Harlequin’s online conference, So You Think You Can Write, officially launched today. All this week, Harlequin editors will be checking in on the SYTYCW site to give tips and critiques on how to write a series length book for Harlequin. That’s five days of expert advice from the acquiring editors at one of the biggest publishers in romance. In addition to enlightening blog posts, podcasts, live chats, and Tweets, Harlequin will also be offering one aspiring writer a contract to be published!
Excited about the opportunity, but don’t know how to get started? Here is what we recommend to make sense of it all.
Step One: Learn About Harlequin
If you are unsure about the differences between Harlequin’s imprints, we suggest you head over here to listen to podcasts where editors give simple descriptions about eight of the different Harlequin lines.
Step Two: Meet the Editors
It’s always important to know whom you are writing for. In order to get acquainted with the many staffers on Harlequin’s editorial team, make sure to check out this list. But please, don’t get intimidated. Sure you are going to see such names as Leslie Wainger, Bryony Green and Brenda Chin, but remember, they read romance one page at a time, just like the rest of us.
Step Three: Read the SYTYCW Blog Posts
Even though the conference started today, there are already several blog posts from the editors with more being added every few hours. We suggest you read (and possibly re-read) these posts to get caught up. (Hint: Pay special attention to senior editor Patience Bloom’s piece Your Romance Writing Checklist. It has some especially good tips for beginners.)
Step Four: Complete Today’s Assignment
Each day this week, SYTYCW editors will ask authors to focus on one aspect of writing. Today they are interested in your story’s opening. We all know that a catchy first page is key to engaging your audience, so the editors at Harlequin want to see what you’ve got.
So write and revise that first page and submit it to email@example.com by 6:00 pm Eastern with the subject heading: SYTYCW Opening Page Assignment. Five entries will be chosen at random for a critique. See here for more information.
Step Five: Get Ready For The Rest Of The Week
Make sure you are prepared for the weeklong SYTYCW event by checking out this comprehensive schedule. We are especially excited about the live chats, which will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Find out the times and topics here.
Will you be submitting to Harlequin after the So You Think You Can Write conference? Or maybe you are in the middle of a series book for NaNoWriMo. We would love to hear what you are working on. Let us know in the comments!