Harlequin Welcomes More Submissions from Black Authors

The romance writing and reading community includes people of all backgrounds, communities and cultures who share an enjoyment of stories that celebrate love and happiness. Harlequin is committed to bringing readers a wide range of stories that reflect our diverse society.

We want to publish more diverse and inclusive voices and stories. We welcome all authors to the Harlequin community and, at this time, we are reaching out to especially welcome and invite story submissions from Black writers for Harlequin’s romance lines.

There’s no time limit on this call for submissions. You can submit your manuscript for consideration whenever the time is right for you. It can be an #ownvoices story or another story you want to tell. Please include the #RomanceIncludesYou hashtag with your title and submit to the romance line best suited to your story. We will offer our editorial feedback within 60 days.

Information on Harlequin series romance, including writing guidelines and how to submit your story, can be found at Harlequin.Submittable.com. Writing guidelines and submission information for Carina Press, our digital-first imprint, are found here. You do not have to be represented by an agent to submit.

We look forward to reading your love stories!

6 replies on “Harlequin Welcomes More Submissions from Black Authors”

1.) I thought I had better ask first before submitting a book. The two main characters in the book, are two young black people, their romance, their families and their eventual marriage. I wasn’t thinking about it because where I live, there is a mixture of white, black and Native American people. It’s been that way for almost two hundred years. I am white with Native American ancestry, like most people in my area, Northeast OK. No one thinks much about it, it’s so common that we live all jumbled together. There is absolutely no tension about race in the book. I only ask because I hear so much about race right now. I would not want to offend anyone, being a white woman writing about Black people. My characters were in another book, and this story just appeared in my mind, as they usually do. It’s as if God downloads them into my brain. I am floored sometimes by what I am given.
2.) If a book is turned down by one category, is it turned down by every category Harleqin offers? Is there no use submitting to a different category? Thank you for your help. Lynn

Hi Lynn,
Thanks for your questions. For stories with diverse main characters, our focus is on acquiring more own voices stories. We are actively working to increase diversity and representation among the authors and stories we publish.
As the author, it’s your story and your choice what characters you want to include in it. We want our books to reflect the diverse society we live in. When writing characters outside an author’s own experience, we encourage writers to inform themselves about issues of diversity and inclusion, research thoroughly and ensure that characters are written with sensitivity and historical and cultural accuracy. We’ve written about this in some of our blog posts (for example, Characters 101: https://www.writeforharlequin.com/character-101-building-complex-interesting-memorable-characters/ and The Challenge of Writing Interracial Romance: https://www.writeforharlequin.com/the-challenge-of-writing-interracial-romance/), so perhaps check those out!
To answer your second question, a book that doesn’t work for one category isn’t necessarily a no for all. However, remember that there are specific guidelines for each series, which we encourage you to read before submitting. If you’ve written a story for one line and it was written with that series in mind (and then you wish to submit to another), we encourage you to check out the series guidelines of the second series first to make sure the story still fits the editorial requirements. If an editor has given feedback (i.e.: about the romantic conflict, characterization, etc.), I’d encourage you to try and address that before resubmitting to another line. Hope that helps!

Thanks for this. I have a multicultural romance I’ve just finished that is 70K words. Its more contemporary and the protagonists are Christians. At 70k it doesn’t seem to fit any of the categories in the submissions list. Could I send it in to the new Trade imprint?

Dear Ola,
For Love Inspired Trade, we are looking for manuscripts of 80,000-100,000 words, so unfortunately, 70,000 words would be too short.
Two of our Harlequin imprints, HQN and Graydon House, are accepting manuscripts without an agent until September 8, 2020. You can learn more about the initiative and what they’re looking for here:
If you have any other questions about submitting to us, please email submissions@harlequin.com.
Have a wonderful day!

I have written and have a copyright on my book. But still unable to get it formatted correctly. Are you taking any new Black Romance submissions.

Yes, we welcome more romance submissions from Black authors at any time! We ask authors to please submit to only one series at a time, with only one submission at a time (no need to worry too much about formatting for submissions to us). Please refer to the Submission FAQs page for additional information about submitting your story. Thanks!

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