Emma Cole


My Manuscript Wish List

Associate Editor for Harlequin Romantic Suspense after freelancing for a number of years. In addition to romance, I love horror, sci-fi, and speculative fiction, and my to-be-read pile of books never seems to shrink. When I'm not reading, I'm watching classic films, knitting, sewing, or tackling various other crafty pursuits.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to submissions@harlequin.com

These novels are romance-focused stories with a suspense element. Powerful romances are at the heart of each story, and the additional elements of excitement, adventure and suspense play out between complex characters.

Harlequin Romantic Suspense Key Elements

  • Harlequin Romantic Suspense novels are fueled more by the romance than the suspense.
  • Big, sweeping romances amid dangerous and suspenseful settings.
  • Word count of 70,000 means a wider breadth of story and potential for subplots that speak to the conflicts.
  • Strong, compelling romance drives the stories but is matched by dramatic and layered plots.
  • We are always on the lookout for LGBTQIA+ romantic suspense. All gender and identity pairings are welcome!
  • Classic themes include revenge, characters in jeopardy, family, Westerns, military and law enforcement, but we're excited to receive twists on these as well as entirely new themes. Vivid conflicts are essential.
  • A range of sensuality from high to low, as well as romantic and sexual tension.
  • Emotional payoff fits with the larger-than-life stories.
  • Paranormal "adjacent" elements are welcome, so long as they don't push the story into Paranormal or Fantasy. We're interested in stories about psychics, ghost hunting, or Gothic suspense.

Featured in Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Relatable main characters falling in love under extraordinary circumstances. Harlequin Romantic Suspense concentrates on the developing love story more than the suspense. Each character should be a force to contend with—complex, strong and smart.

What to Submit

  • Your full manuscript
  • A 3-5 page synopsis describing your story, including plot outline, character development and conflict resolution/ending.

Harlequin Romantic Suspense is…

Criminal MindsThe White LotusYellowstone, 9-1-1, Broadchurch, Lupin, Blue Bloods, The Terminal List, or modern-day Rear Window or Charade for their solid levels of story, three-dimensional characters and varying levels of suspense with strong romantic themes, witty dialogue and lives and hearts on the line.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Romance

Favorite sub-genres: Cozy Mystery, Multicultural, Noir, Romantic Suspense
I'd like the next...

On the lookout for stories from underrepresented voices in the genre. Excited to find new and interesting projects: quirky characters, small towns with big secrets, cozy mysteries with strange (but not paranormal, please!) situations. An updated Murder, She Wrote, if you will. My holy grail project would be a Twin Peaks romance: slightly offbeat characters in the middle of a town full of people who are not quite what they seem, solving a mystery.

My favorites include...

Twin Peaks; Charade; The Big Sleep; Miller's Crossing; Rebecca; Vertigo; Shovel Ready; Velvet Was the Night; Devil in a Blue Dress; The Thin Man

My Upcoming Events:

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