Harlequin Romance: What We’re Looking For


What is the Harlequin Romance Blitz?

Harlequin Romance is always seeking new authors to write for our line. We’re committed to finding and growing talent…and the Harlequin Romance Blitz is your chance to become one of our authors! Send us your contemporary Romance submission between February 1st and Valentine’s Day, and you’ll get a fast-tracked response including editorial feedback by Wednesday, February 21st.

Harlequin Romances are romantic, uplifting, couple-focused stories that invite readers to get swept away to glamorous destinations all over the world, and experience all the intensity, emotion and sparkle of falling in love!  The sensuality level is low – the bedroom door stays shut – but the emotion is high.  We’re looking for fresh, contemporary voices who can explore that intense emotional connection between the hero and heroine.


So… What are the key ingredients for a prefect Harlequin Romance?

  • A Harlequin Romance novel is all about the heroine; she’s key in this series! She needs to be real and relatable so that readers can instantly connect with her, and her story should make the reader wish they were in her shoes!
  • But that doesn’t mean we can forget about the hero! We need a hero we can immediately trust, who is worthy of the heroine. Not all our heroes are super rich international tycoons (although some might be!) but they are successful in their own right and should be a strong man our heroine would aspire to be with.
  • Gorgeous, glamorous settings are encouraged and international settings work well to add escapism and aspirational elements to our romances.
  • They should be emotionally intense reads, ranging from the classic to the highly contemporary! We’re interested in being captivated by innovative emotional conflicts as well as traditional emotional themes developed in a unique way.
  • The key focus of the story is the development of the romance between the hero and the heroine.
  • Harlequin Romance books are low sensuality: they’re high on emotional and sensual tension by have no explicit sexual detail (keep the bedroom door firmly closed!)
  • But just because these romances are sweet, it doesn’t mean they can’t be edge-of-the-seat exciting! Make sure to throw your reader straight into the story!
  • Give rein to your own unique style! We advise that you read widely from the line to discover more about Harlequin Romance, but don’t try to imitate things we’ve seen before – write the story you want to, and let your authentic voice shine through.
  • Our books are 50,000 words.
  • Harlequin Romance no longer features cowboys/western themed stories.

What would the Harlequin Romance editors like to find in the blitz submissions?

“A Harlequin Romance set in a fresh, fast-paced international location!” – Sheila Hodgson, Senior Editor

“A Harlequin Romance that gives a unique twist on a classic theme – a surrogate pregnancy, a runaway groom, the possibilities are endless!” – Carly Byrne, Editor

“A story that captures the diversity of the world around us!” – Charlotte Ellis, Editorial Assistant

And to get an author’s perspective on the series, read Harlequin Romance author Therese Beharrie‘s blog post, Why You Should Be Reading Harlequin Romance.

From February 1st to February 14th, visit our submissions page at submittable.com for details on how to submit and full Ts and Cs on the Harlequin Romance Blitz.

Good luck and happy writing – the Harlequin Romance team is excited to read all your fabulous submissions!

Any questions? Comment below and we’ll do our best to answer.


29 replies on “Harlequin Romance: What We’re Looking For”

What a great opportunity. Would a 5,000 word chapter be too long? Does this line generally have shorter chapters these days? Thank you.

There is no set word limit on chapters. Total word count for the series is 50,000. 5,000 for a chapter sounds fine!

I already have a story under consideration by M&B showing ‘in progress’ on Submittable. Am I right in thinking I can’t submit to this with a new story until I hear from the first? Thank you

Adding to this–what if you’ve recently submitted a requested full to another line? Is it a bit cheeky to enter this Blitz or is it okay to go ahead and grab this opportunity? Thanks.

You can still submit a fresh submission to the blitz, but if you could mention in your cover letter that you have another submission in house that would be really helpful.

Good Day
I have a novel that was published in paperback, but the rights were returned to me last year. Am I able to enter this novel into your competition?
Many thanks
Melinda (writing as Leela Atherton)

I am thrilled to have happened on the Blitz announcement! I have noticed that most questions revolve around location and have not been answered, so asking about a specific location will probably be moot. Changing a location is not that difficult, depending of course, on where the characters spend a good portion of their time. If it is inside say a mansion and on the grounds, could one create a vivid setting that becomes a character within itself and then, if needs be, easily change the location of the building?

I have written unpublished 20 novelettes of 20,000 words r more. They are contemporary romantic stories between all races,religions but respectful with happy endings. I would like to have you read one and am sure you will find it humorous, touching and inspiring.

My novel is of the Romance genre, professionally proofed at Binghamton University, but 104,000 words in length. Should I submit it to you, as you state that your books are 50,000 words in length?

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