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…

The warmth, optimism and small-town family and community feel of TV shows like Gilmore Girls, Virgin River, Schitt's Creek and Ted Lasso.

 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 at Write for Harlequin

Executive Editor: Kathleen Scheibling 

Editor: Kathryn Lye

Editor: Adrienne Macintosh @AdrienneApple

Editor: Johanna Raisanen @jo_raisanen

Editor: Dana Grimaldi @DanaGrimaldi

Editorial Assistant: Natalia Castano

Editorial Office: Toronto, Canada

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.