck!

  75. Dana Lynn

    I am so impressed with the good will and classiness of my fellow entrants. So far, I’ve liked every entry I’ve read. Way to go! Kelly… read your entry. It was fab. Please don’t let one comment destroy your peace of mind.

    I want to say that when writing my pitch, I mistakenly read the instructions for the query. Oops. Too late to change now. Would love for my fellow writers to peruse my chapter, A Blessed Silence, in the Love Inspired Line.

    Good luck to all!

  76. B Buena

    Only two days left! The nerves have just shifted into high gear! I feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – standing straight, eyes closed, tapping my heels three times and chanting.

    The difference is, instead of repeating “There’s no place like home”, I find myself whispering:
    “There’s no place like the Top 50…”
    “There’s no place like the Top 50…”
    “There’s no place like the Top 50…”

    Good Luck, All!

  77. Eva McGoey

    I submitted “Remember Me” to the contest and the first time I tried something happen to the text. So I went in a second time to submit, because I never hit the submit tab the first time. Can you tell me if it was submitted, please? I don’t see it in “read the 1rst chapters” section. I submitted it to Love Inspired Suspense. Thank You.

  78. Marie Wysong

    Hey everyone!!
    I have my first chapter uploaded and have only gotten a few comment but still have my fingers crossed! I wasn’t sure which category my book fell in because it covers a lot of different things but again keeping my fingers crossed! If our ms is not completed though when should it be?

  79. Dusti Walker

    Johanna Raisanen I would like you to read my first chapter and give me some feedback as all my novels are about cowboys, I’m married to a bull rider and get my inspiration from family and the great state of Montana. Thank you and I would appreciate it. My Manuscript is Big Montana Sky, And the Lightning Strikes. Thank you so much! I love this contest.

  80. Deana J Holmes

    Hello Everyone!
    This is my first time taking part and I’m so impressed by the chapter submissions as well as the wonderful community. Looking forward to lots of comments and feedback on my story: Something Wicked (for Nocture) for those who are interested in having a look.
    Cheers! Deana

  81. I have a question for Victoria re the Heartwarming line. What time period is considered contemporary? My story is set in the 1960s. I know that is too contemporary to be considered historic, is it also too historic to be considered contemporary? I chose this time period in part because it makes it easier to have a “clean” story due to the prevailing mores of the time.

    I hadn’t planned to submit my first chapter because I know I can’t have the full manuscript done in time and it seemed rude to have an editor waste time reading it if it isn’t a serious entry. However, I saw a post on this thread encouraging submission even if the manuscript isn’t complete. If no one minds, I would love to submit it today for reader feedback. Should I submit it or should I query after the contest is over?

  82. I just wanted to say what a great contest this is. As an avid reader, not writer, I have had the opportunity to read so many wonderful first chapters. The one that really stood out to me was Love on the Run by Billie Drew. The voice is refreshing and the story line has me hooked. Hopefully this gets signed so I can read the rest! I really want to know what is in the pouch. Take a read if you get a chance.

  83. Dear Editors,
    The “Top 50” selection process is over and, sadly, I was not chosen, but somthing wonderful happened during this process. As a first time novelist I received encouragement from all of you and gained renewed hope as a fledgling author. So…although one door has closed, a new one has opened for me. I am, as we speak, “revising” my manuscript for submission to your Superromance division.
    In parting, I would like to say on behalf of all the SYTYCW entrants – thank you once again for the opportunity. And – to Ms. Ottewell, Senior Editor, Harlequin Superromance Division – look for my name. My journey as a writer has not ended…it’s just beginning. Hope to hear from you soon!
    B Buena
    Author, In The Company Of Bridget

  84. When you all selected the top 50 did you notify them by email or phone? And I read somewhere that some of the top 50 were not able to submit their manuscripts, so are you all now notifying those who you all want to submit in those spots by email or phone?

  85. Cheril Vernon

    I have a question about numbers in manuscripts. For example, “it had been 10 weeks since the accident.”

    Would you spell out ten or use the number 10?

    I ask this because in journalism, using Associated Press style, we only spell out numbers zero to nine.

    Which way is correct in writing fiction?

  86. Mary Theresa

    FYI–we should be posting the final fifty list by Monday!

    We emailed the authors initially and if there was no response in a day we called and left messages.

    Cheril–regarding numbers we generally follow Chicago Manual of Style. So we write them out unless they would be awkward (like 2013, or 1,459!). In dialogue it can be author/copy-editor preference. Figures are generally used, unless it’s starting a sentence.

    I have to admit, though, I usually leave it up to the copy-editor to enforce consistency. As long as you are consistent, it should be fine.

  87. Airam Author

    Preparing for submission I worry about what the editors are looking for. Is it ideal to get something ready for seasonal submissions e.g. Valentines, Easter and submit around those times to be more eye catching as opposed to sitting in the email pile.

  88. Mary Theresa

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what holiday it is when you submit your book! Editors are always juggling lots of seasons, years, months and more at any one time, so we’re ready to dive into new experiences at any point.

    Of course, remember that the publishing process can take about nine months, so right now series editors are finalizing titles and Art Fact Sheets for August 2014 books.

    And so things coming in for Christmas from new authors have more of a shot if they come in around that holiday–by the time revisions, contracts and so forth are done, it could be time to schedule for that season!

    And we have–rarely!–published Christmas books in July on occasion, or winter books in the spring. Sometimes readers appreciate the change of pace.

    Always get your book in when it’s done and strong. That should be your priority!

    Good luck!

  89. Mel Naidoo

    I received the heart-breaking decision that my manuscript, Rock and Roll Dreams, was not suitable and what I believe to be the standard “Thank-you but no thanks” reply.
    I had thought I followed the guidelines meticulously. Is it possible that I get constructive feedback?

  90. Dear Editors,

    I recently heard from Piya Campana concerning my first novel and submission to Harlequin, “In The Company Of Bridget”. Although Ms. Campana explained that Harlequin was not able to accept my manuscript, the advise and constructive criticism was very much appreciated.

    I am now working on my second novel as well as my first novella. Because of the response I received from Harlequin, I will most definitely submit again in the near future.

    Thank you for your consideration and extremely helpful suggestions.

    B Buena

  91. Mary-Theresa Hussey


    Sorry I didn’t check this before, but I don’t know that there will be more information coming at this time.

    Following the guidelines is certainly essential, but it’s also the spirit of the story that catches the reader and editor.

    B Buena–
    Fantastic! I’m delighted you found the material useful.

  92. Dear Editor,

    I’m currently working on my first story, but I’m feeling that I may need a little help putting it together. I have so many ideas it’s just putting them together to make it interesting.

  93. Mary-Theresa

    that can be the toughest part! I’d suggest reading through some writing books–Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger is one we all recommend! Though it’s almost ten years old, the writing aspects are still very valuable and true. Too, visit the writing areas on the community.harlequin.com boards and there are plenty of workshops, places for advice and support and enthusiasm.

    Good luck!

  94. I have decided to write a novel. It flows like nothing else I’ve ever done. However I’m having trouble just doing it as I feel I need a reference point. In other words I get the feeling that I’m wasting my time or becoming restless. I don’t have writers block I just feel like something must be done before I write. Don’t get me wrong I believe in it but something does not feel right. I have elected to go back to school and get an English degree and one in theater while I’m there. My writing isn’t where it needs to be but my stories seem to have an enormous depth and fortune when it comes to creativity, characters, plot you name it. I’m hoping that school will help me get on track and apply myself better to the trade, but will it help for an aspiring novelist, screenwriter. I would rather hope it does not sound like I’m losing it rather just going through some notorious phase all writers experience at some point. Should I have a local editor take a peep of my 1/4 of a novel to get some criticism and see where I am? Maybe that will help be put it into perspective. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I will pursue this thing all the way. I have learned that English is the best, as far as pursing a vocation to further one’s writing skills, given one has an enormous supply of imagination from the beginning.

  95. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)

    Certainly I think the driving need to tell a story is key to becoming a strong writer.

    And maybe you are just at the learning/researching phase of it.

    Congratulations on joining a class–I’d also suggest you check into any local writing groups. The RWA is a fantastic organization that might give you structure and information.

    Finding a critique group (sharing your work with others and looking at theirs) can also be key. You can learn a lot by reading works in progress and listening to critiques to understand what is part of the “story” and what is part of the “craft.”

    There are other options–check out our own Community section at the Harlequin site, or the NANOWRIMO site, or Writer’s Digest.

    It’s a fantastic opportunity at the moment with loads of information at your disposal. Poke around this site and all our sister sites as well.

    Good luck!

  96. Mary-Theresa

    We will be having another SYTYCW in the fall (more details to come!) but we are also having minor contests throughout the year.

    Currently there’s one going on for Love Inspired Suspense, and upcoming ones for Historicals and Medicals this spring. Check in with http://www.community.harlequin.com or the SOLD! blog for those updates.

    Good luck!

  97. Constance

    I want to know if aspiring writers such as myself from Sub-Saharan Africa are eligible for these contests and if we can also send in submissions. I have been reading harlequin books since I was 14 and I remember one at a point in high school I had read all the Mills and Boon/Harlequin books we had in the library (Which I have to admit was not that much – 30ish I think) But the point is, these books not only entertained me but made me aspire to someday write for Harlequin. I know there are a lot of aspiring romance writers in my part of the world who want that chance as well. You should think about an African Hot Grill genre. Give Spice some competition. Lol

  98. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)

    Sadly, writers from the Sub-Saharan area are probably not eligible for SYTYCW or many of the contests–because of the various international rules and regulations, we have limited entries to certain areas.

    But there are some that are open to the world (like the current Medicals, I believe), so you can keep checking on some individual contests.

    Too, you can send in submissions directly! If you visit our Writing Guidelines pages (see the link at the bottom of the http://www.Harlequin.com page), you can see what the needs of the individual series are and submission rules.

    We’re hoping to revamp those pages within the next month as well, so come back for updates!

    Good luck!

  99. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    News should be coming out in the next few weeks. Once the Medicals contest is wrapped up, the historical one will start up.

    Look for something to happen by June (which is still the spring–especially considering there was snow on the ground today! :))

    So keep polishing that project and good luck.

  100. Polliean Moody

    Hi amazing people..my name is Polly n I’m working on a project(book)and I have no idea what to do when I’m done…I’m so excited about my book but so nervous for Publishers to read it…please help…thanks..

  101. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Congratulations on finishing your book! Or at least it seems you might be close to finishing it. 🙂 That’s the biggest part for sure. It takes a lot of commitment to get to the end of the story.

    Now that you’ve written the book, you should save–and triple save!–the file and start something new. For at least two weeks don’t go back to re-read your manuscript. Then read it through with a critical idea. Does the story flow? Is the pacing strong? Are you still excited about the snappy dialogue, interesting characters and emotional developments? Are the motivations clear?

    It’s also great to get feedback from critique partners. Or join RWA, a creative writing course from a local college, read books, or check out online resources like the community.harlequin.com section which has writing advice in the forums.

    Good luck!

  102. susie mciver

    I have written a book that’s been in my head for years I have already started on another character in the book for a second book but I don’t know what to do about getting an editor I might add that I still have to type out my book I feel better writing by hand.

  103. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    It’s fine to write the first draft of your book in longhand if that works for you, but then you need to get the project into the computer and do regular backups! Always save two versions at the end of the day in two different locations. (Just in case something crashes or gets lost. This way you will be able to continue with your work.) And it’s sometimes good to save them with the date so you know which is the latest version.

    As you are doing that, I’d suggest you also look at local colleges or libraries to see if they do any writing courses. Think about joining RWA (the Romance Writers of America site is rwa.org). You can find critique groups, feedback about submissions and more.

    Don’t forget to check out community.harlequin.com and the writing forums for additional help and advice.

    Good luck!

  104. Amadi Hemphill

    Hello! What a wonderful find this site is. My name is Amadi Hemphill, and I am a romance junkie. Not only would I like to say “hello” but I would also like to acquire some information about becoming a romance novel editor. Would there be any way that I can schedule an informational interview? At the least I’ll settle for a “hello” back and some inspiring advice. Thank you 🙂

  105. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)

    Hello, Amadi!

    Yes, being a romance editor is wonderful–though sadly you don’t get as much time to just sit and read books! Editors are usually in meetings and phone calls and discussing books, so some of that counts. 🙂

    Right now (June 2014), we’re actually looking for an editorial assistant for the Desire and Romantic Suspense lines. Here’s a link to that one: https://careers-harlequin.icims.com/jobs/1137/editorial-assistant/job

    In general, we prefer people with strong attention to detail, self-starters, able to juggle multiple projects, an affinity for pop culture and romance and a critical eye.

    A number of our recent hires (though not all!) have also interned at various literary agencies to get their feet wet in the business.

    For Harlequin, at entry level you need to be in the NYC/Toronto/London areas.

    And check out places like PublishersMarketplace.com and mediabistro.com for openings with other publishing and literary groups!

    It’s a great job, always changing, and very exciting to be on the ground floor of all these wonderful stories.

  106. Jeanie May

    Hello everyone, wish you all love, luck and happy writing.

    My romantic suspense, A Wild Ride to Love is going through its third and hopefully final draft. I am attending my first RWA (Australia) conference and really looking forward to it. Scarey but exciting.

    Thank you editors for your time and expertise in helping our work improve through wonderful opportunities like SYTYCW.

  107. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Fantastic news! And the RWAustralia is great organization. I was lucky enough to get to the conference a few years ago and they were welcoming, supportive and so enthusiastic about all their authors. You’ll have a blast!

    Good luck!

  108. CJ Black

    Good morning! I have a finished manuscript of fantasy romance along the lines of the works of Maria Snyder that is ready for submission, however when I checked the MIRA guidelines, it didn’t specifically state fantasy. I would like to it submit to Harlequin but I wanted to verify first if you would be interested? Also I’m uncertain which line is appropriate if any. Would MIRA be the right choice? Thank you!

  109. CJ Black

    My apologies, please disregard the above posting a took another look at the MIRA submission guidelines and discovered you only take agented submissions. I couldn’t see any way to delete my previous comments. Thank you.

  110. Jordan Holman

    Hi, I had a question about the word count. My writing is aimed towards the kimani romance series and the word goal is 50,000 words. I know you said that there was a bit of wiggle room, but if my story falls 600 words short, would it still be acceptable?

  111. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Certainly we support the work that NaNoWriMo does! We’ve had editors and authors participate in the month and be inspired and encouraged and excited about the results.

    Of course, once you have the draft down the work doesn’t stop–now you need to polish and hone and develop the rest of the story.

    There are always great writing tips shared during NaNoWriMo. You can also start this year with our SoYouThinkYouCanWrite contest in September and work out some issues and concerns so you start NaNoWriMo with a great idea. 🙂

  112. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Certainly 600 words short is within our wriggle room!

    However, the Kimani range does go from 50-60K, so there is also room to develop the story if needed.

    Still, if you think the manuscript is strong now, then you can submit it and get feedback from the editors about how to best develop some additional areas.

    Good luck!

  113. Jordan Holman

    I’m not fully done yet. I’m racking my brain for ideas on how to make it longer. I spend a good portion of my time reading romance novels, but it’s even harder to write one and think it’s good. I’m just trying figure out how to stretch it to get the most most out of my writing.

  114. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Perhaps you need to look at the type of story you’ve written, and is it really fitting the promise of the lines we publish.

    Have you read the guidelines at harlequin.submitable.com? Have you read the books we put out and does your manuscript fit into that series?

    One thing to keep in mind is that editors are not writing teachers, and our job is to find books that are close to publishable and work with those authors and titles. We can’t develop every single project that comes our way–we’d have no time to edit those that are under contract!

    So perhaps you should look into RWA – the Romance Writers of America at rwanational.org — or a local college that has writing classes, or check at your library or online for critique groups where you can share your manuscript and get feedback.

    And of course it could be that the first manuscript is your learning one! Have you started your second book? Take all you’ve learned and create an even stronger story.

    Good luck!

  115. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    Keep at it! Look at your characters and their interaction. Is there a way to emphasize the emotion and their interaction? The conflicts and connection? I’d say don’t add in more moments of them arguing, or having dinner or just talking to friends, but really focus on what makes their relationship so special and why they belong together.

    Check to see what moments are your favorites in other books you’ve read and see if you can get something with those emotional elements into your book!

    Good luck!


  116. Glenda Howard

    Hi Glenda–I’ve read all the Kimani books. I plan on taking the SYTYCW challenge. When would an author kmow when their story is the one? Without sounding like, other Kimani authors.

    Ana Akins

  117. Rachel Burkot

    Hi Ana,

    Great, we’re delighted to hear you’re planning on doing the SYTYCW challenge! To answer your question, you need a unique plotline and characters, with original back stories, conflicts and goals, that are fresh and unlike any story Kimani has ever published before. We love variety, so any book involving different or unique settings, character occupations, etc., would be very welcome. Good luck!


  118. Abigail Joy Nickerson

    I have been writing the past several years but I have not been published yet. I am currently working on a manuscript for the Romantic Suspense Category for SYTYCW challenge. I was wondering if it is plausible or the hook that catches ones’ interest that the heroine receives her own “obituary notice” from her stalker or not. Thank you for your time.

  119. Patience Bloom

    Dear Abigail,

    Having the heroine receive her obituary sounds deliciously creepy to me! It is plausible to me, and a nice inciting incident/opening hook for the story. I hope you enter this year’s SYTYCW contest. Best of luck to you! –Patience

  120. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    We’re all excited, too!

    An Editorial Assistant is more of an entry level position. Each publishing house is a little different, but for us, an editorial assistant starts out with a strong administrative component. She works with two (or three!) senior/exec editors and assists on one to two lines. That means making sure the deadlines for the art fact sheets, the copy, the prelims are all being organized and met, that the senior editor has the materials she needs for meetings and so forth. She’ll log in material for the line for HERS and the editors she works with. She’ll also start developing her eye by working with the senior editor doing first reads, acceptance reads, unsolicited manuscript reads and more. She’ll get feedback from the senior editor and instructions on how to improve and develop an eye.

    After a year or two she might begin working with her own authors. Perhaps she found them, perhaps she was passed them. But she usually only has 3-4 authors considering all the other work hasn’t gone away!

    An Assistant Editor has more autonomy. She still reports to a senior/exec editor, but she generally has less of the administrative duties. She has 10-15 authors, works on special projects, and works more independently, though still overseen.

    Make sense? Though, as I mentioned, there are shadings in each publishing house.

    Hope you enjoy the 2014 contest! Can’t believe it’s only a week away…


  121. Sophia Sasson

    Thanks Mary-Theresa! I have another question about the Intrigue line. What is the balance between the mystery and romance in that line. While both need to be present, is the primary focus on the intrigue with a minor romance line or are they 50/50?

  122. Wendy Cruze

    Hi! Yes, I am a writer and have been doing it for a long time! I would love it if someone would be interested in reading some of my romantic based stories-I have over 30 completed, most of which are now updated and on computer! One such title is called Aspen and I think it would be perfect in your market! Please, get back with me. I would love to send you several pages for your perusal! Wendy Cruze.
    P.S. Mt titles range from fantasy romance to supernatural romance to modern romance themes!

  123. I am working on several stories and need feedback from someone. I don’t know who I can get to help me. I would love to get my stories published but I don’t know if they are good enough. They would fall under the Nocturne or Nocturne Bites. Help!

  124. Nene Davies

    Hello! My name is Nene Davies, I live in beautiful Brisbane and I write books for women! I would love to submit my work to you guys, but I’m not sure if my writing falls into the ‘Romance’ category. I’ve written and published two books about a family of five who emigrate from Wales to Australia. The books are very loosely based on our own experiences as we too emigrated from Wales to Queensland Australia in 2002. However, I have given my fictional family a mountain of issues and problems that thankfully we didn’t ever have to overcome! The books are written from the point of view of the mother, Isobel – who is on the cusp of menopause has three spirited kids and an extremely difficult mum of her own. Her husband Leo is absolutely the love of her life, but my goodness they have some bust-ups along the way! The second book focusses more on the fact that Isobel’s mother is diagnosed with dementia and since she lives in Wales, this means that Isobel has to go back to Wales to care for her. This puts enormous pressure on her marriage – since her husband and children are still in Australia. The books are called ‘Distance’ and ‘Further.’ There will also be a third and final book in the series, and this one has the working title ‘Surfacing.’ There have been some really lovely reviews across social media and online bookseller sites and Isobel’s life does seem to strike a chord with a lot of people. Isobel and Leo’s marriage is covered extensively – and this is where I think the romance might come in. Anyway – I’m just wondering if you think it would be OK to submit one or both of the manuscripts to you. Thank you so much for reading my message! Kind regards,
    Nene Davies.

  125. Wendy Nel Soon to be Coetzee

    Good day
    I am someone who dream of being a best international selling author since I could remember. I have written a few short stories that I entered into competitions, and failed.Then I started a novel that I have been rewriting for 4 or so years, I want to finish it, but at this moment I am busy with my wedding that is less than a month away. I have barely time for myself…

    What I want to know is can I sent my scrip to you via email, my scrip is about 4 pages..

    All I ask is that you read it and tell me what you think, do I have the potential to succeed in my dream?

    I need a pro’s advice cause my support system suck.. breaking my will to succeed..


  126. Hello everyone! I am a huge fan of Harlequin and it is such a pleasure to meet you all! My co-author and I submitted a piece for competition at RT12 that didn’t make the finals. After working with an editor from a well-known publisher to get the kinks worked out we struggled to finish the book. Thank you for mentioning local writing organizations above. I finally got involved with a really good one and now both of us are in a structured class to help us not only finish the book but affords us a critique group where we submit 10 pages weekly to help us keep on track. It was the best thing I have ever done! The success in bringing our story to life again has inspired me to start my very own project. A new adult, contemporary romance story that will be a five book series and is a joy to write every single day. I look forward to submitting it to Harlequin! Thank you for all the good advice and comments listed about. Have a great day!

  127. Michelle Sohl

    Hi Ladies! I am new to writing, it’s a passion for me right now and I am currently working on a chick lit story based on a makeup artist in New York City trying to find love. It centers on her career, her coworkers and the sights of New York. I am still working on it and have it as a blog up until pretty recently. I want to turn it into a book but really am not sure what my next step should be? Do I just send it out to publishing companies or do I make it an Ebook on Amazon? I’m torn. Please help!
    Check out the latest posts if you can at
    Thank you

  128. Helen Sanchez

    I hope you are all doing well. I have been reading Harlequin romances since I was 10! I am an avid reader and have written a romance novel, as well.
    Would it be possible to submit it and have someone read it?
    Thank you for your time!


  129. Deb Buckingham

    Good Evening, Wow! So many of you! I’m so excited to participate in this years contest. I’m a published knitting book author, where I write my patterns and content for the book. I feel this is the next step for me.

    I look forward to submitting my fun, romance story to you, and hope it’s the perfect fit.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  130. Birgit Davis-Todd

    @Wendy Cruze
    Hope you are enjoying the online conference this week. You will need to look at all the stories you have written and enter with one that fits one of the eighteen series that we currently publish. The submission form will go live on Sept 22 at 10am EST. Meantime check out our series guidelines at http://www.harlequin.com

  131. @Brenda Gallaher
    I’m pleased to hear you have been working hard on your manuscript! Join us all week at the online conference since you might pick up additional information and tips for perfecting your story. In the end you need to decide which series you are targeting so check out our writing guidelines at harlequin.com.

  132. @L’Tanya
    If the hero or heroine has an affair with someone else and that forms a key plot point in the current story, then it would not work well as a romance novel. Imagine the characters dealing with a conflict such as this–it would be hard to achieve a happy ending where the reader believes a couple will love and trust each other for a lifetime. So we would prefer not to see this in a submission for Harlequin. Thanks for stopping by!

  133. @Sarah
    You’ve taken the first step by coming to SYTYCW. We are running a five day online conference this week with plenty of great topics for all writers. Look for a session on Nocturne at 10am EST on Thursday, Sept 18th. You might want to consider starting or joining a critique group to get feedback on your writing. Nocturne is one of the series we are accepting contest submissions for beginning Sept 22 at 10am EST. Good luck!

  134. @Nene
    Your connected stories sound wonderful–and very romantic I think. However, since they have already been published they are not eligible for submission to our contest. We are looking for original material that has not been self-published or published by another company. If you are interesed in writing a new story aimed at one of our lines we would love to hear from you at a future date. Check out the writing guidelines and submission tips at http://www.harlequin.com/guidelines. I hope you enjoy the online conference this week and come back to vote on the Top 10 finalists.

  135. Eliana Robinson

    My friend and I have long debated the correct way to write thoughts in stories.
    It’s my belief that this tense is correct – “You can’t fire me, my daughter was sick,” What was she going to tell her baby girl? “Please Mr. Randolph. I need this job,”

    My friend believes it’s this way – “You can’t fire me, my daughter was sick,” What am I going to tell my baby girl? – it would be a great help to discern what is the correct way. Any advice on the matter?

  136. @Wendy Nel Soon to be Coetzee
    You must be very excited and busy with a wedding coming up! Congratulations. I would recommend you spend the week at the online conference checking out the blogs and other to gain some more insight into what makes a successful romance novel. If you have a complete ms you can consider entering the contest if you are on target for a select series. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  137. Stephanie Doig

    @Eliana Robinson Both are correct! If the thought is considered part of the narrative, it would be correct to have it this way:

    What was she going to tell her baby girl?

    However, you can also write the thought in present tense; in this case you would set it in italics:

    What am I going to tell my baby girl?

    Both ways are perfectly acceptable!

  138. @Delilah
    I was happy to hear that you have been inspired by us and other editors. Writing is a long hard process and inspiration is always important. I think you have taken a great step by working with a critique group so you can get feedback from others. It sounds as if your story is not ready yet for our contest but do get in touch at a later date for submission through the usual channels. Cheers!

  139. @Michelle Sohl
    Hi, I took a quick peek at your blog story and it looks like fun. If you turn it into a manuscript format you will need to see if it fits one of our series. Perhaps Blaze? Follow the editors at the online conference this week and see what more you can learn about our lines. In the end you need to make the decision about your next steps. Good luck!

  140. @Helen
    It’s great to hear you have been reading Harlequin since the age of 10. Many of our authors started as readers so no surprise to hear that from you. You will need to check out our writing guidelines at http://www.harlequin.com/guidelines to see where your completed novel may fit. If you need more information on a series look for a session this week at the online conference or send questions to me. Best of luck!

  141. @Deb
    Thanks for stopping by and happy to hear you are a published craft author. There are many knitters in all three editorial offices–it’s a great relaxing hobby. We look forward to getting your contest entry. We open for submissions on Monday, Sept 22 at 10am EST. Make sure you have targetted the series that fits your story.

  142. Ann Leslie Tuttle

    Welcome to SYTYCW 2014. As you’re seeing from all the comments and chats, we want to hear from you and we are all looking for great new projects and talented writers. I’ll be popping in to answer any questions you might have about Nocturne throughout this week but, in the meantime, wanted to wish good luck to everyone attending these sessions.

  143. Eliana Robinson

    Many thanks for the reply – am I then correct in thinking that it’s right to say “What was SHE going to tell her baby girl?” When it is NOT in italics. But it is correct, to say “What am I going to tell my baby girl” When it is IN italics? Meaning if I choose to take it out of italics but keep it as an internal thought, I could still use my way of ‘What was SHE going to tell her baby girl.” Is that right?

  144. Mary-Theresa Hussey, Executive Editor

    Hey there! Just checking in to say whew, what an exciting, exhausting first day! But it’s great to see the enthusiasm and energy.

    Looking forward to seeing the fun in the rest of the week!

  145. Linda Fildew

    The Harlequin Historical team are greatly looking forward to reading the historical submissions that come through from the SYTYCW competition. We bought two from the competition last year and are eager to buy many more. Any questions about the Historical line, do ask away.

  146. Joanne Grant

    Just stopping by to say ‘hi’ from the London, UK office! I have been reading through the many posts (so great to see so many of you stopping by!).

    Do let me know if you have any questions about the UK acquired series (Romance, Presents, Medicals & Historicals) or any general editorial questions! You can also find me on twitter @JoanneMGrant

    Best wishes

  147. Kathryn Lye

    What about longer, real-life romances that focus on emotional themes to do with family relationships and the community…? That’s right, I’m talking Heartwarming and we’re keen to find some new authors, so please submit to the contest! Thanks!

  148. Eliana Robinson

    I have a question about Special Romance – even though I’m pretty sure my entry for this year falls better into the category of an intrigue romance. But what really is the difference in the two categories? Or am I getting confused with the Super Romance category? Special Romance or Super Romance, I understand is a more emotional, in-depth intrigue genre. I have many many books that cover many a range of Harlequin’s categories. And since the devastation I suffered in September 2013 that saw to the loss of everything I’d ever written; I’m ecstatic to declare I’m back in the writing game! Big time! My characters are frantic to be heard. So I’m interested for curiosities’ sake but also for future reference.

  149. Eliana Robinson

    How do I send in my synopsis entry for today’s editor review contest? Is it by email via the same address as the one for the first page contest? I’m a little worried I didn’t send my first page to the right place and really don’t want to do it wrong with my synopsis entry. Its hard to win if one isn’t entered. 🙂

  150. Eliana Robinson

    Another query in the synopsis contest, in a synopsis are we meant to reveal all the secrets of the plot – like: who the killer is (for intrigue novels) for an editor I’d imagine the answer would be yes, but for the synopsis contest, were I to win the editorial advise on my synopsis, it would be published on the contest page…..thus revealing to fellow writers/readers the ending of my book…. an unusual conundrum, 🙂 I confess I’m eager to know what the correct way of doing it is? Can anyone advise?

  151. Hi,
    This is the first time I heard of this competition actually and wondered if my story would make the cut. I don’t quite know what genre it would belong to but it is a romance story. I haven’t tried to have it published as yet, as I didn’t know where to send it. But perhaps…this will be an opportunity to have it looked at.




  152. Kathryn Cheshire

    Hi everyone!

    Just wanted to drop by and say a big hello from the Harlequin Historical team. We’re so excited to read what you all have in store for us and if anyone has any questions we’re here and happy to answer them for you!


  153. @Dawn
    Hi, I realize your question got lost in all the many postings. Many of our readers first discovered Harlequin while in their teens. I remember reading Presents when I was fifteen and still marvel that now I’m a Harlequin editor!

    If you go to our website at http://www.harlequin.com you will find that yes we publish romance along with single title, nonfiction and more. Our romance series cover a range from contemporary to historical to suspense to inspirational. You’ll find lots of variety whether you are a reader or writer. Thanks for stopping by!
    My aunt turned me onto Harlequin when I was in my teens. Do you only publish romances or are you interested in any other genres? If so what ones?

  154. @Alexandria Ang
    The submission form for the contest will go live on Monday, Sept 22 beginning at 10am. Between now and then I hope you enjoy the online conference. You can also spend the next few days polishing your submission. Good luck!

  155. @Eliana R
    It’s great to hear you have so many projects on the go! If you would like more information on Specials, Supers or American plan to stop by the Category focus on Wednesday, Sept 17 at 2pm EST.

  156. Dana Hopkins

    Hi Eliana and Alexandra,

    Thanks for your interest in the synopsis challenge! You can email your synopsis to ucanwrite@harlequin.ca. We’re looking for about 5 pages, double-spaced (of course if it’s 4 or 6, that’s fine!). Your synopsis should include all relevant plot points–we won’t to know who the murderer is, or what the dark moment is and how the h/h overcome it.

    Hope that helps! Good luck!

  157. Eliana Robinson

    I confess further confusion due to my place of residence in Tasmania. Is EST Meaning in the region of London/the UK?

    At this moment, right here where I live, it’s 2 am on the 18th of September.

    I think I have had my compass pointing upside down. 🙂


  158. @ Eliana Wow, you are up late! We are actually 14 hours behind you on this side of the globe, so as I write it’s 12:20 pm on Sept 17 and I’m about to eat my lunch! Our Twitter chat begins in less than two hours from now, so 4am your time! But you can greet any of our editors on Twitter at any time using the Twitter handles on their bios above, and find lots of contest and writing discussions by searching the hashtag #sytycw14! Thanks for joining us!

  159. Eliana Robinson

    The allure of a great synopsis! (or what I hope will be considered a great one) I’ve just finished and emailed in my synopsis for the contest and am eagerly hoping I’ll get through. I’ve been forced into a writing reprieve for the last year by bad events and cannot express how fantastic it is too be writing again. So I don’t mind being up late if it means I’m getting the good ideas down. Hope you enjoy your lunch! 🙂 and many thanks for straightening out the time difference problem.

  160. Ann Leslie Tuttle

    Daer Eliana,

    Thank you for your question regarding synopses. We find them to be an invaluable part of the publishing process. They provide a way for the author to share her vision for the story by outlining the premise, conflicts and key turning points in the storyline and ending. In turn, editors carefully review these outlines to spot any red flags that might come up when the author actually writes the manuscript. A synopsis can also give a busy editor a sense of your story before he/she actually starts to read it. So, as a long way of answering your question, the synopsis should reveal what you have planned for your story and not be cagey. Hope that helps.

    Ann Leslie

  161. @Savannah
    We had a lot of fun partnering with Wattpad last year to offer a bonus contest to find New Adult stories. There are no current plans to team up with them for the 2014 SYTYCW event but we are investigating some other opportunities. Stay tuned!

  162. I hope everyone is getting ready to enter the writing contest on Monday,September 22. The contest submission form goes live at 10 a.mm Eastern Standard Time (USA). Look for the Submit! link.

    It’s important to get your entry in right away so it can be read by all the editors. All chapters will be immediately posted for viewing as they are entered. The longer your chapter is up, the more people will see it. Good luck and continue to send questions to us.

  163. @Beth
    At 90,000 words your story is a little long for Supers. For now you should enter the contest. Look for ways to shorten the book on your own but it’s also possible editorial feedback could come your way. Good luck!

  164. Eliana Robinson

    I’m about to upload my submission for the contest and just wanted to confirm, my phone number and address won’t be published online will they? It say that my email won’t but it doesn’t say it on the others. I’d really appreciate knowing if they are protected.

  165. Jeanne Burch

    I’m so thrilled that the first chapter for my book, “A Matter of Convenience,” has been successfully uploaded under the Harlequin Desire line! I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from the editors (and everyone else).

  166. Eliana Robinson

    I have tried many times to upload my entry and can’t seem to get it to even past into the box meant for the first chapter. Can I get any help to fix this problem? I’d still like to enter.

    And I’ve emailed my query to the suggested email yesterday but haven’t received a reply, I suspect you are really busy but I’m concerned that I won’t be able to enter in time if I can’t get it to upload. My chapter is ready, has been ready for a while now, I tried to post it the moment my country’s entry link showed up but haven’t been able to get it to work. Can anyone help me?

  167. Eliana Robinson

    It’s now day two and I still can’t upload my entry and haven’t heard from anyone. Am I to reconsider entering? If I can’t get it to past or upload I guess I’ll have to resign for entering. Which would be a shame.

  168. Dawn Altieri

    I am in the process of publishing my first novel with another publisher, with an expected release date of March 2015. I have a different story I would like to submit for So You Think You Can Write. On the submission form, should I check off Yes or No in answer to “Have you ever been published before?”
    Thank you!
    Dawn Altieri

  169. Eliana,

    You probably need to just “Copy and Paste” your entry as “Text Only.”

    To do so:

    1) Open the program in which you wrote your chapter;

    2) “Select and Copy” it using, for example, your mouse;

    3) Go to the SYTYCW “Submit” area;

    4) Click the “Text Only” icon–that should be an icon to the left of the MS Word icon–in the “Chapter Placement” area;

    5) Another, smaller, “Text Box” will appear;

    6) Paste your Chapter in this “new” smaller box by using, for example, your right mouse “paste” feature, or by holding down your “Ctrl” key and hit your “V” key. Either of these two methods should paste your Chapter in this new, smaller box;

    7) Click “OK”;

    8) Your Chapter should now appear in the big “Main Chapter Box” in which you could not paste it before.

    9) Fill in the rest of the “Submit” form, click the “Review” button to look over your entry, tweak accordingly by using the “Edit” button. Then hit the “Submit” button;

    10) You should then receive an entry confirmation e-mail. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t receive it immediately. It may take a small amount of time to deliver to your inbox. It may even go to your Spam Folder.

    (Note that your Chapter entry count of say 5,000 words may not jibe with the Submission count. In that case, you should be informed, and you will be able to tweak your Chapter down to where it will be able to go through.)

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck with your entry!

  170. Eliana Robinson

    I’ve followed your instructions and the ‘new’ box came up and I pasted my story in it and pressed ok, but it never comes up in any way, to either see it in the original box or anywhere and I can’t click preview as it’s says it’s not there. I’ve tried coping text that is 100% basic text, no bold or underlines or italics in it and that pastes into the ‘new’ box that appears when I click the ‘past as plain text’ button but it doesn’t come up in the actual box its meant too. I’ve been trying for over an hour. What am I to do as time’s running out.

  171. Eliana,

    Since you are able to paste your chapter in the New Small Box as plain text (but it still doesn’t appear in the Big Box), try this:

    1) Go to a new, blank “Submit” page;
    2) Type in your Pitch;
    3) Fill in ALL of the other required areas;
    4) Place your cursor in the Big Chapter Box;
    5) Click in any blank “text” area of the Big
    Box to engage/activate the box;
    6)Click the “Paste as Plain Text” icon;
    7 Paste your Chapter in the new Little Box as
    you did before;
    7) Hit the OK button to have the Chapter
    appear in the Big Text Box.

    If the above doesn’t work, try typing in all of the required fields, then click in the Big Text Box and see if you can type a sentence or two into the Big Box area. If you can…

    Then hit the Review Button to review your two sentendes. Then…

    If you are brought to the Review area and see your sentences, then click the Edit button. This will bring you back to the previous Submit screen so that you can “edit” your sentences. Then, for whatever reason, you may have to type your entire Chapter in the Big Text box and review it accordingly.

    If all fails, you should perhaps contact the source on the Submit form page for further assistance.

    Hope this helps!


  172. Eliana Robinson

    Many thanks for all your help, I have now thankfully managed to get my entry to upload. It took me over 8 hours, two computers and a bucket load of patience. But it worked! Eventually.

    Just to say; if a writer’s dedication and hopes for the contest are not clear in their love of writing and wistful comments then it is most definitely clear in their determination to get their chapter uploaded.


  173. @Vicky
    For your American Romance pitch mention hero, heroine, plot, conflict and setting. 100 words is short but practice writing the pitch and perfecting it before you enter the contest. For examples, try looking at the Harlequin American CNMs (Coming Next Month) list of books found in our print books. You want to intrigue the reader/editor with a short glimpse of your story.

  174. Tiffany Dian Lefler

    I have a question about my entry Only You entered in Special Edition. The guidelines did not say exactly which point of view to use and so I used 1st person! Is my story a fit for this line or do I need to change it to a different one?

  175. Margarette Powell

    I’m not sure how you guys do it, but every year I enter the contest I have more fun. I’m hooked on reading chapters, even those outside Blaze. Just a quick shout out to Only You author. Not the style I’m used too, but I enjoyed it!

  176. Kyra Jacobs

    Good morning, editors!

    I entered my submission for the contest, A CHANGE IN PLANS, under the Special Edition line because the book doesn’t meet the 85K word mark for Superromance. But then I saw another diagram after submitting that showed anything over 70K would be considered. My novel is complete at 71K words. Is the word count too long for Special Edition? Should I have submitted it under the Superromance imprint instead? It’s a contemporary romance, heat level is sweet to medium, small town setting, hearts healing for both hero and heroine. Similar to a Kristan Higgins or Jill Shalvis kind of novel. I’m reading other entries and just wanted to double-check your thoughts on whether or not I slotted my entry into the right line.

    Thank you!

  177. @Tiffany
    We are pleased to hear you entered the contest with a story for Special Edition. First person can work well in many stories so wait to see what the editors think. We are also looking for a great plot, compelling charaters and good conflict. POV is only one factor so please don’t worry!

  178. @Margarette
    Glad to hear you enjoy stopping by to read the chapters and participate. We have a range of submissions so far and it’s been fun reading the last few days. The editors are pretty excited by the number and variety of stories coming in.

  179. @Kyra
    So glad you entered the contest with your Special Edition story. Many of the editors work on a variety of lines so if they feel your story might be more of a Super (regardless of length) they will let us know. Please don’t worry at this time! Good luck!

  180. @Chris
    Good advice! Thanks for saying what we all think. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the editor sees something in your story that works, she will spend time figuring out how to address the elements that might need work. It’s all a process–no entry is ever perfect. What we look for is potential.

  181. I just found out about the contest. After a quick review, Nocturne to be the best genre match for my current manuscript.
    One problem:
    “While these are contemporary paranormal romances, the author may go back into history, depending on the needs of the story”
    Copied from the Nocturne Submission site.

    My manuscript is set in 1700, I was hoping to get some clarification on “go back into history”.

    Go back, as is a few flashback type scenes?

    Would a “historical” paranormal, manuscript fit the Nocturne Imprint?

    If not is there Harlequin imprint that such a story would fit?

  182. I just found out about the contest. After a quick review, I choose Nocturne as the best genre match for my current manuscript.
    One problem:
    “While these are contemporary paranormal romances, the author may go back into history, depending on the needs of the story”
    Copied from the Nocturne Submission site.

    My manuscript is set in 1700, I was hoping to get some clarification on “go back into history”.

    Go back, as is a few flashback type scenes?

    Would a “historical” paranormal, manuscript fit the Nocturne Imprint?

    If not is there Harlequin imprint that such a story would fit?

  183. OMG need a preview button 😉
    Please delete previous two post, Thank you.

    After a quick review, I chose Nocturne as the best genre match for my current manuscript.
    One problem:
    “While these are contemporary paranormal romances, the author may go back into history, depending on the needs of the story”
    Copied from the Nocturne Submission site.

    My manuscript is set in 1700, I was hoping to get some clarification on “go back into history”.

    Go back, as is a few flashback type scenes?

    Would a “historical” paranormal, manuscript fit the Nocturne Imprint?

    If not is there Harlequin imprint that such a story would fit?

  184. Patricia Lovell

    Hello, I uploaded my ‘So You Think You Can Write’ contest submission to the wrong Imprint. My story, ‘Chasing Ghosts’ was meant for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, but submitted to the Love Inspired Suspense imprint.
    I know all submissions are final, Do I have any recourse?
    Thank you for your consideration.

  185. How much detail is the norm for sex scenes in Special Edition? I.e. on the scale between fade-to-black and full-on erotica. 🙂 Because I tend to write slightly more on the ‘sweet’ than ‘steamy’ side, I think, but can adjust accordingly.

  186. Elizabeth Lashley

    I’m new to this Harlequin writing. I posted first chapter in the #sytycw contest. If I don’t win does that mean I’m rejected automatically without a chance. I know I’m a good writer and I won’t let others put me down.God gifted me with it. Writing is my passion and I want to share with the world. I’m doing this for me and cause its my passion. Its not the money. If I can pay a few bills with my writing that’s great. Please respond and tell me a little about how to really become a writer for y’all. All I write CDs from within my heart. Thank you all.

  187. I was curious about something:

    If you have submitted a chapter to the SYTYCW contest, are you allowed to submit a different story to a harlequin imprint through the regular submission website? (I know that you can not submit two stories to the SYTYCW contest, so when I say regular submission website I don’t mean the SYTYCW website)

    Thank you,

  188. Hi

    I’ve heard that Harlequin editors don’t like characters to have affairs. My story is a love triangle with a twist – the husband of an unhappy wife arranges for her movie star crush to woo her in an effort to prove how much she means to him. I’m worried that Harlequin won’t see the potential. I understand it will be hard to find a believable HEA but I think I’ve managed it. I hope you all like it x

  189. Chris Buono

    Jeanna–Fear not! Editors are quite sharp. If your SYTYCW entry has the potential that Harlequin’s seeking, an editor will spot it.

    Savannah–I’d say that it’d be fine for you to submit to the SYTYCW contest and also to submit another “completely” different MS via the regular Harlequin submission Web site process. One is a contest entry; one is a regular submission.

    Chris (Desire Submission, “Her Boss’s Surprise”)

  190. Sherry Valentine

    Perhaps you can help me with something that has been puzzling me. I have noticed a lot of fretting about the number of comments that an entry has attracted. I thought we were commenting at this stage to help the writer, and that it is the next stage of comments that counts: once we have the final 10 to choose between. Have I got this all wrong? Does the number of comments at this stage matter (other than you getting the lovely, warm glow which comes from knowing that your hard work is being appreciated by someone other than your mother!) Thanks in advance.

  191. Chris Buono


    Editors say that it’s ultimately the potential they see in an SYTYCW entry that counts most. I suspect that will be true even in the next round of “10.”

    Comments might prod someone’s eye toward a work, because of a certain “buzz,” but editors are really only seeking the best talent for Harlequin, and are not out to only realize that a submission has a kind of “following” of sorts. Although, who can’t say that every little bit doesn’t help in any round? 🙂

    Chris (Desire Submission, “Her Boss’s Surprise”)

  192. Mary-Theresa Hussey (Exec Editor, Harlequin)


    From an editor’s perspective and for moving on to the top 25, the number of comments does not really make a difference to us.

    We’re reading all the chapters within the individual series and will choose based on first chapters/pitch, not comments.

    As Chris noted, comments can be useful for an author to build buzz, but ultimately what we want stories that we think are publishable!

    And do keep in mind that even though 25 will move to the next round, there is an opportunity for further manuscripts to be requested, or submitted directly to us.

    Just about 25 hours to go, though!

  193. Birgit Davis-Todd

    Regarding your question about a historical Nocturne… At Nocturne we are looking for stories set in the present though they may delve into the past for ocassional flashbacks. The main story should take place in the present. If all your story is set in 1700 then it’s not eligible for the contest nor does it really fit any of our current series. You might want to consider our sister imprint Carina Press since they publish some unusual stories mostly in digital. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  194. @Laura
    Great question about love scenes in Special Edition! You should strive for the middle of your scale as well as trending sweeter. (I.e. on the scale between fade-to-black and full-on erotica.) Specials are warm emotional family stories but do have a medium level of sensuality.

  195. Birgit Davis-Todd

    @Elizabeth L
    You took the first step by entering the contest so congratulations–it’s all part of the journey to becoming a published writer. The editors are reading this week so wait for news on how your submission is received. Meantime keep learning as much as you can about writing–whether you read some of the archived online conference material, pick up a book on writing or enroll in a creative writing course. Writers never stop learning or trying a new plot or creating new characters. It’s a process and you will have to work hard. But if that is your dream stay with it. Good writing comes from the heart and it sounds as if you are on your way. Good luck!

  196. Birgit Davis-Todd

    Have you entered the contest? I hope so! Indeed if you have entered the contest you can also submit a story thru the usual channels to one of the series via the harlequin.com website. Do mention in your cover letter that you have an entry in with SYTYCW.

  197. Birgit Davis-Todd

    @Hazel C
    I love your comment about wishing everyone well in the contest. I’m sure all the editors will be enjoying a nice glass of wine at some point during the SYTYCW event.

  198. Tiffany Dian Lefler

    If we are chosen to submit a full manuscript then how exactly will you be contacting us? Will we need to watch our phones or check emails? Just curious as to how that will work.

  199. Is the upper word limit for each category the absolute maximum? For instance, Special Edition is 55,000 to 60,000 words, so if you had 60,500, is that too many? 61,000? How much is too much, if any?

  200. Birgit Davis-Todd

    All the editors are busy reading today and for the next few days. If we would like to see the full ms we will email and phone–so please watch both! Good luck!

  201. Birgit Davis-Todd

    We provide a word count range for each series. If your story is slightly under or over the designated word count, we won’t worry at this stage since we are more interested in finding the right plot for the line, good writing and great characters. The word count can always be tackled later during the revision process.

  202. a c baudner

    I’ve noticed that many pitches have not met the contest requirements defined by the editors: ie. lack of setting-no info(the country-in many cases, etc. Some entries haven’t targeted the correct imprint. Will these pitches/entries lacking requirements be eliminated for consideration??

  203. Tiffany

    I am also wondering about the setting in the pitch. What if you didn’t ever name a specific setting in the bool? Will you automatically get overlooked if you missed the setting requirement in the pitch?

  204. Sherry Valentine

    Having a slight panic because I entered the ‘send us your first page’ bit of the competition with one story, then changed my mind and entered the first chapter/pitch with another. Does that disqualify me? Please say no!

  205. Chloe Gibson

    I entered the SYTYCW contest thru the Historical Romance. One of the first comments was that it should have been in the Inspirational Romance category. I read the guidelines and I didn’t think a rape would be allowed in this category, even though the theme is spiritual recovery from same. How much leeway is there for the Inspirational catagory? Thanks for the opportunity to ask.

  206. Mary- Theresa


    Nope, don’t worry about switching books in the contest! (though if you had sent one in for the pitch and another for the manuscript, that would be a different story! :)) The challenges are separate and so there’s nothing to lock you into one idea.

    AC & Tiffany–

    Each editor might approach it a little differently, but I don’t think anyone will hold to the setting requirements on the pitch. If it’s conveying the story and the tone and the conflicts and characters–effectively, they’ll look at that. But I’m guessing the primary focus is actually reading the chapter. 🙂

  207. Elizabeth Mazer

    Hi Chloe,
    Thanks for your interest in the inspirational program! As for whether we’d allow sexual assault in one of our stories, I’m afraid there isn’t an easy answer. My big concern would be that the main focus of the story needs to be on the romance between the hero and heroine, and it can be difficult to believe that a heroine would really be ready to fall in love while still recovering from that type of assault. This would be extra challenging in a historical, since rape was not something that people openly discussed in most historical periods, and the survivor would be as likely to be blamed as the attacker. That said, we have had stories where the heroine had a history of sexual abuse–usually a few years in the past, as part of the character’s backstory–with emotional wounds that still linger even though she has had the benefit of some time and some perspective to find her sense of balance again. We would be open to considering a story like that. I hope that helps!
    Best wishes,

  208. Sherry Valentine

    Mary-Theresa, thank you. Your posts are always so reassuring.

    Eliana – I felt so exposed at the thought of entering this competition that I hid behind a pen name. I have since discovered that everyone is so helpful and friendly that I should not have been afraid. The story is ‘A Madness Most Discreet’, and even though I bust a gut writing it, since I posted it, I can see about a hundred errors in it! Thanks for asking.

  209. Eliana Robinson

    @Sherry Valentine – Alas yes, some can be very cruel, I had hoped my mother would comment on my book but she has not, despite knowing of it. It’s sad, most defiantly but personally it’s best not let others dictate weather you write or not, you ought to enter or not enter because you want too. That said I’m really glad everyone’s being so nice. I shall comment upon your story swiftly as soon as I locate it. All the VERY best for the contest and any future endeavours you may take on.
    And Thank you for your lovely comment on my book, too.

    All the Best.

  210. Just want to say, this is my first time entering this contest and I am overwhelmed by the sense of community spirit and warmth I have found. Thank you to everyone who is a part of this and big thanks to Harlequin/M & B for giving up their time and giving us this incredible opportunity. Good luck everyone x

  211. Eliana Robinson

    Just to clarify the top 25 will need to submit the whole manuscript, but is that two more chapters (three in total that make up a manuscript) or will the top 25 be required to submit the whole completed book?

  212. Hazel Cartwright

    freckle,frackle…I may have submitted my story under the wrong target. I was so nervous about the steamy scenes in it. Perhaps it should have been in the blaze category. Oh the suffering of being unsure.

  213. Heather

    Gosh, I only just now found this page!!!!

    I wanted to say “good luck and well done for entering” to everyone.

    I have read some really great chapters and some with potential and hope that everyone gets something out of this even if their now chosen.

    Does anyone know if we will get any feed back if we don’t make it?
    Heather – Blind Perfection – Blaze

  214. Savannah

    In response to Birgit Davis-Todd, October 1, 2014 3:36PM comment that was given in response to an earlier question of mine;

    I did enter a story into the SYTYCW 2014 contest. It was aimed at Harlequin Special Edition and it was titled The Pleasure in Betrayal.

    I thank you for responding to me and answering my question, and I also want to thank everyone else who gave me feedback as well.

  215. I have been reading Harlequin since (i can’t even remember) I am now an International student studying Publishing, whose romance novel will hit the shelves in the next two months. Since romance is my thing, I’m wondering how possible it can be to work closely with Harlequin for internship or anything. I really do want to work closely with the genre i’m interested in. I hope to get some favourable response from you.


  216. Bridget Persson

    I entered a chapter in LIS that I now realize from comments started off with not enough danger.
    If I change the opening to having the hero take the heroine hostage at gunpoint and initially forcing her to go on the run with him would I be able to resubmit through regular channels or should not placing in the top 25 be considered a final rejection?
    Thank you to Harlequin for this opportunity and to all who left comments on my chapter!!

  217. Vanessa

    I’m looking to discover some avenues within writing. First, I’d like someone to get with me if at all possible? I have some questions but would like one on one. Thank you and will talk with you later.

  218. Christine

    Is there any way I can find out what my score was for the first chapter I entered in the contest? I am interested in where I need to improve. This was the first manuscript I have written.

  219. Birgit Davis-Todd

    Thanks for your kind words and glad to hear you have been having fun! We’ve been busy reading and contacting finalists for a few days but now I’m back to answer questions. We love hearing from everyone.

  220. Birgit Davis-Todd

    I hope you stop by now and then as there are some great questions and comments here. The editors are wrapping up selecting the Top 25 first chapters. After that they will narrow it down to 10 finalists–those full mss will be posted on the site for comment and voting. At the same time we have flagged many other chapters that we liked and will follow up with those writers after the contest wraps up. We expect to find some more great stories that while they need work and revision hopefully are publishable. So Heather you might hear from us at some point.

    I have read some really great chapters and some with potential and hope that everyone gets something out of this even if their now chosen.

    Does anyone know if we will get any feed back if we don’t make it?
    Heather – Blind Perfection – Blaze

  221. Birgit Davis-Todd

    Great to hear you are a longtime Harlequin fan AND with a book coming out soon. We occasionally post for interns in such areas as marketing or IT so not sure if those are the right fit with your background. Where are you living?

  222. @Bridget
    Thanks for entering the contest. Like many writers it’s easy to second guess our stories. The editors are finishing up selection of the top 25 first chapters. However, along the way we flagged other first chapters that seemed promising. We will be contacting more authors once the contest finishes so hang in there for now.
    Anohter option is to review your story and make revisions then submit thru the usual channels down the road. Good luck!

  223. Chris Buono

    Bridget Persson,

    If you weren’t picked as one of the Top 25 for the SYTYCW 2014 Contest, and you feel, as you mentioned, that your LIS First Chapter Submission didn’t start with enough “danger” and you’ve now changed it, I’d say, go with it.

    If you later go the route of submitting the full MS through Harlequin’s regular channels, I’d say that you should just make mention that you entered the First Chapter in the SYTYCW 2014 Contest, weren’t a finalist, and that you’ve now reworked your First Chapter–into what you feel–is better for your MS.

    Still, as Birgit Davis-Todd said: “…we have flagged many other chapters that we liked and will follow up with those writers after the contest wraps up.”

    Good luck!

    Chris Buono (Desire Submission, “Her Boss’s Surprise”)

    (Q: “…would I be able to resubmit through regular channels or should not placing in the top 25 be considered a final rejection?”)

  224. Bridget

    @ Birgit and @ Chris – Thank you both for the great advice. I’m going to leave my manuscript alone until the end of the contest then take a fresh look at it and decide what to do.

  225. @Vanessa
    It’s great to hear you are interested in exploring writing some more. The best advice? Start developing and writing some stories and see where it leads you. What do you like to read? Let that guide you when you start plotting. Look for creative writing courses locally or online. Check out some of the forums on harlequin.com for further insight.

  226. Eliana Robinson

    Many thanks to all who commented and gave me feedback on Nathan and Eva’s story I’m really glad you all liked it. Alas, I’m out of the running for the contest. I once again didn’t make it to the second round. However I had great fun writing again and thank you all ever so kindly for your lovely informative comments on my beloved story. My best to the top 25!

    Best Of luck to you all!


  227. Robert Chalmers

    In a submission cover letter in the UK, should I address an editor by name? Or will simply Dear Editor be sufficient?
    If by team, is the editor for romantic Suspense, UK, on this list? Thanks

  228. I just wanted to know as a professional what do you think peoples CV’s should consist of interms of trying to get work experience placements within the publishing industry?
    Or would you be able to give me advice career wise as I am having difficulty in figuring out what career I want to go into. All I know is that I love to read fiction books. But mostly love to read romance novels. But I don’t know what career is best for me that involves reading.

  229. Chris Buono

    Robert Chalmers,

    Why address your query letter with a generic “Dear Editor”? So many editors are listed here for writers to get it correct.

    And, don’t allow your query letter to ever hint laziness–something that may seem true if you address yours as “Dear Editor,” when the name of the correct editor is readily available.

    Hunt and peck the page above to find the editor to whom you need to submit. Using the correct editor’s name can be just another “immediate” way to display that a writer has done their homework.

    As for Romantic Suspense–seems NY. (Check it out in the Writing Guidelines.)

    As for the RS editors, hunt and peck this page. See the write-ups on Senior Editor Denise Zaza, Senior Editor Patience Bloom, Editor Susan Litman, and Editorial Assistant Tahara Seplowin.

    Good luck!

  230. Rhonda Stein

    Hello Editors,

    I was just curious about something. A few years ago, I had written five complete manuscripts for the Spicy Brief line and I was wondering if it still exists.

    Have a pleasant New Year’s festivities.
    Fond regards,
    Rhonda Stein

  231. Margaret Owens

    I think I CAN write and I submitted a chapter to the contest as Audrey James under Home Base. I was encouraged to write by Larissa Ione, Stephanie Tyler and Maya Banks more then 10 years ago when I found their Write Minded Blog. In fact, I gave Larissa permission to use my idea for her Lords of Deliverance series.

    I’m worried the fact I admitted to publishing a few on line erotic stories to prove to myself I could write anything counted against me.

    Have all the authors you might be interested in been notified? Not being the right fit for Harlequin is different from not being a good writer. I was wondering if it was possible to find out which was true?

    Thank You,

    Margaret Owens

  232. Chris Buono


    The fact that you received encouragement from authors is wonderful!

    If you haven’t heard anything re: your 2014 entry, why not send in your MS, etc., via Submittable? Harlequin created that service to make the submission process even easier. You can keep tabs on your work and even receive feedback. Good luck!


    Spice Briefs are now published under the HQN imprint. Check out the Writing Guidelines (Harlequin HQN). Good luck!

    Chris Buono (2014 Desire Submission, “Her Boss’s Surprise”)

  233. I have a Romance Suspense book almost finished-should I send in the completed manuscript of the first three chapters?
    If you only want the first three chapters -how many pages and words should that include? I like to write short chapters. Also do you require both a synopsis and a query letter?
    Thank you,

  234. Chris Buono


    If you’re a first-time author, I’d say it’s best to have The MS completed. A first three -chapter submission may get a request for the full. And if you don’t have that done, an opportunity might be missed.

    As for the length of your chapters, they should include the amount of words that you feel are enough to tell/reveal what you see as necessary to that point in your story.

    A Query and Synopsis can be key. Why cut your chances by wondering if you should or shouldn’t include them? I’d say send both with your work. They can’t hurt and might even help.

    Good luck! 🙂

  235. Loretta Holkmann-Reid


    I recently completed a romantic suspense novel that has some profanity and explicit sexual behavior because of the nature of the main character’s psychological condition. Would this be an acceptable mode under the guidelines for Harlequin? This is my first novel with a single title. Which Harlequin editor would I send my manuscript to for publishing consideration?


    Loretta Holkmann-Reid