Write for Harlequin Dare!

Submit to Dare — Harlequin’s sexiest series yet!

Harlequin Dare launched in February 2018, and if you’ve been reading, you probably know what these books are all about. Now, our newest line is seeking new authors!

We’re hosting a Harlequin Dare Blitz – a great chance to get your steamy submission fast-tracked to the top of the slush pile, and receive some valuable editorial feedback. Send your proposal (full synopsis and first chapter) to us between April 9th and April 20th and get a response by May 4th.

Harlequin Dare offers red-hot romances that push the boundaries of sexual explicitness! These are 50,000-word contemporary romances with high levels of sexual tension and graphic sex scenes; they feature alpha heroes meeting their match in strong, independent heroines in international settings. Check out our series guidelines to learn more.

Whether you have a WIP almost ready or you’re starting from scratch, we want to see your story! This isn’t a contest but a chance to get your story in front of an editor and hear what they think—maybe you could become our next Dare author.

Keep an eye on So You Think You Can Write in the coming weeks, and follow the Dare editors on Twitter (@kscheibling, @flonicoll, and @patiencebloom) for more insights and exciting news!


43 replies on “Write for Harlequin Dare!”

If we already have a partial out with another line, can we submit to this fast-track opportunity as well? (I reallllllly want to participate!) 🙂 TIA.

Hi Sara! Unfortunately, the same rules for regular submissions apply so if you already have a partial out we’d prefer if you didn’t send another to us until you’ve heard back on that first submission. However, you still have three weeks, so it might work out! And if you can’t do the blitz this time, please send the submission later anyway — we are still always on the lookout for new stories, blitz or no. Thanks for your question! 🙂

Thank you for the fast response, Katie. I’ll sit this Blitz out. Good luck to everyone else!

I would still prepare for it because your partial might be rejected and then you’ve missed this opportunity. It doesn’t close until 20 April.

dear editors, can the heroine be a virgin? please say yes, she can… cause i have a great idea..
and thanx so much for this lovely chance.

Hi jiji, thanks for your question! For this series, we’re moving in a direction away from virgin heroines; however if you want to pitch a story with a virgin hero, we’re all ears! We love when someone turns the tables. 🙂 Dare heroines don’t have to be experts in bed; if she’s somewhat inexperienced but is in touch with her desires/fantasies or grows in confidence in the bedroom throughout, that character arc could still work. Hope that helps!

Thank you for participating, Marie! We look forward to seeing your proposal.

That would be fine, Kimberley! We have royalty romances in this series. Remember the character traits we’re looking for, and keep the chemistry off-the-charts! 🙂

No problem, Kimberley. You might check out the answer I just posted to Maurine’s question — something to keep in mind depending on how you envisioned your bodyguard story going. 🙂 Thanks again and good luck!

I would advise anyone interested in writing for this line to ENTER HERE. Pick up a few books in the line, read them to get an idea of what the editors are looking for, check out the SYTYCW site and do a search for editor wish lists and Dare, and check out the guidelines. You’ll come up with tonnes of inspiration.
Think of yourselves at the heroine in a novel. You’ve already got the backstory and motivation (life experience and a desire to write for Harlequin) and plot set up (chance to fast-track a submission) – but now you’ve got to get yourself through the point of no return and into the story proper! You can do it! Go for it!

(I lifted my post from the Facebook Harlequin Writers group. I really do urge all who are interested to enter. Best of luck to everyone!)

Thank you Katie,
I just wanted to encourage everyone, as you never know if you don’t try. I was fortunate enough, after entering the Romance blitz in February, to receive a request for a partail/full – so you never know what might happen. Best of luck to everyone and thanks to Katie and the HQN team for being so supportive.

Hi Maurine, thanks for your question! Suspense elements aren’t strictly not allowed, but you’d want to consider the space you have with 50, 000 words to see if you can properly introduce a subplot or suspense elements while still keeping that tight focus on the H&H that we want to see. If you found a way to work in suspense elements that didn’t take over the plot too much, we’d love to see it! Depending on how it’s executed, if it strikes the right balance and doesn’t pull focus from the couple too much, this could work.

I’m reading Lisa Childs series for Dare and it has a mild suspense element in it, so it can be done.

Hi Elle, unfortunately we can’t accept it if it’s been previously published. However, if you have a new story idea, we encourage your to send it in. Thanks!

Hi Kim, for this series we’re accepting M/F stories, but if you have a great M/M story I’d encourage you to send it to Carina Press! 🙂

I have a first chapter already written but there is a 1,000 word prologue before it. The first chapter won’t make much sense without it. Could I send both or just one or the other? Thank you 🙂

Hi Suzie, a prologue that length is fine along with your first chapter (or feel free to combine it all into one if you can). But that’s fine. Thank you!

This is fun! How do you feel about humor? I have a London-based story featuring a celebrity chef known as “The Bad Boy of Baking”. He’s strong — and he likes to surround himself with even stronger women, which gets him into some funny and steamy situations. Imagine a suave Tom Hiddleston on the outside hiding a bit of a bumbling 90s Hugh Grant on the inside.

The Dare team loves humour! Especially clever and witty dialogue that has us laughing at our desks. One tip would be to watch the way you approach humour to make sure the overall tone of the story doesn’t drift too far from what we’re looking for. 🙂 Thanks for your question!

Are we obligated/in contract with Harlequin Dare if a full or partial is requested from a Blitz submission?

Nope! No contract obligations until we’ve decided to buy the book. Thanks!

Two questions: if you are using a real location, is it ok to include real restaurants, hotels, organizations, etc. as part of the setting? Or should those be made up?
If the setting is a state where marijuana is legal, is it ok for the hero/heroine to use to enhance their sexual satisfaction?

Hi Liz, while that does sound intriguing, we don’t want to feature drugs in the books (can be part of a backstory or side plot though). But you can absolutely refer to real places within a city! The more details the more we feel like we’re there! The only thing to watch for would be that you’re not slandering any real businesses or people in the process (i.e. if they go to a real restaurant and see a rat or something). 🙂 Thanks for your questions!

Exciting opportunity!
“International Settings” are notes above, but in the Series Guidelines NYC is mentioned.
Does the Big Apple OK for the Blitz? How much of a factor is location anyway?
Thanks, rp

Yep, anything in the guidelines is fair game! International settings include places in North America (primarily big cities here, like NYC or LA). Setting is a key hook for the series so the right setting can help make the story suitable for the series. Thanks!

Thanks for being flexible about including a small prologue. I didn’t want to submit the first chapter without that introduction. So excited, incoming!

I have a manuscript underway that fits this line in all ways, except she is a virgin to begin with. However, it does not cool the sex down. The sex starts on fire and escalates throughout the story. Does that work?

Hi Jennifer, we’re trying to go in a direction away from virgins, but we’ve had heroines before who are sexually inexperienced in the beginning. My best advice is, if you think you’ve got a story that works for us, just send it in and see what happens! 🙂

I haven’t been on this site for a few months. Are there still labeled discussion topics? I do want to try my hand at writing..

Leave a Reply to Maurine Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *