Pitching Your Romance Novel at #RomanceIncludesYou

Harlequin’s next #RomanceIncludesYou pitch is on March 30, 2022 from 9 am-5 pm EST. Are you ready to pitch your story? Find out more below!

In the age of social media, there has never been a better time to get your writing seen by Harlequin editors. Online pitch events have proven to be a successful means of acquiring talent and #RomanceIncludesYou is one of the ways Harlequin connects with authors in marginalized communities. Through these events, we continue to raise awareness that we are looking for more diverse stories and voices to publish.

At a #RomanceIncludesYou pitch, Harlequin editors scour through Twitter or the appointed Write for Harlequin event page and “like” a pitch that stands out to them. They then usually request a synopsis and the first three chapters. Writers submit them with the #RomanceIncludesYou hashtag via Harlequin.Submittable.com.

The challenge comes in condensing a story into just 280 characters that stand out and shine. These Harlequin editors and authors offer their advice:

“For me, an attention-grabbing pitch gets across the key commercial romance hooks, but also tells me how the author intends to put their own spin [on it],” says Nicola Caws, Acting Senior Editor of Harlequin Presents “A sense of scandal or fun also never hurts!”

author photo Luana DaRosa
Harlequin Medical Author Luana DaRosa

Harlequin Medical Romance editor, Charlotte Ellis, confirms this when discussing new Harlequin author, Luana DaRosa, “Luana came to [our] attention during [a] twitter pitch and we were immediately enchanted by her determinedly independent heroine, her guarded, brooding hero, and the warmth and emotion she writes with.”

DaRosa participated in numerous blitzes and twitter pitches, catching the eyes of editors long before she was officially acquired; a prime example that even when a pitch isn’t selected, putting yourself out there can pay off in the long run. “You have to throw everything you have at this and that’s scary sometimes,” says DaRosa.

For Bryony Green, Executive Editor of Harlequin Historical, it was strong characters that caught her attention in new author, Paulia Belgado’s pitch at a #RomanceIncludesYou event. “[We] were captivated by Paulia’s lively writing style and her unusual characters,” she says.

Harlequin Historical Author Paulia Belgado

For debut author Paulia Belgado, seeing the #RomanceIncludesYou event advertised prompted her to put her story out there. “About 4 hours before the event, I crafted my pitch, agonized over it, and then posted it at around 8 pm my time. I couldn’t sleep and logged in at 3 am and sure enough – I got a request for a partial!” she says. [A “partial” is a requested part of the manuscript, for example first three chapters.]

For Paulia, the event represents so much more than just a simple pitch: “If you see a chance to fulfill your dream – take it!”

Providing opportunities for writers in underrepresented communities to connect with editors is exactly how Harlequin hopes to help authors fulfill those dreams.

The next #RomanceIncludesYou event happens March 30th from 9AM to 5PM EST on Facebook and Twitter. Find out how to participate here.