Wholesome, fun and feel-good contemporary romances set in close-knit communities where the reader can escape to a world of love and belonging. Fall in love with small towns, friendly neighborhoods and romances that always end with happily ever after!
Heartwarming Key Elements
- Clean, sweet, feel-good stories that readers can share with friends and family of all ages.
- Contemporary romances with a focus on family and community. Popular themes include: small towns, coming home, becoming a family (single parents, children and secret babies), holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving), western elements (cowboys and ranchers), traditional romance themes such as marriage of convenience and fake relationship, and pets or animals.
- Characters are everyday men and women with traditional values facing the challenges of modern life and relationships with courage and hope. Heroes are dependable, loyal and honest, with jobs such as firefighter, sheriff, small-town cop, rancher or vet. Heroines are optimistic, empathetic and independent, with strong ties to the people and world around her. We welcome characters with a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and challenges.
- Settings are North American small towns or close-knit communities within cities.
- Although the developing romance between the hero and heroine is always the focus, Heartwarming’s longer word count allows the author to show the family and friends around the central couple. Subplots featuring best friends, siblings, coworkers and neighbors are welcome and help create a community that readers will want to escape to again and again.
- Heartwarming romances feature a low sensuality level. Hugs and kisses only. Still, lots of romantic attraction and tension is required!
- No explicit or behind-closed-doors sex, nudity, pre-marital sex, profanity or graphic depictions of violence.
- No explicit religious or Christian content. No paranormal. No heavy suspense.
Harlequin Heartwarming is…
Similar in tone and feel to movies and TV shows like Sleepless in Seattle, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, The Vow.
Read what we're publishing.
Rocky Mountain Baby by Patricia Johns
A Marriage of Inconvenience by Amy Vastine
Rescuing the Rancher by Claire McEwen
The Rebel Cowboy's Baby by Sasha Summers
Caught by the Cowboy Dad by Melinda Curtis
An Alaskan Homecoming by Beth Carpenter
What to Submit
- Your full manuscript
- A 3-7 page synopsis describing your story, including plot outline, character development and conflict resolution/ending.
Did You Know?
Meet our editors on Twitter:
Executive Editor: Kathleen Scheibling @KScheibling
Editor: Kathryn Lye @Lye1892
Editor: Adrienne Macintosh @AdrienneApple
Editor: Johanna Raisanen @jo_raisanen
Editor: Dana Grimaldi @DanaGrimaldi
Editorial Office: Toronto, Canada