Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship Opens for Submissions on Jan. 1, 2023

Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship is back! We are looking for debut romance writers in underrepresented communities to submit their romance stories for a chance at a new mentorship opportunity.

The selected writer will work one-on-one with a Harlequin editor for a year to develop their romance story for publication. We’re offering a publishing contract for the top submission (including an advance against royalties) and a writing grant to support the author’s writing, with a total value of $5,000 US. 

Submissions will be accepted from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2023 on Harlequin.Submittable.com. We’re announcing the call for submissions early to allow plenty of time for you to learn about what Harlequin publishes and prepare a submission.

The Romance Includes You Mentorship is all about finding new voices in romantic fiction who will bring more diversity and representation to the romance genre. We are seeking romance submissions targeted to one of Harlequin’s category romance lines. To learn what we publish, read our writing guidelines.

This opportunity is open to unpublished and self-published debut romance writers living in Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States who are not yet represented by an agent. We are particularly interested in submissions by authors in underrepresented communities, including, but not limited to: writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, biracial or multiracial; authors in LGBTQ+ communities; members of marginalized ethnic and religious cultures; writers living with disabilities; and writers who identify as neurodiverse.

If this is you, why not enter your best happily ever story – the one with irresistible characters and all the heart-melting emotion we can handle—for this chance to become a published Harlequin author?

The Romance Includes You Mentorship started in 2019 and has had two recipients so far. Sera Taíno won in 2020 and published her debut, A DELICIOUS DILEMMA, in Harlequin Special Edition in 2021. She is working on her next two books for Harlequin. Faye Acheampong, a British romance writer, won the Love to Write competition in February 2022 and we look forward to her debut in Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon True Love in fall 2023.


Get to Know Harlequin – From Sweet to Sexy to Suspenseful & More

Learn about all kinds of romance that Harlequin publishes

Need to Know:

  • We’re looking for stories in the romance genre that could be published in one of Harlequin’s 11 romance lines (excluding Carina Press and Carina Adores). Take a look at what we publish here: https://www.writeforharlequin.com/what-is-harlequin-series/
  • Romance stories for adult readers accepted. Submissions of young adult romance, other fiction genres and nonfiction are not eligible. 
  • Romance stories with all gender and identity pairings accepted.
  • Your submission should include the first 5,000 words of your romance story, a story synopsis and one paragraph summary of the story pitch, and a personal statement explaining why you applied, what you are hoping to get out of this mentorship opportunity if you are selected, and what greater diversity and representation in the romance genre means to you.
  • Upload your submission to the “Romance Includes You Mentorship” inbox on Harlequin.Submittable.com starting Jan. 1, 2023.
  • We will accept only one submission by each eligible applicant.

Have questions?

Get more details here on what we’re looking for, eligibility and how to submit.

If you are dreaming of becoming a published romance novelist, this could be your chance. We’d love to read your happily ever after story!