Now acquiring: New Adult at Carina Press


It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting.

Carina Press is now accepting submissions in the new adult genre. We are looking for submissions with a strong story and fully developed, very definable protagonists, 18 and above (or at an age eligible to enter college), in their early to mid-20s. While at least one protagonist should fall in this age range, it is possible the other protagonist may fall in their upper 20s.

Story elements should be targeted to an adult, not teen audience, and should contain adult contemporary themes, frank, modern language, high relationship drama and intense conflict. Characters actions, dress and dialogue should all be age-appropriate. Think of the relationship drama of the college years and run with that!

Other elements that work in this genre (but are not required to be considered for publication) include increased sensuality, love triangles, protagonists with traumatic events in their background, and protagonists who have celebrity status–actors, musicians, athletes, etc. (Please do not use real celebrities).

Stories can be stand alone or part of a series. For those that are part of a series, please also submit a series overview–a brief, one-page outline of future books or plot elements.

As we are seeking romances, these stories should contain a happily ever after or happily for now. If the relationship takes place over the course of several books and the HEA will occur in a later book, please submit a series overview as stated above.

We’re looking for manuscripts of 50,000 words and up and though we are particularly interested in the contemporary genre, we will also consider books in other sub genres as well (such as paranormal, post apocalyptic, dystopian, etc)

Editors for this genre will be Angela James, Rhonda Helms and Mallory Braus.

For a further explanation of New Adult, please see this interview I did on the Harlequin blog:

43 thoughts on “Now acquiring: New Adult at Carina Press”

  1. Rhonda Helms says:

    I am so excited to acquire New Adult manuscripts!! :D

  2. Sandy Panting says:

    I have a story I’ve been working on and I was afraid my heroine was too young but this is perfect. So excited to see the stories for this genre!

  3. SJ says:

    Really pleased to see this genre grow legs! Got several I’m either working on or are finished. Providing you consider UK authors, I’ll be sending one soon.

  4. Angela James says:

    SJ, we acquire authors worldwide.

    I look forward to seeing submissions from everyone!

  5. Janet says:

    Just to clarify: are you only interested in New Adult romances at this time? Or are you also open to New Adult submissions in other genres you accept such as Urban Fantasy, etc? Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      @Janet your question wasn’t entirely clear (maybe a word missing?) so I’m guessing you’re asking if we’re open only to New Adult contemporary or if we’ll take other subgenres in New Adult? Yes we will. If you’re asking in general if we only accept New Adult, no, we accept a number of genres, you can find those on the submissions guidelines page.

  6. Diana Rubino says:

    I just finished a New Adult historical with no fictional characters–this couldn’t have come at a better time!

  7. I have a completed paranormal romance novel set in the early 19th century. My protagonists are both early 20’s. Just wondering if you would consider this a part of the New Adult line?

  8. This is excellent news for all new adult writers, hopefully now more small presses are looking for NA submissions, others will take notice.

    I best hurry up with my own NA paranormal romance. :D

  9. Lex says:

    Is there a deadline for this call?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Lex, there’s no deadline. This is something we’re now acquiring for Carina in general!

  10. Kerry says:

    Are you accepting m/m pairings for this call?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Kerry, we’ll always look at m/m pairings in any genre/subgenre.

  11. Amy says:

    Hi Angela,

    I have a quick question: In the New Adult sub call, you indicated that these manuscripts should include “increased sensuality.” At your convenience, can you expand on this and possibly give more information about what level of sensuality is appropriate in this genre and what is too explicit? I realize it’s a relatively newish genre and that it might be difficult to answer this without seeing an actual example, but anything would be helpful. I’m understanding that, since these are for adults, not teens, adult situations would be okay.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Angela James says:

      Amy, by increased sensuality, I just mean they probably shouldn’t be sweet, but also may not be erotic (they could be erotic, I suppose). That means not having the bedroom door closed, having solid sexual tension, showing the characters in sexual situations, using frank language as appropriate. Adult situations are definitely okay because these are for adults!

  12. Amy says:

    Thanks so much Angela!

  13. Cindy says:

    So if my protagonists are 19 and, oh, 21, would they be considered for new adult even if it’s not a contemporary? I’m still working on a steampunk in the old West and my characters happen to fall in age wise.

  14. Angela James says:

    Hi Cindy, that’s correct. We’d consider that New Adult as long as the book has adult themes!

  15. Chantelle Atkins says:

    Hi, this sounds perfect for me, as not sure my work falls into ‘young adult’ category (some rather adult scenes, issues and language) but was equally unsure about it slotting into adult. I have written two books about the same protagonist; in the first he is aged 13-16 mostly, but in the sequel he is aged 24, so would this sort of thing be considered ? Thank you. Also, I am in the UK.

  16. jay ware says:

    I submitted my manuscript for The new adult genre And i hadn’t planned on doing a series, but i did. I didn’t send in a series overview so will that hurt my chances of my manuscript being excepted, especially if my other manuscripts i wrote afterwards tell more of The story?

  17. Angela James says:

    @Chantelle It depends on your genre (ie fantasy vs contemporary) but 13-16 generally falls into not just young adult, but possibly middle school territory.

    @jay ware a series overview is helpful and can tip our decision sometimes, but if your story is good, and writing solid, we won’t pass on it just because there’s no series overview

  18. Beth Marsh says:

    i have several finished and self published manuscripts with Amazon .com nd Kindle… what are your submission guidelines so that i may submit them to you…

    1. Angela James says:

      Beth, the submissions guidelines are linked at the top of the page you left this comment on.

  19. Kate says:

    I’ve started a story that I’d love to publish, but I had wondered exactly where it would fit in the market. This is exciting to read, and very encouraging!

  20. M F Roberts says:

    I’m in the process of writing a novel based on a 25-year-old (‘mature’) University student discovering bdsm thanks to a gorgeous lecturer who is of similar age to her.

    Given the age range, this would fit your new adult submission request, I think.

    The book is going to be the first in a trilogy following the main character’s development through the bdsm relationship with her Master.

    Do you accept submissions for books that aren’t complete yet?

  21. Lorna Lee Craig says:

    Dear Angela,

    I have completed a project which I would perhaps call a sci fi romance. The Dridgid Molken: The Lucky and the Brave. From the Chronicles of Kevnlin Book I. Kevnlin is assigned by the Galactic Covenant to observe the Dridgid Molken and report back. He is thrown into the world of the Dridgid Molken, volatile, emotional, highly sensual beings not afraid of violence. While the Molkens range in age from 14 at the youngest to 35, they are considered adult at 16 and live to 140. A number of intense relationships develop which would not be considered young person reading. I have already copyrighed it. Would this be under consideration. Thank you for your reply. Respectfully.

  22. Is there going to be a separate section selling New Adult books on here? I’ve been looking for it.

  23. Angela James says:

    I see a few questions lingering so I’ll answer them now!

    @MF We only accept books on proposal from authors we’re familiar with in some way, generally that we’ve worked with them before or have an established career. For the most part, we only acquire new-to-us authors on full manuscripts.

    @Lorna it’s hard to say without seeing the manuscript. You’re welcome to submit it and if we feel it’s too young for us, we’ll let you know.

    @Lisa once we start publishing the first New Adult (in March) this genre designation will be added to the list of genres

  24. Hi Angela,
    I submitted a story to Carina last May and got a response (negative unfortunately!) very quickly (within six weeks). I submitted another one on August 29 and yet still have not had a response. I got an offer on it and was hoping to find out if you had any interest but when I sent an inquiry to the submissions email address in December did not hear back. I sent a follow-up again yesterday but still did not hear.
    Am I doing something wrong?

  25. jamie beck says:


    I have a submission I’m about ready to send, but am not sure if it would be New Adult or simply Contemporary Romance. Based on the description here (and your recent interview describing ‘new adult’), my story seems to sit squarely on the cusp of the two genres.

    The heroine is 24/25…the hero slightly older. 1st person/present tense, alternating POV, sexual tension throughout culminating in open-door sex scenes in the final 1/4 of the book. However, some of the character thoughts/struggles may be more ‘adult’ (parental abandonment/ broken engagement/ “who am I”) than those in books like Losing It or Beautiful Disaster (the college kids dilemmas).

    Question: If I submit it as NA, but you all feel it is Contemporary, will it be auto-rejected on that basis, or will you evaluate the writing and re-classify it (assuming you like the writing/story)?

    Thanks for your help!

  26. Angela James says:

    Not at all, Jamie. We never reject something for being the wrong genre (unless it’s a genre we don’t publish).

  27. Elaine Stock says:

    I have an ideal NA novel with the right aged characters and sensual tension, as well as a plot full of tension and troubles. However, would you consider a NA novel targeted for the Christian reader?

  28. Angela James says:

    Hi Elaine,

    We don’t publish faith-based/inspirational romance, so unfortunately, we wouldn’t be a good home for this.

  29. Elaine Stock says:

    Thanks, Angela, for getting back to me quickly. Best wishes for success in this growing market!

  30. jamie beck says:

    Thanks for the quick response! Appreciate it.

  31. Krista Cagg says:

    I have a steampunk serial about piracy against a corporation with a monopoly on time travel. I release a 10-12K word episode a month, then put the entire plot arc into paperback upon completion. Is this something CP would be interested in?


    1. Angela James says:

      Krista, we try to never say no to an idea, because it’s almost always about the execution! We’d for sure look at it.

  32. Krista Cagg says:


    Well then! I will have to see about getting you the manuscript for episode 1.

    Thank you for your very prompt response!

  33. Peggy Stevenson says:

    Iwould love to send my query for review. I have written 3 books. I have never written to e harlequinn. I want to be apart of this family.

  34. jay ware says:

    I’ve written 18 books And turned in The first of an ongoing series, but it was rejected. I dont know exactly The reason why, but made a lot of changes because after i went over it again, i wasnt satisfied with what i turned in. Its much better now amd longer. Should i try to resubmit or take it as a loss And try another publishing company? Its a great series And new adult, but im thinking The beginning content may have scared off The editors. What would be your suggestion?

  35. Angela James says:

    Jay: my suggestion is always the same. Never give up, never surrender ;)

    If you think we’re the right fit for you, you’re welcome to submit a manuscript to us!

  36. Sonya says:

    Your minimum is 50,000. I’ve written two short fantasy-adventure works that go together; the first is around 41,000 words; the second is around 62,000. Would you be willing to consider them as a linked pair? They’re two discrete stories but involve the same characters and the second picks up on a “loose thread” left at the end of book 1.

    I think the first one can be classified as New Adult and not really sure about the second (since it’s about 2 or 3 years later) but they’re both “queer feminist fantasy adventures”.

  37. oluwafemi.okeowo says:

    dear angelina james
    i have a personal matter with you that i want to disscuss and how do you talk

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