Modern Heat Writing Competition!

Introducing Editor Joanne Carr and an exciting opportunity for all aspiring Modern Heat authors!

Many of you may already know me, but I thought I’d take the time to introduce myself properly. My name is Joanne Carr and I have been working at Harlequin Mills & Boon for just over five years. I was an avid reader of Mills & Boon before joining the company, so getting a job in Editorial was like a dream come true! I am currently managing the Modern Heat series whilst Senior Editor Bryony Green is on maternity leave.

But I am not just here to say ‘hi” – I have something exciting to tell you…

Based on the success of the Instant Seduction competition that we ran earlier this year, we have decided to call on all aspiring Modern Heat authors and are launching:

The FEEL THE HEAT writing competition!

Do you have a fresh, vibrant, sassy voice and a passion for sexy alpha heroes? Can you write sparky dialogue, create great sensual tension and hot love-scenes?

If so, then we want to hear from you!


  • Email your first chapter and synopsis of a Modern Heat novel to: by 15th September 2008
  • The WINNER receives an editor for a year!
  • TWO RUNNERS-UP will be given critiques of their first chapter entries and an editorial telephone consultation!
  • The winner will be announced October 1st 2008

The Modern Heat guidelines can be found here Writing Contest: Mills & Boon Modern Heat Writing Guidelines and I have asked some of our existing Modern Heat authors to blog throughout this period to share writing tips and their experiences.

If you look through the I Heart Presents archives (particularly for November and December 2007) you will find many useful tips and guidelines that are relevant for this competition.

And now for the serious part!


  • Your entry must be aimed at Modern Heat
  • Your entry must NOT have been submitted previously to Harlequin Mills & Boon
  • Only ONE entry per person
  • Submissions received after the closing date will NOT be assessed!

More detailed legal rules will be posted at a later date.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and I will be back to give you updates!

Updated to add: official rules are now available here.

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Comments ( 21 )
  1. blairwitch
    July 18, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Oohhh… this is the most exciting news in an age! Thanks so much for running antoher fantabulous contest! Good luck everyone!

  2. Lynn Raye Harris
    July 18, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Oh this is awesome! I can attest to how fabulous winning truly is, so polish up those entries and get ready!! The work you will do as the winner is not for the faint of heart, but you will learn so much from the experience. I can promise you that! 🙂

    And now I must slink off to work on the revisions I’ve been given for my Spanish magnate….

  3. Heidi Rice
    July 18, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Fabulous news, Joanne.

    With Kate Hardy winning the UK’s Romance Prize, Anne Oliver the Ozzie Romance Book of the Year Award and myself and Kelly Hunter both finalling in this year’s RITAs, Modern Heat is really buzzing at the moment (if I do say so myself!).

    It’s a great line to write for and as a Mod Hot author I can testify to what a great bunch of editors we have on the line. Anyone who gets the use of them for a whole year is going to really up their game.

    Lots of luck to you all.

  4. Alice
    July 18, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Yay!! Another chance to write for Modern Heat.

    I thought the Instant seduction comp was for aspiring Modern Heat authors as well as Presents. Weren’t there enough entries specifically targetting Modern Heat?

  5. Joanne29
    July 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Oh wow – I am soooo excited!

    Thanks Joanne for the exciting news – I’m thrilled you’re running a competition specifically targeting MD – yeah!

    Good luck everyone

    Cheers, Joanne 🙂

  6. Susan Stephens
    July 19, 2008 at 6:04 am

    A new contest. How exciting! Good luck, everyone!

    I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to write for Modern Heat.

    I love the fun element in the books, and those sizzling heroes.

    There’s opportunity for you to really let your imagination fly in Modern Heat- and the more fun you have the more you will convey that enjoyment to the reader.

    The lighthearted elements also allow you to point up the emotion as the H and h draw closer together as their story unfolds.

    Enjoy the journey, everyone, and my warmest wishes to all of you.


  7. mulberry
    July 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Oh wow, what exciting news to come back to after a couple of months out of action due to 70 hour a week “day job” insanity. This will give me the focus I need to get back into writing again (well, I actually have been writing, but a 300 page training manual doesn’t really make my heart beat faster in the same way that a sexy hero and some sizzling romance does!)
    Good luck to everyone who enters, and keep writing Lynn Raye, there are a lot of us waiting for your book to appear!

  8. Alice
    July 22, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Can we enter using a pen name (if real names are given too, but not used in any publicity?)

  9. I’m back (at last!) « Waiting for “The Call”
    July 22, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    […] I’m just letting my mind be empty now, rather than rushing into a wrting project. I have lots of ideas, but none that have really grabbed me and said “You have to write me, not those other stories!” The first writer’s blog or discussion group I went on since I’ve been “back” was the I Heart Presents one yesterday, and they are running another compettion, this time for Modern Heat (aka Presents Extra in North America or Sexy Sensation in Austrailia, I think). I’m not convinced I meet the requirements- but I can have fun trying! […]

  10. New Writing Contest! «
    July 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    […] Are You? New Writing Contest! July 24, 2008, 3:37 am Filed under: Contest, Writing life | Tags: iheartpresents, Modern HeatContest If you haven’t already heard the news, pop over to for a fabulous opportunity to become a Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Heat author! […]

  11. clarisa
    July 23, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Fantastic!! I can’t wait. What a fab opportunity. I’m glad Modern Heat finally gets it’s own competition as I think it’s very different from the Modern/Presents series.
    As Heidi said, Modern Heat does seem to be buzzing at the moment – does this mean we may be getting more than 2 of them a month in the future? They certainly seem popular enough and I for one would be very glad 🙂

  12. Madeline
    July 28, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Ooh goody! A new novel to plan, with just enough time. And now that we have the feedback from the Instant Seduction competition, I think the standard might be a little higher from us all. It’ll be a tough decision choosing a winner this time 🙂

    – Madeline

  13. Annjane
    August 2, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Modern Heats are one my favorite category romance series. What a great
    chance for all aspiring writers to get the foot in the door
    It also gives us chance to sharpen and hone our writing skills.

    Since I have time, I am going to enter “Feel the Heat” Competition.

  14. Madeline
    August 3, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Hello all,

    This may be a silly question, but are Modern Heat’s sold in Australia? I’ve not seen them (though I may simply have missed them in the bookstore). Are they sold under a different title, as most Harlequin novels are down here?

    I desperately want to get my hands on a copy, not only for the flirtatious romance, but for research for the Mod Heat competition!

    Thank you
    Good luck to everyone planning to enter! I’m already feeling the heat 🙂

  15. emerald
    August 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Madeline,

    my DH once told me there’s no such thing as a silly question (and it suits me to believe him.)

    Modern Heat is Sexy Sensation downunder.

    Enjoy your research and good luck with your entry,


  16. Madeline
    August 4, 2008 at 2:58 am

    I’ll do well to remember that, Robyn. Thank you for the advice (or rather, your dearest’s). And Sexy Sensation – I’ve logged that away for my next trip to the 2nd hand book store. I love their range of Harlequin novels. Covers the whole back wall 🙂

    Thanks again,

  17. Annjane
    August 9, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I am working on the ” Feel the Heat” competition and would like some
    good suggestions and tips how to write good Modern Heat two-page
    Thank You

  18. Annjane
    September 13, 2008 at 11:41 am

    First I just wanted thank the Modern Heat authors for their excellent
    articles on writing these new modern romances.
    Even though, ithe contest has ended, we aspiring writers need their
    advice and input on writing romance fiction.

    Well, I started out writing for the Modern Heat contest, but it didn’t
    seem to jell. I am kicking myself that I didn’t stick with it.
    But that hasn’t daunted me. I still want to be a Modern Heat Rising
    Star. Now, that the pressure is off, I’ll take my time study and
    writing Modern Heat romances.

    Good Luck to those who submitteed.

  19. Madeline
    September 18, 2008 at 3:55 am

    I’m interested in how many submissions were received. I recall it was a mind-blowing 600+ last time around. I wonder whether we managed to band together and exceed that?

    Best of luck everyone 🙂

  20. Author Robyn Grady’s 10 Things to Love about Modern Heat at I (Heart) Presents
    September 25, 2008 at 11:45 am

    […] by Robyn Grady, author of The Australian Millionaire’s Love-Child I’m a huge fan of contests! The year I sold, I was a finalist in 13. Had the FEEL THE HEAT competition been on offer, I’d have pulled out all the stops to be in the draw to work with a HMB editor for a year. What an amazing prize! […]

  21. Feel the Heat Writing Competition Closes on Monday! at I (Heart) Presents
    September 25, 2008 at 11:46 am

    […] I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone since I posted here and launched the Feel the Heat Modern Heat Writing Competition! In that time, we have had some wonderful blogs from authors sharing their expertise, encouragement and their time answering many questions, so I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you! […]