Harlequin: editorial spotlight – RWAus14

An information session by Harlequin representatives:

Malle Vallick – Director of Digital Content & Interactivity

Flo Nicol – Acquiring Editor Harlequin International

Kate Cuthbert – Acquiring Editor, Escape Publishing

Sue Brockhoff – Acquiring Editor, Harlequin Australia


Sue started, giving an overview of Harlequin in Australia – this year is 40 years of publishing in Australia for Harlequin / Mills & Boone

Currently looking for:

  • Harlequin Mira
  • historical
  • sagas
  • contemporary


Escape – digital imprint

Have published 197 titles in 2 years (Kate Cuthbert publisher)

Including Rita nominee Frances Houston

Some will also be in printed version


The other presents are below


American Office, Single title imprints.  Single Title Editorial with unparalleled distribution worldwide

Malle finds it exciting to find a new voice.  Also happy to pinch an author from another publisher 😉


Curently looking for:

Mira – a single title imprint that covers a wide range of genres:

  • Women’s fiction that may or may not contain romantic elements
  • historical fiction
  • romance
  • literary fiction
  • commercial literary fiction
  • romantic suspense


HQN – simiilar to Mira, but while Mira may or may not have romantic elements, HQN definitely is about the romance.

Currently looking for:

  • romantic fiction
  • historical
  • paranormal
  • contemporary
  • new adult  (18 – 20yr old heroines)

Happy to work with category authors when they want to move to single title.  HQN authors are often published in trade format (which is becoming more popular in the US)


Harlequin teen – aimed at 13 – 18 year old females

variety of genres

Julie Kagawa – new series Talon has been optioned for tv

Boutique experience for a writer with the experience and distribution of a global publishing company


Carina – Harlequin’s digital imprint.  Carina Press has no set agenda, and covers a wide range of genres:

  • erotica
  • historical romance (scottish)
  • new adult
  • mystery of all kinds
  • male / male books, including New Adult


Flo Nicol – Acquiring Editor Harlequin International

Flo gave an overview of some marketing stats, telling us that when we want to publish romance we should think Harlequin.

  • brand, global marketing and distribution channels
  • publishing knowledge and production expertise
  • wide series variety
  • Offices all around the world, including Australia
  • 1300+ authors world wide
  • channels include
  • print – bookstores, book clubs, reading groups
  • digital – online programs, reading groups
  • Harlequin overseas

Harlequin is the global reader in series romance.  Research shows that:

  • 79% of female readers recognise the Harlequin brand and associate it with content that delivers the emotional connection they seek month after month
  • 90% brand recognition for Mills and Boon in Australia


So You think you can write – annual writing competition in October

  • 50 editors available to review first chapters and pitches
  • in 2013, not only the winner got a contract, but 17 others who were involved
  • online chats, forums, support etc


Harlequin have categories across different genres:

Passion titles:

  • Harlequin Presents
  • Harlequin Desire
  • Harlequin Sexy


Home and heart titles:

  • Harlequin Romance
  • Harlequin Medical romance
  • Harlequin Special Edition
  • Harlequin Heart-warming
  • Harlequin American romance


Romantic suspense titles:

  • Harlequin Intrigue
  • Harlequin Intrigue Noir
  • Harlequin Romantic Suspense


Inspirational (Christian romance stories):

  • Love inspired historical
  • Love inspired suspense
  • Harlequin Heartsong presents


African American series:

  • Kimani Press (commercial women’s fiction, historical fiction and romantic suspense. Only previously published authors who have established a strong fan base will be given serious consideration for this line
  • Kimani Arabesque (single title, contemporary, up to 85,000 words)
  • Kimani Romance (sexy line)
  • Kimani Tru (young adult)


Harlequin historical



  • Harlequin Nocturne


Single title:

  • Harlequin Mira
  • Harlequin HMB
  • Harlequin Teen



  • Carina Press
  • Cosmo Red Hot Reads
  • Harlequin E titles
  • Harlequin E Grand (85,ooo minimum, big trashy sagas like Judith Krantz, Danielle Steele etc – trashy is my word not hers!)


Harlequin Non-Fiction


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