Call for Black Authors

Have you heard? Harlequin’s Graydon House and HQN Books imprints are accepting unagented submissions from Black writers up until September 8, 2020, and Inkyard Press is accepting submissions until August 31, 2020, as well as all of the month of March 2021. Please read on for more information about the specific imprints, how to submit and some frequently asked questions.

Graydon House

Graydon House Books is a select hardcover and trade paperback imprint dedicated to publishing book club-worthy women’s fiction with strong commercial appeal. Multifaceted, provocative and original, Graydon House novels are page-turners that range in tone from lighthearted humor to emotional tearjerker, edgy suspense to historical drama.

Graydon House is a boutique destination for both promising new talent and bestselling authors who are looking for an accomplished and attentive publisher who can nurture their talent and build their readership.

Send your query letter and first 30 pages to GHSubmissions@harpercollins.com. You’ll receive personalized editorial feedback within 90 days. If we decide to make an offer, we can recommend agents for you to contact.

Your submission material will be read by one of our team members: @Melanie_Fried, @lynn_raposo, @CatClyne, @errin_jade, or @laverybrittany. We can’t wait to hear from you!

HQN Books

HQN Books has redefined romance by publishing the best in mainstream bestseller romance by the finest authors in the field—from rising stars to romance royalty. In 2019, HQN Books placed over 40 titles on bestseller lists (New York TimesUSA TODAY and Publishers Weekly), demonstrating that it offers something for every romance fan, across all formats.

Send your query letter + first 30 pages to HQNSubmissions@harpercollins.com. You’ll receive editorial feedback within 60-90 days. If we’d like to move forward, we’ll request a full manuscript (80,000 words min) and can recommend agents for you to contact.

Your submission will be read by one of HQN’s team members: @CatClyne, @laverybrittany, @errin_jade, or @lynn_raposo. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Inkyard Press

Inkyard Press publishes smart, engaging YA fiction across a variety of genres, from realistic contemporary to epic fantasy. We are passionate about publishing diverse voices and giving our readers a chance to see themselves and each other in our books, with grateful acknowledgment to the work of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop on the importance of “windows” and “mirrors” in literature. For our Black Creators submission call, we are looking for YA fiction, including fantasy, contemporary social issues, mystery, romance, thriller, and horror.

To submit to Inkyard’s un-agented submissions from Black creators, please review the guidelines below. Once you are ready, please e-mail your submission to Inkyardsubmissions@harpercollins.com.

Submission Checklist:
Please include the following in the body of the email (NO ATTACHMENTS)

  • 1 sentence PITCH
  • Full story SYNOPSIS (750 words or less)
  • Author BIO (150 words or less)
  • Sample CHAPTERS (10,000 words or less)

We will aim to respond to all proposals within 60 days of receipt. If we want to move forward to acquire, we will give you time to let agents know of our interest, in hopes that it will help you secure an agent before we negotiate a contract.

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Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on manuscripts that fall outside of the categories we publish.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What kinds of books does Graydon House publish?

Answer: We publish full-length, adult fiction—upmarket women’s fiction and high-concept book club fiction, such as historical, family dramas, domestic suspense, friendship stories, and more. We do not publish non-fiction (including memoir), YA/middle grade/children’s, poetry, novellas, coffee table books, or genre fiction such as SF, fantasy, or horror. Please visit our website (https://www.graydonhousebooks.com/) to get a sense of the kind of books we publish. For clarity, “full-length adult fiction” generally means novels that are 75,000-100,000 words at minimum.

Question: What kinds of books does HQN Books publish?

Answer: HQN Books is a dedicated romance imprint that publishes in mass market, trade paperback, and hardcover formats, all with the promise of a happily-ever-after. We publish full-length novels (75,000 – 100,000 words) across a broad range of romance sub-genres, including contemporary, small town, Western, historical, romantic suspense, and paranormal. Please visit our website to see what we’re looking for (https://www.hqnbooks.com/). At this time, we are not looking for erotica/erotic romance.

Question: Is your open call for all BIPOC?

Answer: At this time, we have extended an open call for submissions from Black creators, but we may look at doing a similar open call for submissions from the wider BIPOC and Own Voices communities down the road, so stay tuned.

Question: Do you have any helpful resources and guides for submission?

Answer: Yes, below are a few resources to help in preparing your submission.

How to write a synopsis:

How to write an author bio:
(Please note: We recognize that everyone’s experiences and background are different. Please take what is helpful from these resources. We ask for bios to learn about each other, not to judge experience or background.)

How to write a one-sentence pitch/logline:

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