top of page

Harlequin Books Announces Diversity Mentorship Program


Harlequin books, a division of HarperCollins, announces the launch of a mentorship initiative that offers aspiring romance writers from underrepresented communities the chance to work one-on-one with a Harlequin editor for a year on writing a romance novel. The mentorship includes an offer to publish their book and $5,000 to support their writing. According to their press release, this Romance Includes You Mentorship is part of Harlequin’s active efforts to find new talent and bring more stories representing diverse and own voices to romance readers.

Submissions for the program will begin to be accepted on September 1. The 12-month mentorship with a romance editor, who will provide editorial guidance during the writing process and share firsthand insights and knowledge on the romance market and the publishing industry, is open to resident of North America only. The goal of the mentorship program is for the selected writer to develop a manuscript during the mentorship that Harlequin can publish in one of its 12 series romance lines or Carina Press.

This opportunity is open to unpublished or self-published writers from underrepresented communities who have a strong desire to write romance fiction for adult readers and want to add their diverse voices and own voices to the romance genre. “We’re committed to publishing diverse and inclusive voices so that readers see themselves reflected in the stories we publish,” said Loriana Sacilotto, Harlequin’s Executive Vice President. “We are actively working to acquire more traditionally underrepresented and diverse voices.

Submissions for the Romance Includes You Mentorship will be accepted from September 1 to October 15, 2019. A judging panel whose representatives have broad experience editing, publishing and marketing multicultural, interracial and LGBTQ+ romance fiction will review the final shortlist of submissions.

Submission criteria and more details are available at

This initiative is part of Harlequin’s ongoing outreach activities to encourage story submissions from traditionally underrepresented and diverse voices through submission drives and to broaden diversity, representation and inclusion in its publishing program. Harlequin supports writers conferences and organizations promoting inclusion and diversity in publishing, and regularly participates in #DVpit story pitching events on Twitter that connect editors with marginalized writers.

bottom of page