Harlequin Special Edition features contemporary, real-life characters and situations—men and women who are relatable, with friends, family and careers, as they experience the twists and turns on the journey to true love.


Popular storylines include second chances; friends to lovers; city vs. country; and pregnancy and baby stories. We welcome military elements, as long as they don’t take over the whole story; pets; multiples; and of course, western settings remain very popular. 

Harlequin Special Edition is…

  • Characters from a range of backgrounds and lived experiences
  • Stories that leave you feeling optimistic, empowered and connected
  • We want to see not just the main characters but where they come from--their parents, perhaps their siblings, their children if they have them, their friends and co-workers. 
  • Fresh twists on classic plot elements
  • A range of sensuality, from subtle to sizzling
  • Emotional depth of both story and character is paramount
  • Strong internal and external conflicts
  • Word count of 60,000

If you love TV shows such as THIS IS US and BLACKISH, movies such as THE BIG SICK or ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE and authors like RaeAnne Thayne, Robyn Carr and early Kristin Higgins, then you might be a great fit for Special Edition! 

We’re actively seeking books from authors of underrepresented backgrounds—if you feel that’s you, and you have a story that you think would fit into the Special Edition line, we’d love to hear from you!

Did You Know?

  • New York Times bestselling authors such as Diana Palmer, Susan Mallery, and RaeAnne Thayne have written for Harlequin Special Edition, and still do!
  • Harlequin Special Edition is always looking for the stars of tomorrow, and will publish five new authors in 2020-2022, including four new diverse voices! 
  • There are 6 new Harlequin Special Edition books available each month.

 Find out more about Harlequin Special Edition before you submit by:

  • Interacting with authors, editors, and readers on Twitter and the Facebook Harlequin Writing Community.
  • Read what we’re publishing. Here are some recently published recommendations:

                    – THE SOLDIER’S RETURN by New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne

                    – THEIR SECRET SUMMER FAMILY by New York Times bestselling author Christine Rimmer

                    – STARTING OVER IN WICKHAM FALLS by Rochelle Alers

                    – HER SECOND FOREVER by Joanna Sims


Senior Editor: Gail Chasan
Editor: Susan Litman  @susan_litman  
Assistant Editor: Megan Broderick  @megbrod12
Editorial Office: New York, NY

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.