Wednesday, January 4, 2017

All Things Amish: Love Inspired Books is Doing an Amish Blitz

Good morning everyone.

Cate here today to wish you a happy 2017.

One of the things I love best about the Love Inspired editors is how they're always looking to give new authors a chance to break into the line. I was blessed to sell through the Killer Voices contest back in 2014. That contest focused on LIS. Before that there was Speed Dating with an Editor. More recently, From Blurb to Book (all lines) and Manuscript Matchmakers (for LIH) have resulted in a lot of new sales.

So some of us were wondering, what will be the hot new contest for 2017.

We soon got our answer - AMISH!

Just before the holidays, this info posted by the LI editors:

Love Inspired is always seeking new authors and you could be one of them!
Do you have a Christian contemporary romance that celebrates all things Amish? If so, we would love to see it!
We publish clean Christian romances that are 55,00 words, with a faith element. The romance must be the focus of the book, and both the hero and heroine should be Amish (we are open to all sects: Old Order, New Order, Mennonite, etc.). Characters may question their faith within the story, but ultimately both the hero and heroine must remain Amish at the end of the book (we prefer they not leave the community). We also prefer not to see mixed Amish/non-Amish relationships, unless the non-Amish character joins the Amish church at book’s end. As with any other romance, we also are looking for engaging, emotional plots, appealing characters and a happy ending.
Submission dates: Monday, January 9, 2017 – Tuesday, January 31st 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST
What Love Inspired needs to see:
  • A cover letter that introduces your book and includes any previous publishing credits, writing contest wins, or affiliations.
  • A 3-5 page synopsis. What happens in your book—tell us the key moments, the crucial twists and turns, and how it ends! Show us what drives your story forward, including the internal and external conflicts your hero and heroine face to get to their happily ever after.
  • The first chapter of your manuscript (up to 25 pages).
What you get:
  • A quick response! Skip the slush pile and hear back from Harlequin within 20 business days after the submission period ends.
  • Editorial feedback for every Love Inspired appropriate story received.
  • The possibility of having your novel published in the Love Inspired line!

For the full writing guidelines for Love Inspired, check out our page on Submittable here.
On January 9, 2017 you can submit your proposal for #AmishBlitz on the Submittable page, which will go live on that date.
And check out the hashtag #AmishBlitz on Twitter, as well as following @MelissaEndlich, @ShanaAsaro, @gigiquin, @EmilyRodmell, @Elizabeth_Mazer, and @DinaJDavis. We’ll be sharing tips, insider know-how, our wishlists and more throughout the #AmishBlitz.
Any questions? Leave a comment. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Are you in?

If you are interested, check out the page on the Harlequin Community Forum - Amish Blitz.

So, I'd love to talk about the appeal of Amish fiction. If you write it, what about it appeals to the writer in you?

If you read it, similar question - what is the appeal?

Is there anything you'd like to see done that you haven't seen so far?

Personally, I never had more than a passing knowledge of Amish culture. I'd driven through Lancaster County, eaten at some family-style Amish restaurants. I guess I knew as much as the ordinary person. But then I started doing some research for part of a book I'm working on, and I found myself drawn to the deep faith and abiding trust in God that seems to be a strong part of their lives. In particular, the Amish willingness to forgive spoke to me. Forgiveness is something so many of us find difficult.

If you're interested in learning more about general Amish spiritual beliefs, there are a couple of books I recommend.

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy

The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World

 Even if you're not planning to write Amish, they are interesting reads.

So, is anyone out there planning on entering this Amish blitz? We'd love to welcome you to the Love Inspired Family. 


  1. Cate, I love reading Amish stories because of their deep faith as well, but they appeal to me because it gives a glimpse into a way of life that's disappearing quickly. Great post. I love Harlequin's contests so much.

  2. Thanks for posting the Amish Blitz info, Cate. Don't you love how LI is always inviting writers to join the LI team! I'm eager to see the new stories that will come from this innovative contest!

    Hubby and I stopped at an Amish furniture maker's shop yesterday as we left Virginia after visiting our son and his family. The gentleman was so welcoming...ruddy cheeks, beard, expressive blue eyes...definitely hero material! His mother was also in the shop, although she was much more reserved. We had hoped to visit a local Amish General Store as well, but it was closed for expansion and won't reopen until March. Maybe we'll see it on our next trip to VA.

  3. That's so true, Mary. I think the simpler life calls to us often in the midst of our hectic lives. I'm sure it's nowhere near as romantic as it sounds though.

  4. Oh, Debbie, I may have to chat with you about the furniture maker's shop. I have a scene in one of them in my upcoming LIS.


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