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Welcome to the Harlequin Community

We welcome all authors to the Harlequin community. The romance reading and writing community includes people of all backgrounds, communities and cultures who enjoy stories that celebrate love and happiness. Harlequin is committed to publishing a wide range of diverse and inclusive authors and stories so that readers see themselves reflected in the books we publish.  

We are actively looking for more story submissions from writers in underrepresented communities, including own voices stories, for all Harlequin romance lines and Carina Press. We welcome you to submit to your preferred romance line. Check out the writing guidelines for each series or submit your story here and include #RomanceIncludesYou with the title of your manuscript.  

We’re reaching out to writers in various ways:  

  • Harlequin editors participate in conferences promoting diversity and inclusion in publishing to meet authors and hear their story pitches – in person and virtually. See where we’re going to be next.
  • Our editors take part in #DVpit and other Twitter pitching events throughout the year that connect editors with underrepresented voices.  
  • We created the Romance Includes You Mentorship and welcomed the first recipient in 2020 whose book will be published in Harlequin Special Edition in 2021. Author Sera Taino was selected from among 11 finalists and over 160 submissions.
  • Carina Press launched Carina Adores in 2020, a new trope-driven contemporary romance line featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists finding their happily ever afters.  
  • Editors are reaching out directly to authors and agents with a welcoming message of diversity, inclusion and representation. 

Connecting with authors at events  
We support writers conferences and events that promote diversity in publishing, including: 

  • Romance Slam Jam  
  • The Festival of Literary Diversity and The FOLD Academy webinar series 
  • One Love Reader and Author Reunion hosted by romance writer A.C. Arthur to promote African-American authors and their stories 
  • Black Writers Weekend  
  • National Black Writers Conference – Centre for Black Literature 
  • Romancing the Capital – 2020 Online Romance Convention  
  • Building Relationships Around Books  
  • Book Euphoria 
  • Toronto Romance Writers 
  • GRITlit 
  • Toronto International Festival of Authors 
  • Word on the Street 

Reaching Out to Black Authors  
We are listening to voices in the Black community and we recognize the need for greater representation in publishing by Black authors. We are taking additional steps to reach out to Black writers to welcome their submissions and help amplify their voices and stories:  

  • We have reached out to Black romance writers with a welcome and open-ended invitation for more story submissions. There’s no requirement to have an agent to send a submission. Please include the #RomanceIncludesYou hashtag with your title when you submit your story. 
  • Harlequin’s Graydon House Books, HQN Books and Inkyard Press (YA) imprints requested unagented submissions by Black authors during summer 2020 to make it easier for Black writers to reach editors with their stories. Going forward, we will look at additional ways for editors to connect with writers in underrepresented communities.
  • Inkyard Press also held open submission period for unagented submissions in summer 2020 and is planning another campaign in spring 2021.
  • An additional marketing and promotional fund has been earmarked to further promote books by Black authors launching in 2020. 

As always, we welcome submissions from all authors to all our romance lines at any time via