Stories for the soul: Write for Love Inspired and discover a world of heartwarming and emotional stories

So, you want to write for the Love Inspired franchise? Well, join Tina James, senior editor of Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical, and Melissa Endlich, senior editor of Love Inspired, as they share some insight on writing an inspirational romance for the Love Inspired lines.

Our goal is for the Love Inspired franchise to provide an unforgettable emotional journey that promises to gladden the heart and soothe the soul.  We’re looking for inspirational love stories that lift readers’ spirits.

The Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical series are the answers to a prayer for readers who are looking for wholesome romances that focus on the emotional tenderness of the relationship rather than sexual desire.  The three Love Inspired lines offer vivid and exciting romances with wonderful romantic tension, but there are no love scenes or overt sensuality in the books.  These emotion-packed books feature the timeless themes of family and faith, romance and commitment.  These are stories that entertain, but offer a deeper meaning readers can apply to their own lives and relationships.

We’re always on the lookout for new authors. The Love Inspired line is a series of contemporary, heartwarming inspirational romances of 55,000-60,000 words. The Love Inspired Suspense line is a series of contemporary, riveting inspirational romantic suspense of 55,000-60,000 words. And the Love Inspired Historical line is a series of captivating inspirational historical romance of 70,000-75,000 words. We encourage manuscripts set in widely diverse historical time periods. We are always seeking exceptional stories set in the West, but we are also looking for novels with non-Western settings, too.  Americana (post-Civil War), European historical eras (e.g. Tudor, Regency and Victorian England, eighteenth-century Scotland, etc.), twentieth-century (turn-of-the-century through World War II) and foreign settings are all welcome.

All stories should focus on one hero and heroine who meet as early in the book as possible. The hero and heroine should be on the page together in the first chapter—the first page is even better. By the end of the story the main characters should be in a committed relationship.   In addition, we want to see opening chapters that are compelling and grab the reader’s attention from the first line of the story.

Faith elements should always be organic to the story and should avoid a preachy tone or evangelical language that could be off-putting to non-evangelicals. All faith elements should be nondenominational. The conflict between the main characters should be an emotional one, arising naturally from the characters. The progression of the story must incorporate the faith journey of each protagonist, whether struggling to accept faith or simply being active in their church community.  By the end of the story, hero and heroine must be both believers and members of a church community.

We invite you to ask any questions you may have about writing for us. We encourage you to try to write for one of the Love Inspired lines and submit it to us.  Because the next Love Inspired author could very well be you!

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Comments ( 17 )
  1. Kathy Shell
    November 4, 2010 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    When you say ‘The progression of the story must incorporate the faith journey of each protagonist, whether struggling to accept faith or simply being active in their church community. By the end of the story, hero and heroine must be both believers and members of a church community’. Is this essentially Christian?

    Can the early story be one containing a lot of Australia aboriginal dream-time mythology?

  2. Christina
    November 4, 2010 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    First, I want to say how much I love LIS, especially the historicals.

    Is there a particular formula for writing to this line?

    Has Steeple Hill considered a line for the Edgy Christian market?

    Thank you for answering my questions.

  3. Mitzi Moody
    November 4, 2010 at 10:36 am
    Reply

    This is so excited! My fingers are typing away at the keyboard. My genre is Love Inspired Historical.! Thank you for the encouragement on yesterday’s webinar.

  4. Mitzi
    November 4, 2010 at 10:38 am
    Reply

    This is so exciting! My fingers are typing away at the keyboard. My genre is Love Inspired Historical.! Thank you for the encouragement on yesterday’s webinar.

  5. Tweets that mention Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. -- Topsy.com
    November 4, 2010 at 10:50 am
    Reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nancy J. Parra and Dawn P, Love Inspired. Love Inspired said: Want to write for Love Inspired? Sr. Editor's Tina James & Melissa Endlich, share what you need 2 know. #SYTYCW http://bit.ly/cNJA0Q […]

  6. Lynn Heckman
    November 4, 2010 at 10:56 am
    Reply

    Can the story be set anywhere in the US? My story is set in a small country town in PA. Will my story be rejected because of that?

  7. Sheri Ann Richerson
    November 4, 2010 at 11:02 am
    Reply

    I finally made it over from the #WW group with Candy’s encouragement. I’m working on NaNoWriMo this year plus writing full time in addition to being part of your workshop.

    I am wondering how difficult it is to switch from writing non-fiction to writing romance?

    Have a great day!
    Sheri Ann

  8. Stacie
    November 4, 2010 at 11:32 am
    Reply

    It was great being able to chat with some of the LI authors and editor yesterday.

    I have been writing with the Love Inspired Lines in mind and I currently have on manuscript done and few others in progress. I love the emotional journey of the LI characters.

    I have a few questions.

    Is Love Inspired interested in books with Amish characters? I love the family focused, faith immersed lives of these characters and I am hoping that LI is interesting is getting submissions for this type of story.

    I notice that there is a lot of variety in the degree of scripture references and level of praying or quotes from the bible in the books. Is this something that Love Inspired prescribes or is this at the discretion of the author? I tend to prefer the books that the character’s faith is evident, but the books don’t sound too ‘preachy’ or in your face with bible references. I prefer if there is an underlying, Christian feeling to the book.

    Thanks. You can expect a submission from me soon.

    Stacie

  9. adelheideh
    November 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm
    Reply

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to voice our questions concerning the Love Inspired series.
    My first question is about crossing genres, if a story is written and could fit into more than one category how is it submitted?

    I’m also wondering if LI does character series. I usually like to write three or more stories with the same characters. (I’m not an author just a story writer:)

  10. Melissa Endlich
    November 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    Reply

    Hi there everyone. Popping in to answer some of your questions.
    @Kathy Shell–Love Inspired features Christian characters. We would not be interested in a book that had Aborginal dream time mythology. Sorry!
    @Lynn–LI books are set in all parts of the U.S. A small Pennsylvania town is perfect.
    @ Stacie–All the LI lines are interested in Amish stories. We love them too, and would love to have more books. And regarding the varying degress of scripture quoting, etc. this is definitely at the discretion of the authors. However, we remind writers that we are seeking romantic stories, not sermons. Don’t forget, Jesus told stories to spread his message.
    Thanks all!
    Melissa

  11. cheryl
    November 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the overview. It makes me willing to pick up and read this line, even though the guidelines are more detailed and more constricting. I’m willing to read the line and see because I’d love to write something inspirational, involving a faith journey. Just not sure about the guidelines focus on Christian aestheticism, such as the prohibition against sexual desire.

  12. Mary-Theresa
    November 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    Reply

    Cheryl–

    I’m no expert on the LI market, though I’ve worked with some of the fantastic authors. And I’ve read a number of titles over the years, and have been consistently impressed by the wide range of subject matter and conflicts that can be addressed in an LI novel.

    From my view, I don’t think there’s a prohibition against sexual desire, but just the expression of it before marriage between the hero and heroine within these books. Certainly the characters I’ve read had strong attractions and expected to have intimacy and affection and children and long, happy lives together.

  13. Melissa Endlich
    November 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    Well put, Mary Theresa! Our heroes and heroines are plenty attracted to each other, and they even *gasp* kiss in our books. But we choose not to show sexual situations. Our promise to the reader is a strong wholesome romance with Christian characters. We leave the sexy scenes to lines like Presents, Desire and Blaze. 🙂

  14. debraannelliott
    November 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

    This is so exciting. I have always loved Harlequin and it is so good to see a insprirationa; line. It is a dream of mine to write for the LI line. My NaNo project is my first inspirational work. I hope to one day be among the great author’s that write for LI.
    My question is this: Has an writer ever submitted and been picked up on the first time or can it be a very long process?
    Thank you,
    Debra

  15. Norma Lehr
    October 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm
    Reply

    Are you interested in a metaphysical, reincarnation romance–alove story?

  16. Cathy Como
    January 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    Reply

    I’m fine-tuning a LI contemporary now and I’m curious, the books I’ve read in this imprint seem to have ONE kissing scene only and often at the end of the book. Is that general, or have I just picked up a few that are that way? I’m fine with the no sex but wondered if near, but not quite kissing is preferred till the end?

  17. Emily Rodmell (LI editor)
    January 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm
    Reply

    There isn’t a rule about when or how often characters can kiss in Love Inspired, but we do prefer that the romance focus on the emotional aspects of falling in love rather than the physical.

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