Love To Write Competition Terms & Conditions


1. This competition is promoted by Mills & Boon UK, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (“HarperCollins”), The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.
2. This competition is open to residents from the UK and Ireland and British Citizens who are unagented and haven’t had a fiction book published before, except employees of HarperCollins (or their parent, subsidiaries or any affiliated companies) and their immediate families, who are not allowed to enter the competition.
3. The competition is open to everyone, but we are particularly interested in receiving submissions from unpublished writers from under-represented ethnic backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Mixed-Race writers.
4. You must be aged 18 or over to enter this competition.
5. Conditional on signature of contracts, the winner will receive a 12-month mentorship with an experienced Mills & Boon editor to develop their submission into a full romance novel, a book publishing contract worth £2000 with Mills & Boon, plus a £1,500 grant to support their early writing career.
6. All submissions must be submitted via the Submittable platform.
7. Submissions must be sent between the hours of 00:01 on the 9th July 2021 and 23:59 on the 4th October 2021 BST. No entries received after this date will be accepted. No purchase necessary.
8. Submissions that have been sent by post or means other than via Submittable platform will not be accepted.
9. Any work submitted to the competition must not have been submitted to Mills & Boon previously, though authors may submit subsequent works in that way after the competition closes.
10. Any work submitted must not have been published previously or submitted to any other writing competition within HarperCollins Publishers or to any other publishing company or anywhere else that will lead or might be likely to lead to that work being in the public domain. In the event the work has been shared with any other third party in this manner, that will automatically render the entrant ineligible for the opportunity.
11. Each submission should contain:

a) No more than 5,000 words of a novel with sequential page numbering included, with the first page being the title page;
b) Synopsis of whole novel*, including the complete plot and the story’s ending (maximum 500 words); a one paragraph summary of the story’s pitch;
c) Author statement, as well as any blogs and/or social media information, any creative writing courses attended, prizes won, literary or media mentors and contacts, etc. (maximum 1 page). We'd like to know what you are hoping to get out of this mentorship opportunity if you are selected, and what representation in the romance genre means to you.

12. The submission must be in Word format throughout all documents; all documents must be submitted at the same time, via Submittable (the attachments each to be clearly individually marked as ‘manuscript’, ‘synopsis’, and ‘author biography’); the chapters of the manuscript to be provided in one document, not sent as separate documents. In addition, each of the three documents should be marked in the file name with the author’s name and the title of the novel and this information should also be marked on every page of each document.
13. Authors must provide their full name and pen name (if using), address, and phone number when filling in their details on Submittable.
14. Submissions that do not meet requirements of these Terms and Conditions shall not be read.
15. Any submission containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected.
16. Submissions made on behalf of another person (e.g. for reasons of accessibility or disability) must have the author’s permission including some form of proof of that permission.
17. Multiple submissions will not be read.
18. Novels submitted must be:

a. within the commercial romance genre, which is to say that novels in other genres will not be considered, thereby excluding – among other genres – children’s and Young Adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror and literary fiction. Non-fiction will also not be considered.
b. in prose.
c. written in English.
d. not have been previously published/self-published or posted on publishing websites, forums or access platforms such as (but not limited to) Wattpad, Smashwords, Lulu, FanFiction, Completely Novel.
e. not have had an ISBN.
f. Your submission should fit into the requirements of Mills & Boon’s UK series lines, these are: Modern, Historical, Medical and True Love. You can find more information about each of these series and the key elements we are looking for on our website.

19. No correspondence between Mills & Boon and the entrants can be entered into, unless at Mills & Boon’s request, and we will not respond to unsolicited communications.
20. In entering this competition you agree that, if you win, in order to proceed with the opportunity you will need to enter into (i) a contract with Harlequin (Mills & Boon), a division of HarperCollins, on its standard author agreement terms, with an advance against royalties of £2,000 (two thousand pounds) for World rights in one novel, to be paid according to Mills & Boon’s standard advance payment schedule and provided the terms of the contract are met. The grant of £1,500 is payable direct to the winner upon signature of their contract with Harlequin (Mills & Boon). If more than one entrant is deemed a suitable winner, both or all will receive the same opportunity. In entering, the shortlisted candidates will be notified of their shortlisting no later than the 31st December 2021.
21. The winner of the competition will be notified no later than the 28th February 2022, and an announcement will be made after this time.
22. The £2,000 advance is payable according to the usual contract terms: £500 upon signature of the contract, and £1500 on acceptance of the final manuscript for publication.
23. This is a one-off opportunity, is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability.
24. As part of the contract the winning author must be:
a. prepared to undertake editorial work on their novel
b. prepared to undertake publicity and promotional responsibilities
c. Prepared to undertake a 12-month mentorship with an experienced Mills & Boon editor
25. There is no obligation on Mills & Boon to publish any of the entrants to the competition, in print or in eBook, or to offer any sort of editorial advice.
26. Mills & Boon’s decision is final; unsuccessful shortlisted entrants will be notified and feedback will be provided for finalists only by an experienced Mills & Boon editor.
27. Submissions will be judged by Mills & Boon editors Rebecca Slorach, Bryony Green and Nicola Caws, Amber Rose Gill and Mills & Boon author Nadine Gonzalez and will be judged on quality of writing as well as the strength of the commercial pitch.
28. You will retain all copyright in your submission (subject to the successful candidate entering into an author contract with HarperCollins) and by submitting your novel you grant HarperCollins a licence to copy your submission and share it with its affiliates solely for the purpose of reviewing it.
29. Neither HarperCollins nor Mills & Boon will be able to return any submissions, so make sure you have a copy stored safely before you submit.
30. Any personal information you give us will be used solely for reviewing your submission and will not be passed on to any other parties without your agreement. HarperCollins’ privacy policy can be found at:
31. HarperCollins will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this competition and HarperCollins can cancel or alter the competition at any stage.
32. HarperCollins’ decision as to who has won the competition shall be final, and no further correspondence shall be entered into.
33. To obtain the name of the competition winner after the closing date, please email, or write to The Mills & Boon marketing department, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF.
34. The entry instructions are part of the Terms and Conditions for this competition.
35. By entering the competition you are agreeing to accept these Terms and Conditions. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by you will mean that your entry will not be valid, and you will not be allowed to enter this competition.
36. By entering this competition, you are agreeing that if you win your name and image may be used for the purpose of announcing the winner in any related publicity with HarperCollins, without additional payment or permission. You can however withdraw your consent to this at any time before we announce the winner.
37. In order to ensure our competition is reaching writers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds and to collect data for the purpose of informing our business on what proportion of entrants are from each ethnic category and to assess how far our reach is in underrepresented ethnic communities, entrants will also be asked via a survey to disclose their ethnicity. It is not mandatory to disclose this information in order to enter and you can withdraw your data at any time by emailing We know some people may not feel comfortable disclosing their data. If you do not want to disclose your data, please use the ‘prefer not to say’ option rather than leaving the section blank. We know the ethnicities on this form are limited and that not everyone will be able to see themselves represented in these data categories. The groups and ethnicities listed in our form are in line with the way the Government and the Office for National Statistics collect ethnicity data. Data will be collected and stored securely by SmartSurvey. The data will not be anonymised as we need to ensure only those people who have entered the competition will be able to complete the survey, however we will only use this data in an aggregated way, eg to identify what percentage of entrants identify as being from each ethnic group. It also provides a benchmark for us to measure success against when we run subsequent competitions. We will not use this information in any way to judge the entrant’s submissions. We will only store this data for the duration of the competition until the first book is published, after which point it will be removed from our records. Information will not be shared with anyone outside HarperCollins without an entrant's permission. Entry to the competition is free.
38. All entrants are expected to act fairly and in the good spirit of the competition. HarperCollins reserves the right to investigate any irregularities and disqualify entrants at its absolute discretion.
39. Under no circumstances will HarperCollins be responsible for any loss, damages, costs or expenses arising from or in any way connected with any errors, defects, interruptions, malfunctions or delays in the promotion of the competition.
40. Any dispute relating to the competition shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

*For the avoidance of doubt, ‘the synopsis of the whole book’ should give an outline of the books themes and full plot, including spoilers. It is important to show the full story arc and how the characters develop over the course of the book.