First-page critiques: now open to submissions!


We’re pleased to announce we’re once again accepting submissions for first-page critiques. This is a feedback opportunity, in which authors submit their short scenes, and a Carina Press editor writes a critique and posts it publicly on our blog.

This critique sweepstakes is a chance for you to receive honest and constructive feedback from a Carina Press editor. Feedback that we promise won’t be mean—we’re not looking to be witty or harsh, we’re just looking to give insight into the editorial thought process while giving you what solid feedback we can at the same time. Send us your first page, and we’ll randomly select submissions to critique monthly on our blog. If you’ve never had your work critiqued before (or even if you have), don’t worry! Our goal is to help you by not only pointing out what might not be working, but by also letting you know what you’ve gotten right and how to bring that out and really make it shine. In other words, we’re friendly!

Before you submit, please read the official rules here, and take a look at the FAQs below.

How it works:

  • Submit the first 400 to 800 words of your manuscript (for most manuscripts, this will be around 1 ½ to 3 pages).
  • Fine-tune your scene and submit it to us here.
  • We’ll randomly select a number of scenes from the submissions.
  • Carina Press editors will review and post the selected submissions, with our editorial feedback, on the Carina Press blog.
  • You choose—do you want the comment section on the blog open or closed? Leaving the comment section open means others can comment and offer feedback but perhaps you only want the feedback from the editor. In that case, everyone reading will benefit from seeing how our editorial minds work, but cannot comment on the blog post itself.

Before you begin:

  • Please read the official rules for full details.
  • First pages must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2019.
  • One entry per person, and please only from authors who haven’t been published by Carina Press/Harlequin before.
  • Pages must be from unpublished work and you must be the rightful owner of the work.
  • By submitting your work to this contest, you give permission for the material to appear on our website along with the editorial feedback.
  • Genres must fall within one of these romance genres but can be of any heat level and feature same-sex/multiple pairings: contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, historical, science fiction, fantasy.
  • The scenes to be critiqued will be selected at random, and once the selections have been made, we’ll be deleting all other submissions.

Submit your scene here. Good luck, and we look forward to reading your submissions!

The Carina Press Editors


How long should the scene be?

Between 400 and 800 words. We’re unable to accept submissions that exceed 800 words.

Can I submit more than one scene?

 We ask that you submit only one scene for this call, so that we can be as fair as possible (remember, the selections are random!). If/when we open up for submissions again, you’re welcome to submit a different scene.

Any further questions can be directed to Submissions AT