Harlequin Creator Fund

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Submissions to the Harlequin Creator Fund are now closed. Thank you for your interest and submitting your work. We are pleased to have received over 300 entries to the Harlequin Creator Fund.

The judges are currently evaluating the shortlist. We hope to contact Creator Fund recipients in mid-June 2019. A public announcement will follow. Please continue to check in for updates.

Harlequin Creator Fund

The Creator Fund is designed to attract and support up-and-coming and established female writers (in the US and Canada) of fiction, TV or movie scripts, who tell feel-good stories with a unique point of view. The first fund draws from a pool of $30,000 USD and will focus on submissions in a wide range of genres, including, but not limited to, comedy, drama, suspense, adventure and historical. The stories must be character-driven and leave audiences feeling uplifted. The writers of the chosen submissions will receive funding and guidance for an opportunity to complete and package their story ideas for advancement.

How do I submit?

To submit, select your category (novel, movie or TV) from the bottom of this page and follow the instructions to input your information and attach your proposal.

Who can submit?

We are looking for female creators who are residents of the United States of America and Canada (excluding Quebec) and are over the age of majority in their state or province/territory of residence. We also welcome cocreators or creative teams to apply. As an inclusive publisher, Harlequin welcomes female writers from all backgrounds, communities and cultures to submit.

We will not consider applications from corporations or corporate teams, or from any employees (or their family members) of Harlequin and its related companies. Current and former Harlequin authors are very welcome to apply.

We ask that you not submit more than one application to each category.

When does this run?

The current call for submissions will open on January 23, 2019, and close on March 23, 2019. Once the entry period has closed, we will announce a timeline for judging and announcements based on the number of entries received. We hope to have those announcements made by the end of April 2019.

Successful applicants will be contacted shortly after our decisions are made. We may, but will not be required to, contact unsuccessful applicants.


What is Harlequin looking for?

We are looking for material that highlights your unique voice while supporting Harlequin’s commitment to telling feel-good stories. Entries will be evaluated on:

1. Characters – we want fully developed, believable and authentic characters.

2. Story – we want a compelling story that engages the audience and leaves the audience hopeful and energized.

3. Originality – we want a story that is unique and stands apart.

4. Voice – we want a story told in an authentic voice that reflects you as a creator.

5. Marketability – we want stories that the world wants to consume, that is relevant and engaging.

6. Quality of the writing – including form, structure, pacing and fundamentals.

At the time of your application, we will ask you to select the category to which you are applying. Each category has slightly different application criteria.

While we are not tied to any specific genre, this first Creator Fund is in support of the broader Harlequin Feel Good initiative. That means we are looking for uplifting, positive stories that empower our audience and should end on a positive (or at least hopeful) note. We are generally not interested in horror, blood, gore or shock-value writing, though this is not a hard rule if such story elements are in service of the feel-good arc.

How will Harlequin choose recipients?

Once the time period for entries has closed, all eligible entries will be sent to our judging panel for evaluation. Currently, the judging panel is made up of executives from Harlequin editorial and marketing, and movie and television consultants.

The panel will apply the guidelines above to each entry and look for promising and exciting proposals that support the Harlequin Feel Good Project.

What do recipients get?

Successful applicants will be offered a Development Agreement with us and a portion of the $30,000 we have set aside to support their project’s development. The details of how funds will be allocated will be up to Harlequin and will depend on the number and quality of applications received. While we hope not to, we may choose to award no grants if we do not receive any acceptable entries.

How does the Development Agreement work?

The Development Agreement will set out how we will work with you to explore and expand your idea, provide feedback and guidance, and set realistic milestones to help develop the project. It will also set out our funding commitments and timelines.

The specifics of what our support will look like will vary depending on the media and the stage your proposal is at, but our goal is to leverage our extensive experience in the creative industry to help you push your idea to the next level.

While developing your concept with us, we will ask that your project be exclusive to Harlequin. In addition, it will set out a framework for the ownership and licensing of any creative content or intellectual property rights generated.

Applying for a grant puts no obligations on you, and you will be given the opportunity to review the Development Agreement and to refuse it if you do not agree to its terms.

How do you deal with intellectual property rights?

As a creative content company, we are very sensitive about our own intellectual property and respectful of others’. As a condition to be considered for a grant, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is entirely your own original content. If we come to believe that any entries are copied or infringe on anyone’s rights, this will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

You are the owner of your intellectual property, and if you are not successful in your application, all the rights in your proposal will stay with you. If you are successful, the Development Agreement will set out how ownership works going forward.

We ask that all applicants note and understand that we are a large company with a wide array of creative voices and content. It is possible that we have or will have separate works that may resemble your proposal or may have similar themes, plots or characters. You acknowledge that you will have no rights in any such separately developed works.

Privacy and Use of Information

By applying to the Harlequin Creator Fund, you give us the right to use your name, mailing address and email for the purpose of administering the judging and selection process. You also agree that if you are selected as a grant recipient, you will give us the right to use your name, photograph and likeness for purposes of publicizing the Harlequin Creator Fund. We will use your Personal Information only for identified purposes and in a manner that is consistent with our Privacy Policy, which can be found at www.Harlequin.com.

Contact Information

The Harlequin Creator Fund is being offered by Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Bay Adelaide Centre, East Tower, 22 Adelaide Street West, Floor 41, Toronto, Ontario M5H 4E3, Canada. Please direct any inquiries to: HarlequinCreatorFund@Harlequin.com.

Harlequin Creator Fund