Escape Publishing Submissions

Submission Guidelines

We’re interested in stories in the following sub-categories.

All submissions must include a central romance or romantic elements focused on lead characters and an uplifting ending.


Thrillers and suspenseful reads.  Think intrepid investigators, unusual circumstances, and romance on the run.


The characters in our contemporary romances have today’s issues and speak today’s language.  They’re us, but at our best and worst. They’re your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, and idols.


Make us laugh.  Your comedy can come in any flavour, but its first and last impression is fun.


It’s so hot, it scorches.  It comes in all genders, shapes, sizes and combinations including M/F, M/M, F/F, and ménage.


If it’s magical or features an alternative reality:  high fantasy, urban fantasy dystopian, or new spins on fairy tales, put a spell on us.


Featuring the best in LGBT and queer romance, we take submissions from sweet to scorching.


Penniless or powerful, breeches or corset, we’d like to be formally introduced to your dukes and duchesses, scullery maids and pirates, convicts and bushrangers, the ladies and gentlemen of yesteryear.

Magic Realism:

Not quite paranormal, only elements of fantasy, this genre takes a contemporary romance with the belief that there’s magic in the everyday.


If it’s got bite, we’re interested.  Anything with fangs, fur or fae.


The Outback, small country towns, or on the coast, rural romance is from all corners of Australia – with love.


Romances with more than just love on the line – this is where the mysteries of the world and the mysteries of the heart combine.


Interplanetary life and space pirates from other worlds or our own in a distant age.


A longer read with multiple characters and plotlines over an extended time period.  Includes a central romance.


Featuring protagonists 16 and over, this subgenre explores what it means to grow up, what it means to discover yourself, and the breath-taking magic of first love.



We accept short stories, novellas, short novels, novel length stories, and long novels.

•5,000 – 10,000 (short story)

•11,000 – 50,000 (novella)

•50,000 – 80,000 (short novel)

•81,000 – 100,000 (novel)

•100,000+ (long novel)


Why submit to Escape?

We’re a specialist romance publisher.  It’s all we do and it’s what we love.  What we don’t know about publishing romance probably isn’t worth knowing. We’re a small, innovative publisher working within Harlequin Enterprises, a larger, long established company with a rich tradition as a leader in the industry.  We are innovative and quick to respond to changes in the industry, plus we have the backing of the global organisation.

You can expect us to be responsive, professional, knowledgeable, supportive, and forward thinking.  We’ll also be honest and tell you how we see things.

Escape Artists have formed a vibrant and engaged community supporting each other as independent authors.  If you become an Escape author, you’ll be welcomed in that community.


Submission Process

Before submitting you must:

  1. Have written a story that fits one of our genres or a meld of them.  We’d love to see a comic SF or a fantasy saga.
  2. Have written a story or series that is romantic or has romantic elements and a satisfying and fulfilling ending.  Happy endings are a must.
  3. Have written a full manuscript.  Yes, all of it needs to be ready in case we request it.
  4. Own the rights to your manuscript, whether it is unpublished or self-published.
  5. Format your manuscript to our specifications.
  6. Extract the first three chapters of the manuscript for submission.  Do not submit the entire manuscript. It’s a disadvantage to do so; you’ll go to the bottom of the submission pile and we will not be able to attend to you quickly. This will make all of us unhappy.
  7. Have written a compelling synopsis of the story. See tips on synopsis writing.  Don’t fret, you’ve just written a whole book, all we need is a short summary of it.

Formatting specifications

Format your manuscript with the following elements:

  • 12pt Times New Roman font (or similar)
  • Chapter headings centred
  • 1.5cm indents
  • double-spaced
  • .doc .docx .rtf .pdf, and .txt files are accepted
  • Save the first three chapters as a new document under the title:  Title of your book_MANUSCRIPT.  Replace the words title of our book with the actual title of your book.

Synopsis specifications

Your synopsis provides a snapshot of the whole story.  That means no surprises. We want all the main plot points on the page.  Keep it simple and tell us briefly how the story goes.  Focus on the main characters and what happens to them and what they do.

Read to submit?

Love is a serious business at Escape.

We take our promise to bring readers fresh and exciting love stories to heart.  The authors who write for us are artists, who know how best to appeal to emotions, create excitement, and deliver satisfaction guaranteed stories.

Escape authors are both experienced and emerging, and live all around the world.  The one thing they have in common is the talent to create memorable, walk-off-the page characters and tell lasting, memorable stories.

Because we’re serious about romance, we don’t accept stories that don’t contain a romance or romantic elements.

That means, among other things, hand holding, shy glances, spirited debate, longing looks, startled gasps, heart-melting first kisses, soul-feeding devotion, and hot sex.  Our stories can be sweet and behind closed doors, or so steamy they need their own exhaust fan. Because we’re serious about publishing, following the submission process is important.

After you've read the guidelines above, complete the form below to submit your manuscript. 

Escape Publishing Submissions