What the Carina Press Editors Want–Updated Winter 2018 Edition


Carina Press has long been known for our wide variety of categories, subgenres, niches and word counts across all heat levels of romance (including contemporary, paranormal, erotic, romantic suspense and more!) as well as mysteries both with and without romantic elements.

As always, we are actively seeking diverse protagonists and inclusivity across subgenres. We understand diversity is wide-ranging and strive to reflect that on our list. If you’re writing inclusive romance that fits any of our specific wants below, we absolutely want to see it.

For publication in winter 2018 onward, here’s what we’d be most excited to receive. Please remember that with the exception of mysteries, all submissions to Carina Press must fall into the larger category of ROMANCE, regardless of subgenre. This means you need an HFN (happy for now) or HEA (happily ever after) in every manuscript:

  • Paranormals (and urban fantasy romance): Stories of fated mates, suspense elements, excellent sexual tension, and clan politics are at the top of our list in this category, and paranormal as a whole remains very prominent on our wishlist this season. Shifters are evergreen but we’re more than open to deviations on the theme. Series preferred but standalones also considered.


  • Paranormal mysteries. Heroes and heroines with paranormal powers, help from the undead, enchanted towns, supernatural friendships and creatures who go bump in the night. We’re interested in a little something weird structured around a solid mystery arc, anywhere within the genre. Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus, A Grave Calling by Wendy Roberts, Deanna Chase’s Jade Calhoun series, Charlaine Harris’s Midnight, Texas books, and Jana DeLeon’s Happily Everlasting series are all great examples.


  • Romantic suspense, particularly woman-in-peril setups or male/male ongoing miniseries.
    • For woman-in-peril, we’re looking for a bit of a throwback feel here, with strong, protective heroes and situations that involve dramatic rescues and off-the-charts chemistry. This photo of Lady Gaga and her bodyguard caused quite a buzz around here. And…go
    • When it comes to male/male romantic suspense, we’d like to see more ongoing miniseries where:
      • The same heroes travel from book to book
      • Each book contains a happy-for-now
      • Each book contains an independent suspense arc
      • There is an overarching suspense and romantic arc running through the miniseries



  • Ugly Cries. Those books that stay with you for months; deep-heart stories of being ripped apart and put back together again. We want lots of emotional investment from both the hero and heroine. BUT! You have to deliver us a great HEA because this is romance, after all. We’re loving Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love, Isley Robson’s The First Word and Melanie Hansen’s Point of Contact.


And don’t miss our current submission calls:

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press (Erotic Short Romances)

Male/Male Romantic Suspense Miniseries


Angela James, Editorial Director, Kerri Buckley, Senior Editor, and Stephanie Doig, Associate Editor, generated the above imprint-wide list, and welcome all queries related to it. In addition, please see individual wishlists for Kerri and Stephanie below: 

Kerri Buckley

This year, I’m finding myself most drawn to romances that fall to one side or the other: mile-a-minute action with super-high conflict or deliciously excruciating slow burns. When it comes to mystery, though, I’m more of a classicist—get the big event right up there front and center, please!

  • DILF romances (not sure what this stands for? Ask me on Twitter!). Bonus points if your hot dads are also silver foxes or if these fall into the “ugly cry” category above ;)
  • Romantic odd-couple duo capers in the vein of Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg’s Fox & O’Hare novels or the television show Bones
  • Police procedurals, amateur sleuth or PI stories with female leads and strong romantic elements
  • Cozy mysteries set in the present-day UK and/or starring British protagonists
  • Grumpy heroes. All of them.


Stephanie Doig

I am looking for delicious romantic tension when I read a romance—whether it comes from charming banter, intense emotions, or earnest, no-holds-barred declarations, I want to eagerly anticipate every word.

  • Sexy contemporary romance featuring heroes/heroines with a sense of humour—no anti-heroes, please!
  • Contemporary romances with paranormal elements—think Practical Magic, Garden Spells
  • Romances featuring a plus-sized protagonist, where being plus-sized is not their defining characteristic
  • Arranged marriage romance—I’d love to see a contemporary romance with a respectful portrayal of arranged marriage as part of the characters’ culture, complete with complex emotional dynamics and family relationships.
  • Enemies to lovers, especially cinnamon-roll-type heroes! Enemies-to-lovers works great in fake relationship stories, but I’m open to any trope with this type of relationship dynamic.
  • Nanny/boss stories—especially those in which the caretaker character can hold their own, to balance the power dynamic. Snappy humor very welcome!

And please read on to learn what our fantastic freelance editors are most wanting to see at this time:

Alissa Davis

I’m looking for romances with flawed, compelling characters who learn from each other as they fall in love. Think Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date. As I told my husband when we started dating, “I’m sorry your feelings got hurt” never did fix anything. (Lord, please save me from non-apology apologies.) When characters hurt each other, whether it’s out of ignorance or in pursuit of a larger goal, some self-reflection and a heartfelt grovel will have me reaching for the box of tissues on my desk.

I’m also looking for:

  • Forced proximity romance. Whether we’re talking chefs in a restaurant kitchen, a wide receiver and his quarterback, partners in a law firm, dragonriders defending the realm, two people stranded in a cabin, or a cinnamon-roll duke and his aloof personal secretary, I want to see them navigating inconvenient sexual tension and high stakes conflict. Cat Sebastian’s It Takes Two to Tumble is one of my favorite forced proximity romances.
  • Contemporary or historical resistance romance. Please send me characters who see injustice and want to fix it.
  • Royalty! I’m hunting for full-length romances with at least one royal. Can be historical, futuristic, LGBTQIA, fantasy romance, etc., as long as it has a sweeping romance, beautiful clothes and great conflict.
  • LGBTQIA in any subgenre and heat level. I’d love to see m/m marriage of convenience romance, and if anyone wants to write a trans Scarlet Pimpernel retelling, either historical or a contemp version, please send it my way!
  • Historical romance that’ll make me laugh. I’m here for the snarky banter.
  • Romance featuring characters who are neurodivergent.
  • Sexy, emotional, slow-burn contemporary romance.
  • Erotic romance along the lines of Kresley Cole’s The Game Maker series.
  • Romance where at least part of the story takes place in a restaurant or kitchen and cooking is part of the love language. If you have a food critic/chef romance, I’d love to take a look!


Deborah Nemeth

I’m looking for mysteries and romance with characters who are driven by strong goals, whether that’s to rescue a kidnap victim, land a promotion, uncover a murderer, pull off a heist, or rebel against a galactic overlord. In particular I’d like to see the following:

  • Murder mysteries featuring a clever sleuth or compelling crime-fighting duo. I’m especially interested in cozies, procedurals and PIs that focus on whodunit and have a unique hook and setting. Paranormal elements welcome.
  • Feel-good romances. Some of my favorite tropes include fake engagement, arranged marriage, secret agenda, snowbound, forbidden love, enemies to lovers, secret baby, forced proximity, and reunion romances. I’m also a sucker for redemption and a great grovel.
  • Well-balanced romantic suspense with plenty of page-turning action as well as a fully developed relationship.
  • Stories set in the great outdoors, whether forests, deserts, jungles or mountains. Smoke jumpers and wilderness guides and bush pilots and wildlife botanists…
  • Stories that make me laugh, such as witty Regency romance and m/m romantic comedy
  • Con artist protagonists who execute deviously elaborate scams with twists I don’t see coming.
  • A Bollywood-themed romance or mystery.
  • Daredevil protagonists who are adrenaline-rush junkies, such as land-speed record-setters and extreme-sports athletes.
  • #ownvoices mystery and romance.


Mackenzie Walton

I’m always looking for diverse casts, opposites-attract couples, intricate world-building, and strong, authentic dialogue with distinct character voices. And even more specifically:

  • LGBTQIA historical, especially male/male. Dukes, duchesses and ballrooms are fantastic—frankly, I don’t get tired of them—but I’d also be interested in seeing more unusual settings and scenarios.
  • Fun, sexy/erotic contemporaries, especially featuring those daydream/fantasy boyfriends—movie stars, musicians, athletes and the like.
  • Moody, thoughtful paranormals with complex world-building. I love characters who really contemplate what it means to be a paranormal creature in the mundane world.
  • Erotic ménage in any genre, especially male/male/female. A balanced relationship, with all participants of equal importance, is key here, as well as characters who seriously weigh the possible complications of such a relationship.
  • Some tropes I can’t get enough of, in any genre: marriage of convenience, forced proximity, enemies to lovers. Basically, if the couple is annoyed by how much they’re attracted to each other, I’m a big fan.
  • Ugly duckling/Cinderella-type heroines (or heroes for male/male)? Yes, please! I love seeing an under-appreciated wallflower get an HEA, in any genre.
  • Fun, action-packed science fiction with snappy dialogue and big personalities. Bonus points for rich, thought-provoking world-building and high personal stakes.
  • Non-office workplace romances. Think retail, libraries, coffee shops, schools/universities, and the like—I want to see more books with characters falling in love on the job, but not in the boardroom. Bonus points if you give me the Hot Dude Librarian hero of my dreams.
  • Virgin heroes, across the board. Can’t get enough of them.


John Jacobson

Romances with captivating characters and rich conflict make my heart flutter. I’m looking for romances that make me pull an all-nighter just to see how the characters finally get together. Couple that with snappy dialogue, characters who are confidently competent, and diverse identities to make a submission fit for me. I’m also looking for:

  • Sexy romantic comedies with an atmosphere of uplifting the characters as opposed to using embarrassment for laughs. Show me how your characters fall in love with each other’s humor. Even subversive humor would be great. Think of the contemporary classics like 10 Things I Hate About You for an idea of what makes me giggle.
  • LGBTQIA+ romances. Characters that are outside of the usual binary sexualities and genders are very welcome.
  • Erotic romance that explores less-charted territory, such as femme Doms and masculine subs of all identities, with settings that go beyond sex clubs and dungeons.
  • #ownvoices romances of all subgenres.
  • Historical romances that involve unique elements of history, such as journalism, politics, or personal identity, that can be just as applicable to present day conversations.
  • Paranormal romance that goes beyond shifters and vampires. Witches? Demon slayers? Succubi? Bring ’em on.
  • Friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers — romances with characters that have a history. Make their history juicy and complicated so that every heightening of romantic tension makes me breathless for more. I want to believe these characters had reasons for not getting together before, and I want to root for them with wild abandon when they finally realize they’re meant-to-be.
  • Historical romances with a dash of mystery. Focus on the romance as its own complete story, but bring in fleshed-out mystery elements that are a strong foil to the overall conflict and suspense.
  • Fantasy romance with worlds that feel larger-than-life. Use this world to amp up the drama and refresh classic romance tropes so that readers feel at home, like in C.L. Wilson’s Weathermages of Mystral romance series.


Carrie Lofty

I love great dialogue. LOVE. Wrap me in the world you create, no matter the tone. I need to be invested in what characters want and why they can’t (initially) be happy together. A classic trope doesn’t need to be turned on its head to be fabulous. Tell it your way and tell it well! I’m especially eager for:

  • Sports with variety: think Dancing with the Stars, the Olympics, and adrenaline junkies like mountaineers, motorsports and skydivers. The more competitive and risky the better.
  • Dark homecomings: protagonist left in disgrace, went to war, or was sent to jail.
  • Space pirates: soft sci-fi with lots of wit, action and great world-building, like Guardians of the Galaxy or Firefly, but with a snappy, sexy romance at its heart.
  • Anti-heroes who are nearly irredeemable but can still save the kittens. Bonus points for contemporary Gothic tone. See Jennifer Armentrout’s Moonlight Sins.
  • Gentle bruisers: Hey, that big, imposing, scary mofo coming toward you in a dark alley? He’s an amazing lover and will make you breakfast just after he breaks some guy’s face.
  • Time travel: dark and disorienting, where impossible stakes deliver an ugly-cry HEA, or lighthearted Doctor Who-style with a happy ending for a zany loner.
  • Taboo erotic romances we’re not supposed to want…but we do. Make it raw and fresh and almost wrong.
  • A widower dad in over his head.
  • Male/male Pretty Woman!


Kate Marope

I’m looking for pragmatic and competent characters who will do what needs doing. Characters who know what they want, and how to get it. They don’t have time to complain about life; they are out there surviving and conquering it.

  • Urban fantasy: give me f/m, m/m, or trans protagonists, intense clan politics and exquisite world building. If you have a good mix of romance, horror, action, and comedy, please send it to me now!
  • Paranormal romance: high tension and conflict between fated mates. If they hate their attraction to each other, so much the better.
  • LGBTQIA: make sure you make me feel their experience. If your bi character is in love with his supposedly straight roommate, make me feel sorry for him, and want to hug the stuffing out of both of them when they get together. If your trans character is ready to go physical with someone who doesn’t know they are transitioning, make me anxious, scared, and a little bit angry.
  • Contemporary Romance: I am a sucker for second chance, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, partners to lovers, and relationships/marriages of convenience romances. I just love seeing that moment when the characters realize that their relationship has changed and watching how they deal with that realization. Make it sweet, and make it raw.
  • Erotic romance: calling all bad boys, morally ambiguous or otherwise. I love to see your bodyguards, MC clubs, mafia/mob, underground fighters, even the occasional serial killer. I love a good moral quandary, so if you work that into the plot or conflict, I’ll love you forever. Think Manda Mellett or Annika Martin.
  • Growly but low-key romantic heroes. The type who complain for the sake of complaining, but are secretly amused and will later surprise their lover (who thought he wasn’t listening) with what they wanted.
  • Military romance: I’m a long-time addict of Hawaii Five-0, so give me (semi-) retired military personnel who have trouble adjusting to civilian life, and when they do, they still have their edge. They can be troubled or relieved about being out of the service, as long as their story feels uniquely their own.
  • Mysteries: police procedurals, psychological suspense with a who- or whydunit focus.


Ronan Sadler

I love deeply character-driven stories that explore the interplay between boundaries and vulnerability, history and future, social context and personal desire. I’m drawn to immersive narrative voices and emotionally detailed settings. Romance is for everyone, and I would love to see diverse, #OwnVoices submissions across genre that reflect love in its many forms.

  • Sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal or SFF twist, like Supernatural, Fringe, or the X-Files. A textured, immersive world is a huge plus here, and I’d really like something atmospheric, maybe almost noir-y or gothic. Series potential preferred.
  • A caper with crackling sexual/romantic tension, especially if it’s F/F (think Ocean’s 8).  High stakes, high tension, preferably high snark.
  • Character-driven erotic romance with a distinct voice, especially if it pushes at questions of power, shame, desire, and vulnerability. I’m especially interested in erotic romances that don’t essentialize power roles and instead explore these dynamics.
  • Tropes I love: arranged marriage or marriage of convenience, bodyguard/ward, fake dating. I’d love to see some more diverse submissions with these tropes.
  • Atmospheric paranormal with a strong sense of time and place. Especially interested in diverse protagonists; I want to see characters of color, disabled characters, queer characters, etc starring in the genre. Particularly interested in paranormals with witches/magic users, fae, vampires, and shifter romance that examines what it means to have an unstable or changing bodily identity.
  • Paranormal, urban fantasy, or SFF romance with twisty politics that hold our lovers apart, especially if there’s a component of duty to it.
  • Sexy, gritty, character-driven contemporary that gives space for characters with difficult backstories to heal and find love. Not looking for angst for the sake of angst, but rather for emotional complexity and depth. High heat a bonus.
  • Driven, maybe even ruthless heroines who don’t need to become softer and who are loved as they are, especially if they are forced to make morally complex choices. Think Cecilia Grant’s Lydia Slaughter, Megan Whalen Turner’s Irene Attolia, etc.
  • Romantic leads who have complex histories: exes, best friends, rivals, work partners, or enemies.
  • Diverse, sexy retellings of folk and fairy tales or well-known classics.
  • Emotional ménage or polyamory that attends to the depth of the connections between all three characters.


Daphne Watson

Hook me with a strong voice and plot, and even stronger character development. Your setting is a character, too. Set me up for a sleepless night with your un-put-down-able story.

  • #ownvoices #diversevoices #blackvoices #latinxvoices #nativevoices #authenticity
  • Blue collar/society and multicultural romances. I enjoy the forbidden love element and the fight for happiness. Don’t skip over the real, hard stuff like stereotypes and biases. Give me all the joys and pains.
  • Historicals about a protagonist who bucks the status quo.
  • Reimagined fairy tales and folklore. I am nuts for the American Gods TV series, so give me more of tales like that where there’s a magical/paranormal world that most of the population chooses not to see or has lost their ability to recognize.
  • Friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers reads set in any time and space with witty dialogue, strong characters, and a dynamic setting.
  • Villains who are the heroes of their own stories. I love angst, but not melodrama. Put me through the wringer with your stories of self-denial and self-discovery. We are in control of our own happiness, so submit stories about people who eventually get out of their own way and find their happily ever after, or happy for now. Repair and restore the main character. The try-fail cycle must be realistic and engaging.
  • Sexy explorers? Yes, please. I love trains and boats. Create an engaging story (drama, humor, thriller) set on a train or a ship or river barge with fully fleshed characters and conflict, and loads of sexual tension.
  • Mail order brides just do it for me; 90 Day Fiancé and Married at First Sight kind of stuff is my guilty pleasure. I WILL READ THE HELL OUT OF THAT ISH!! It would be fun if the main characters are a little past young.
  • Dark romance and romantic suspense/romantic thrillers that keep will keep me up all night. No subject is taboo. I’d love to read about the Yakuza and the significance of tattooing. Perhaps a Bonnie and Clyde pairing within a romantic thriller.
  • Stories about people living with mental and other health issues and the people who love them. Perhaps an autistic person finds love at their job, or a librarian begins a friendship with a patron who is dealing with PTSD and they fall in love.

Here’s a handy quick-view chart that gives you a look at which editors are acquiring in specific genres: 

Genre Editors actively acquiring in genre Not acquiring in genre
Erotic romance Kerri, Stephanie, Alissa, Deb, Mackenzie, Angela, John, Ronan, Carrie, Heather, Kate Daphne
Contemporary romance Kerri, Stephanie, Alissa, Deb, Mackenzie, Angela, Daphne, John, Ronan, Carrie, Heather, Kate
Paranormal romance Alissa, Stephanie, Deb, Mackenzie, Angela, Daphne, John, Ronan, Carrie, Heather, Kate
Urban fantasy Deb, Stephanie, Alissa, Mackenzie, Angela, Daphne, John, Ronan, Heather, Kate Carrie
Fantasy romance Alissa, Deb, Angela, John, Ronan, Carrie, Heather, Mackenzie Kate
Science fiction romance Alissa, Deb, Angela, Ronan, Carrie, Heather, Mackenzie, Stephanie, Kerri, Daphne, John, Kate
Romantic suspense Kerri, Stephanie, Alissa, Deb, Angela, Daphne, John, Ronan, Carrie, Kate Heather, Mackenzie
Historical romance Kerri, Alissa, Deb, Mackenzie, Daphne, John, Ronan, Carrie, Heather Stephanie, Angela, Kate
Mystery Kerri, Deb, Mackenzie, Daphne, John, Kate Stephanie, Alissa, Angela, Ronan, Carrie, Heather
**All editors are acquiring diverse and inclusive manuscripts across their listed genres**


59 thoughts on “What the Carina Press Editors Want–Updated Winter 2018 Edition”

  1. Chrissie says:

    In the paranormal genre, what about ghost stories with romance or time-travel romance? Are these even considered paranormal anymore? If so what are the guidelines? Thank you!

    1. Angela James says:

      Chrissie, ghosts would be considered paranormal. Time travel is a trickier one but you can slot it into paranormal. We will look at both types of concepts, just follow the submissions guidelines for paranormal.

      1. Chrissie says:

        Thank you, Angela! :)

    2. Carrie Lofty says:

      Time travel could also be sci-fi/fantasy, depending on your take. I’d put Doctor Who in sf/f rather than paranormal. I’m only chiming in because I’d like to find a time travel I can really get behind.

      But no matter the category you wind up using, Angela will shepherd mss through the process. After all, one of Carina’s specialties is finding shelf space for great stories that don’t fit the usual mold.

      1. Chrissie says:

        Thank you, Carrie! I have a couple ghost stories I am writing and a time travel but Carina already turned it down. :( I will keep you in mind when I submit. :)

  2. Can I ask about required word counts too?

    1. Angela James says:

      @Caitlyn, all of our word count information is posted on our submissions page at the top, under Write For Us. There’s a lot of info there! If you have a specific question not covered there, please let us know.

  3. Landra Graf says:

    I submitted a project last year for your pitch session. It got a full request, then was rejected. I’ve since made extension revisions and the story has changed drastically. I noticed one of your editors is looking for a story like mine. Can I re-submit?

    1. Angela James says:

      @Landra we usually tell authors that they can re-submit if the manuscript has been substantially changed/revised. That’s very subjective so we leave it to authors’ best judgment.

  4. Sheritta Bitikofer says:

    A couple of weeks ago, I submitted a paranormal romance that fits with the previously mentioned “paranormal mysteries genre” surrounding magic-using characters and an enchanted town that would best fit for this submission call. I haven’t heard back about a decision on this manuscript, but should I withdraw and wait until this winter to resubmit?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sheritta, I’m not sure I understand your question entirely/why you’re thinking you need to withdraw, but all submissions get read. If you only submitted recently, you should hear back in a 12-week window.

      1. Sheritta Bitikofer says:

        The reason I ask if it needs to be withdrawn is because it might not be what CarinaPress is looking for at this time, but it’s what they’ll be looking for in 9-10 months according to this blog. I wanted to make sure I was submitting this particular project at the best time possible. I understand there is the 12-week window, so I will wait to hear back. Thanks!

        1. Landra Graf says:

          Winter 2018 refers to now, as it’s still winter. This list is what the editors want right now.

          1. Sheritta Bitikofer says:

            Fantastic! My head was in November or December of this year. Thank you for the clarification!

        2. Angela James says:

          Ah, yes, thanks to Landra for replying. It’s Winter 2018 now!

  5. Lucy says:


    I’m just not sure who to submit to. I’ve a paranormal shifter romance (18k currently) for the dirty bits line. But it’s less angst and more steamy fun/sex with a stranger romance then the usual dark paranormal suspense story.

    Should I just submit to Angela if I’m unsure? I don’t want to seem like I haven’t researched the editors properly but I can’t decide who’d be the best fit.

    Best wishes

    1. Angela James says:

      Lucy, you’re in luck, I can make this easy for you! I actually am the one to initially read all of TDB and they’re edited in house by either myself, Kerri or Stephanie. So you can just submit it without worrying about directing it to someone. This particular category doesn’t have a dropdown for choosing an editor since they’re all auto-assigned to me!

      1. Lucy says:

        Awesome! Thanks

  6. Sam Thorne says:

    I have a MMM paranormal story which I would like to share, but I was wondering if you have set rules on writing with US spelling and grammar? My stories are written in UK English (though I can convert, of course). Forgive me if this is made clear somewhere; I had a good hunt but genuinely couldn’t find any specifications on this one issue.

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sam, totally okay to submit in UK English.

  7. India Daram says:

    Hi, I have a contemporary romantic comedy with forbidden love, cultural taboos and a monster-in law of about 80k words. Is this something you would be interested in? Many thanks, Indy

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi India! We don’t generally comment on pitches on the blog, and this is a fairly generic description, so I can only say that we do publish romantic comedy and our submissions are open, so feel free to submit it via our guidelines!

  8. Sandy says:

    Can you please clarify what you mean by “previously published works”? Thank you!

    1. Angela James says:

      Sandy, “previously published” refers to any book that has been made previously available for purchase.

      1. Sandy says:

        Thank you Angela!

  9. Dawn Reeves says:

    Hi Angela, I was thinking of submitting a sweet romance 50,000 words to the open call or would this fit more with another editors preference?

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      If your romance is complete, then we’d be happy to read it via the regular submissions process. If it’s a work in progress, then you’re definitely welcome to submit it to the open proposal call. There’s no need to direct it to a particular editor if you’re not sure who would be the best fit; we’ll read your query letter and assign to the editor best suited!

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. Dawn Reeves says:

        Thanks Stephanie, I will submit it to the works in progress.

  10. Heather says:

    Hi! Quick question. I have a story that I think would fit perfectly for your ‘ugly cry’ call, but it was rejected a year and a half ago by an editor who is no longer with Carina. It has since been significantly revised but I fear re-submitting because I don’t want to break the rules. Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Heather,

      If a story has been significantly revised (on a story level, not just craft), then we are willing to take a second look. However, it’s almost always true that a new submission is your best foot forward, rather than re-submitting material we’ve already seen.

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  11. Emma says:

    Do you take historicals with paranormal elements – e.g. a regency with witchcraft & vampires ?

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Yes, we do!

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. Emma says:

        Yay! – if I was going to submit something along those lines to the open proposals which editor would be best to submit it to?

        1. Stephanie Doig says:

          Hi, Emma,
          You can direct it to me, thank you!

  12. Prof says:

    Looking for sample Synopses.

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Unfortunately we do not have sample synopses available. RWA.org has some resources for any writers looking to connect with writers’ groups; that may be the best place to go if you’re looking for guidance.

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  13. Hi,

    Can you tell me what length of manuscript do you have in mind for books in this series?

    Much thanks,

    Barbara James.

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Barbara,
      All of our word count information is posted on our submissions page at the top, under Write For Us. There’s a lot of info there! If you have a specific question not covered there, please let us know.

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  14. Eric Larrson says:


    Quick question relating to Alissa and John’s wishlists, if possible, before I submit.

    I have a sweeping fantasy epic (no magic/supernatural elements or races, just normal human people) which is adventure and romance. Has a female lead but it is deeply psychological; the will-they-wont-they relationship is not linked to anything standing directly in their way but her own trauma from an extensive period of isolation and abuse (imagine a typical ‘rescue the princess’ fairytale, but what happens AFTER the princess is rescued). The high-stakes adventure is playing out while the lead learns to live with the mental health problems from her isolation- in a world where there isn’t exactly expertise on how (fictional world on brink of industrialisation). As she does so she develops a strong friendship… The male hero is interesting but flawed; cynical and has a bit of a temper.

    In a way combines some old tropes with more modern thinking.

    Do you know which of the two might be most interested (Alissa or John)? Manuscript is complete and has been professionally critiqued (twice).


    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Eric,

      For fantasy romance, it’s important to note that we only accept submissions where romance is a driving force in the plot–in fantasy, we’d be looking for a book where there is eventually an HEA for your hero and heroine. It doesn’t have to be in book one, if you’re writing a series, but it does need to be in the plans eventually. Before you submit, I’d ask that you make sure that is true for your manuscript.

      As for who to submit to, I cannot advise you on that, but I can tell you that if the first editor sees potential but doesn’t think a manuscript is the right fit for them, we will have a second reader take a look. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it!

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  15. Pamela Todd says:

    I have a couple of quick questions concerning submissions. I’m writing a paranormal historical time-travel trilogy, but the first book ends in a cliffhanger – no HEA or HFN, but the subsequent books will include those. Would this be acceptable to submit? Also, since there aren’t any vampires, witches etc. in it I’m not sure who to submit to.


    1. Angela James says:

      Pam, yes, we’ll consider it but you must include a clear series outline of the subsequent two books along with your submission (as a separate document). No need to direct it to a specific editor, we’ll get it in the hands of someone who likes your genre!

    2. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Pam,

      We’re open to submissions like this; please just include a series synopsis (there will be an area for extra file upload) so that we know there is eventually an HFN or HEA.

      No need to direct to a specific editor, we will direct it to someone who loves the genre!

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  16. Elise says:


    I’m currently working on a Paranormal Mystery Romance which I’m hoping to submit with a proposal in a few days…my question is this as I am aware HQN does take on print if its 70k and over, would it still be considered for print if it is a m/m story with two strong male leads rather than the typical m/f story.

    Thank you for your response, its appreciated.

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Elise,

      While a word count of 70k and over is one of the considerations for print, we are primarily a digital-first imprint, and print is not a guarantee. That is true for m/m or f/f mysteries as well as m/f. An m/m mystery over 70k would be considered for print opportunities as well.

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  17. Sandy says:


    I emailed a question to the general submissions email on the 14th and haven’t received a reply yet. It’s somewhat involved so I didn’t want to post on here. I just wanted to inquire if another contact would be more appropriate to answer my question. Thanks!

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Sandy,

      Apologies for the delay; we’ve responded now.

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. Sandy says:

        Thank you!

  18. Candy says:

    Question: I have a series that I self published on Amazon. I’m regretting it, and looking for a publisher who can better represent me. Would CarinaPress be interested in a series that was already published on Amazon?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi, our submissions guidelines have information on previously published work: https://www.carinapress.com/blog/submission-guidelines/#previously%20pubbed

      1. Professors says:

        Thanks for your continued advice, Angela.
        We put your website on our students must see reading list.

  19. Natalie says:

    Hi Carina Press team!

    I have a completed romance manuscript in which the lead characters are 18 (F) and 21 (M). Would this be suitable for you, or do you prefer all characters to be 21+?

    Many thanks! :)

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Natalie, we are open to characters 18 and over.

  20. AnneF says:

    If we’ve submitted a manuscript without directing it to a specific editor and it’s been in the queue for two weeks, is it possible to then direct it without submitting it again? Or is that too late? (If the manuscript is still in “received,” would that make a difference?)

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Anne,

      You can add a note to your Submission in Submittable, and if it hasn’t already been directed to an editor, we will direct it!

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. AnneF says:

        Oh, good. I should have figured that out. Thank you!

  21. Vivian Cope says:

    Well, I have a question! I’m putting together a transgender m2f/m romance and I’m struggling a bit with how to draw my central character.

    The guidelines are very particular about our heroines knowing what they want, being ‘alpha,’ spunky, feisty and very self-possessed and non-neurotic generally

    But being an m2f trans person involves a lot of vulnerability (and I speak from experience) and it seems worthwhile to share that vulnerability with the reader, while observing the conventions of the genre…help!

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Vivian,

      No need to worry about making a character conform to alpha/feisty traits; the above list contains examples of some things our editors are looking for, but is by no means intended to be exhaustive or restrictive. We’d be thrilled to read a trans romance submission from you, and I think your instincts are absolutely correct, and sharing your MC’s vulnerabilities with the reader will make for a stronger story.

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  22. Presently that there is just one significant retail book shop left :( (B&N), is it still worth all the push to seek after expert distributing? Or then again is web distributing similarly as compelling? I do realize that expert distributers may have a high ground in outside business sectors. On the other hand, maybe the vast majority of them have been taken over by the overall web, as well.

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