Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship is back! Again in 2024, they’re calling for story submissions from debut romance writers in underrepresented communities for a chance to start your romance writing career and have your debut novel published. They will accept submissions starting May 1, 2024.

The Romance Includes You Mentorship is all about finding new voices in romantic fiction that bring more diversity and representation to the genre. They’re looking to offer one writer a publishing contract with an advance for their debut novel, a one-year mentorship with a Harlequin editor to complete their story for publication, and a writing grant to support their early writing career. The mentorship has a total value of $5,000 US.

They’re interested in submissions by authors in underrepresented communities, including, but not limited to, people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, biracial and multiracial, members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, marginalized ethnic and religious cultures, and people living with disabilities and neurodiversity.

Submissions will be accepted from May 1 to May 31, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST through Harlequin.Submittable.com. They’re announcing the call for submissions early to allow plenty of time for you to learn about what Harlequin publishes and to prepare your submission.

Since it began in 2020, Harlequin’s Romance Includes You Mentorship has been successful in starting romance writing careers. Previous winners are Sera Taíno, author of three published Special Edition titles with more to come; Faye Acheampong, author of The Christmas That Changed Everything, published by Harlequin Romance and a forthcoming novel; and Emma-Claire Sunday, whose Harlequin Historical Romance debut will be published in 2024.

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

Who Should Apply

They welcome submissions from unpublished and self-published writers (i.e., not previously published by a commercial publisher) who aren’t represented by a literary agent. For this mentorship, we’re interested in submissions from writers in underrepresented communities, as described above. Submissions in English are accepted from residents of Canada (excluding Quebec), the United States, and its territories. We cannot accept submissions from elsewhere due to privacy compliance requirements.

The submission must be your own original content and you must own its publishing rights to be eligible for the mentorship.

What They’re Looking For

They’re looking for unpublished romance stories by debut authors that would be suitable for publication in one of Harlequin’s series romance lines, including Afterglow Books. We publish a wide variety of romance stories from passionate to sweet, contemporary to historical, romantic suspense, inspirational romance and more. Inclusive romance stories with all gender and identity pairings are accepted. To learn more about Harlequin’s romance lines, read the writing guidelines.

This mentorship opportunity does not include Harlequin’s trade publishing or Carina Press imprints. Submissions of young adult (YA) romance, general fiction genres and nonfiction are not eligible.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.