Mills & Boon launches
Romance Includes Everyone
Mills & Boon is launching Romance Includes Everyone in collaboration with the Romantic Novelists’ Association, a competition to find new standalone romance novels that celebrate LGBTQI+ characters. The winner of this competition will get the chance to publish their book with Mills & Boon in eBook.
The competition is open to anyone who writes romances focusing on LGBTQI+ characters, including published and unpublished authors both agented and un-agented. If you have a romance waiting to be written or ready to publish, that meets our criteria then we want to hear from you – you may be our next bestselling author! Read on for more information of what we’re looking for and how you can enter...
How to enter
- Romance Includes Everyone will take place on Friday 21st May between 8am to 8pm GMT.
- You can submit your pitch via Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LGBTQLoveStories.
- Each pitch should be 500 characters max (one Facebook post or two tweets).
- If we give your pitch a 'like' then that means we want to hear more about your story!
- Please send the first chapter (no more than 5,000 words) a synopsis and a short paragraph on why you feel passionately about championing LGBTQI+ characters in commercial fiction, to firstname.lastname@example.org before 7th June 2021.
- Make sure you include #LGBTQLoveStories and your Twitter handle/name on Facebook in the subject line of your email. All submissions will be read and responded to within 60 days.
- Please choose only one social platform, Twitter OR Facebook, to post your pitch.
- We will be reading every single pitch, so as long as you post it once, we will see it!
- Unfortunately, if we do not 'like' your pitch then you have not made it to the next round and we kindly ask you not to send your submission to the email address.
- Please note: we may, in some cases, respond to your pitch after the entry window has closed.
Key elements to consider:
- We are looking for emotional LGBTQI+ romances with strong voices, unforgettable characters and an irresistible hook.
- There should be secondary characters to help develop the plot.
- The story should be an intense romance, with a sense of romantic escape and fun.
- The emotional development of the characters is key to the storyline.
- Sensuality can range from intensely passionate to warm and emotional, but should be filled with romance and sexual tension.
- The book should have a happy resolution – this is what Mills & Boon does best!
- The word count for the full manuscript should be roughly 80,000 words
Who will be monitoring the social pitches?
Becky Slorach, editor for Mills & Boon will be monitoring #LGBTQLoveStories pitches on Twitter (500 characters max, the equivalent of two tweets). You can follow Becky at @BeckySlorach for updates leading up to the event.
Kirsty Capes, senior marketing manager for Mills & Boon will be monitoring the Mills & Boon Facebook page for #LGBTQLoveStories pitches (500 words max). Make sure you 'like' Mills & Boon on Facebook for updates leading up to the event.
What happens after the pitch day on 21st May?
If you receive a Like/Favourite from the Mills & Boon account to your pitch on 21st May that means you’ve made the longlist – congratulations! Here are the key dates to look out for:
1. If your pitch is liked/favourited, you must email your chapter (no more than 5,000 words) a synopsis and a short paragraph on why you feel passionately about championing LGBTQI+ characters in commercial fiction, to email@example.com by 7th June
2. The short list will be selected, and all shortlisted entrants will be notified by 30th July
3. Short listed candidates must supply their full manuscript (80,000 words max) by 30th Aug
4. The winner will be chosen by the judges on 24th Sept
Who are the Judges?
Submissions will be judged by Mills & Boon senior editor, Becky Slorach, Mills & Boon senior marketing manager, Kirsty Capes, and Mills & Boon senior publicity manager Joe Thomas, as well as the RNA's Diversity and Inclusion officer, member of the Rainbow chapter, and romance author, Liam Livings, and member of the RNA’s Rainbow chapter and HarperCollins author, Brigid Coady.
Who is Mills & Boon?
Sweeping women off their feet for over 100 years, Mills & Boon is the UK’s #1 publisher of romantic fiction and won the RNA Industry Award for Publisher of the Year 2020. Our books promise a happily-ever-after every time! In our trade division we publish contemporary, through to regency, romances by authors such as Susan Mallery, Julia London and Tessa Dare. We publish the hugely successful Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, now a major Netflix series and in 2020 we published Georgia Toffolo’s Sunday Times Top 20 bestselling debut romance novel, Meet me in London. In 2021 we will publish the Duchess of York’s first historical romance, Her Heart for a Compass.
How To Enter
Full details about the competition and how to enter can be found in our T&Cs.
Need a bit more guidance on how to write a great romance novel? Read our writing tips to find out the key elements we are looking for.
If you have any questions about the competition, such as how to write a book pitch or a great synopsis, then head to our FAQs page for more information.