Manuscript Matchmakers: Meet the perfect editor match for your inspirational historical romance manuscript
The Love Inspired editors are thrilled to announce our newest pitch opportunity, Manuscript Matchmakers (#ManuscriptMatch). We want to fall in love with some amazing inspirational historical romance novels. If you think your book holds the key to our hearts, we encourage you to pitch it to the Manuscript Matchmakers.
Over the years, Love Inspired has bought more than 30 authors through pitch contests. Last year, we found 9 new authors in our From Blurb to Book pitch, many of whom wrote their books during the contest. Four of their books will be on store shelves in 2016. This year, we’ve got times gone by on our mind. We want to find new historical romance authors to join our team. For this pitch opportunity, Love Inspired editors Tina James, Melissa Endlich, Emily Rodmell, Elizabeth Mazer, Shana Asaro, Giselle Regus and Dina Davis are looking for Inspirational Historical Romance stories of 70-75K words with great hooks. And to help you find those great hooks, we’ve outlined the ones we’re most looking for. We’d like to see stories that focus on one or more of seven hooks. The editors will be dividing ourselves into teams based on these tropes and mentoring authors as you write your books.
1. Team Amish
2. Team Mail Order Bride
3. Team Babies/Children
4. Team Cowboy/Rancher
5. Team Marriage of Convenience
6. Team Reunion Romance
7. Team Choose Your Own Hook (i.e. any other strong hook)
8. Bonus Category: Pony Express Fast Track. If you have a complete manuscript ready to go and don’t want to have to wait through the pitch deadlines to get it seen, submit your manuscript to our Pony Express Fast Track Category. Any full manuscripts submitted to the Pony Express Fast Track category by the initial submission deadline of March 2 will be guaranteed that an editor will look at your full manuscript and respond by May 2. You can submit any trope to this category.
But whether you have a full manuscript ready or just an idea, we want to meet you. If you think you are the perfect match for Love Inspired Historical, we invite you to show us that you’re the total package in these three stages:
1. Proper Introductions—Tell us a little bit about you and your manuscript by filling out a matchmaking profile card and painting a picture of your book by sending in the first page. (Pony Express Fast Track entrants send a Matchmaking Card and full manuscript at this stage.)
Matchmaking Profile Card
Targeted Team: Amish, Mail Order Bride, Pony Express Fast Track, etc.
Setting and time period:
Describe your book in 1 sentence:
Authors who catch our eye will move on to Stage 2.
2. Courtship—Show us you have the plotting and writing skills to back up your profile by submitting a full proposal (synopsis and three chapters). Authors who show us their amazing plots, conflicts and writing will move on to Stage 3.
3. Betrothal—We’ve met the beginnings of your manuscript and like what we see so far. Convince us to make a commitment by submitting your full manuscript. The sky’s the limit for these authors. A contract could be within your reach if you bring it all together into a manuscript that we think our readers will love.
If you make it through, you could be the next contracted author for Love Inspired Historical. But we won’t leave you to do it all on your own. We’ll be sharing helpful master class blog posts along the way telling you exactly what is required in a Love Inspired Historical book. And once we decide who will be getting a proposal request, authors will be divided into seven teams based around the seven tropes we’ve listed (Pony Express manuscripts will be divided between editors and read separately). Each team will have an editor mentor depending on the number of submissions and finalists for each line. Mentors will be announced on the day that the teams are announced. So you’ll know exactly who is looking at your book throughout the stages, and you can ask questions directed at your mentor in the announcement thread. But don’t wait to get to know your fellow contestants. Feel free to start mixing and mingling in any open Manuscript Matchmakers thread or via the #ManuscriptMatch hashtag on Twitter. Every author who makes it to stage 3 will receive an initial decision (contract, reject or revision request) on their submissions by August 31.
Here’s our timeline:
February 22 – Submit the completed Matchmaking Profile and first page of your inspirational historical romance manuscript (or full for Pony Express) to ManuscriptMatchmakers@harpercollins.com starting today.
**Please read Formatting Guidelines before submitting**
March 2 – All entries must be in house. The editors will review the entries over the next week and choose the teams.
March 9 – Editors will announce which entries will be joining a team and which editors will be mentoring each team. The authors on the teams will be invited to submit their proposal by April 6 to the email box.
April 6 – All proposals must be in house. Editors will review the submissions from their team over the next week and a half and narrow down the ones that seem most promising to move on to the next stage.
April 18 – Editors will announce which team members will be going on to the final round. Qualifying authors will be invited to submit their complete manuscript. Authors who are not moving on will privately receive personalized feedback. Authors who are moving on will have until July 15 to submit their full manuscripts.
July 15 – All entries must be in house. Editors will review the submissions from their team and decide next steps (reject, request a revision, or offer a contract). By the end of a month and a half, decisions will be made to contract, send a revision letter or reject each of the stories. All authors who submit full manuscripts will receive notification of our decision within this time frame.
August 31 – We will announce the results in a blog post that wraps up the pitch, shares our thoughts on the highs and lows, highlights any sales and gives stats on the results for the full manuscript submissions.
Sound exciting? If you think you could rock this pitch, get ready to show us your stuff. Read our team bios, the info on formatting guidelines, the inspirational success stories and the blogs on what LIH is looking for, writing a standout first page, and examples of how to fill out the matchmaking card, then start those books. Be sure to follow the guidelines for Love Inspired Historical. Only one entry per author, please. If your book fits in more than one category, feel free to list more than one. We will randomly place entries with multiple hooks into one category based on number of entries. Deadlines are tight, so keep writing while you’re waiting to hear back. And if your book is complete now, don’t miss the fabulous Pony Express Fast Track opportunity.