GUEST POST: Gwen Hayes, Editorial Director for Entangled Scandalous

Entangled Scandalous

I want to thank Evangeline for inviting me talk about historical romance. As a reader, I don’t need any encouragement—I have never been able to get enough. In the last year or so, with the huge cultural shifts our society has been making as we stride towards acceptance of differences, I began feeling frustrated that my beloved romances weren’t keeping up. I love Dukes, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to read more than just rich, white people all the time. It seemed that publishers were quick to say that certain things don’t sell…but I always wondered how we were supposed to buy something if it wasn’t available.

And then I was offered a job as Editorial Director of the Scandalous line at Entangled Publishing. Scandalous is a relatively new digital line, launched in December of 2012, and is category length (60-70k words for all you who keep track of these kinds of things.) My goal, which my Publisher heartily stands behind, is to broaden the genre to be more inclusive of characters of varied backgrounds, cultures, skin colors, and sexual preference. And…ERAS. I am happy to announce that we are actively and, maybe even aggressively, trying to acquire unusual settings and time periods. I want to take our readers dancing at the Savoy, I want them to ride in a new-fangled automobile, and roll bandages in the war effort.

But, alas, I need your help. In order for you to read them, we need to sell them, and to do that someone needs to write them even though they’ve been told they won’t sell. So, I offer you our newly updated submission guidelines below. If you have questions, please send an email to me at gwenhayes @

Scandalous is a historical category romance imprint of Entangled Publishing. We’re looking for stories set between 900 and 1949, anywhere from the lush hills of Ireland, Regency England, Prohibition Chicago…or even the Viking age. These stories are bold, sexy, and heartfelt, and can be funny, action-packed, mysterious, or dramatic. They should be between 60-70k words. Stories need a romantic trope and an alpha hero at their core.

Specifically, we want:

  • Quality, well-researched story-telling
  • Authors who aren’t afraid to push creative boundaries
  • Prolific authors who can write three to four books a year are a plus
  • Time periods: 900–1949
  • Heroines who are age 17+, confident, and can be unconventional (a scientist, for example).
  • Stories that feature an alpha male, whether he be the captain of a ship, royalty, a military hero, or a warrior
  • Time travel welcome but alternate/manipulation of history cannot be the focal point
  • Although we are not a paranormal line, stories may contain light paranormal elements.
  • Active, dialogue-rich stories, with a minimum of narrative and navel-gazing, but firmly ground the reader in the setting and culture
  • Emotional depth depicted through strong conflict, theme, symbolism, and sub-text
  • Stories focused on the heroine and hero falling in love
  • Sensual stories, but the heat level should grow organically from the characters, their situations and emotions. We are not looking for erotica, and closed door is also fine on occasion. Though the heat level may be sweet, the sexual tension must be strong
  • Manuscripts must be 60-70K words (240-280 pages) in length
  • Revised backlist titles will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • We accept agented and un-agented submissions, although agented submissions will receive first priority in the slush pile

Of Particular interest at this time:

  • Stories set during the Prohibition—urban (Chicago, New York, Harlem, etc.) and rural (western, prairie, farm) are both welcomed.
  • Stories set in WWI and WWII
  • Multi-cultural protagonists
  • Gothic romance—brooding heroes, virginal ingénues, and shadowed estates full of secrets please!
  • Love is love—Scandalous does not discriminate against our characters based on their sexuality—gay protagonists are welcome. The heat level qualifications are the same as for heterosexual romance and the story must focus on the characters falling in love, not the erotic content of their sex scenes

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please use the following link:

Submit to Scandalous

About Entangled Publishing

At Entangled Publishing, we believe authors who write great books should receive a majority of the profits. We also believe authors interested in the lucrative indie publishing model shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality editing, commercial covers, or the power of a New York-style marketing machine.

That’s where we come in. Founded by industry-savvy authors, Entangled Publishing utilizes a bold new business model to bridge the gap between traditional and indie publishing, giving our authors the best of both worlds. We implement the agency model across all departments at Entangled, which means everyone from the copy editor to the marketing director has a financial stake in your book.

In other words, we don’t make money unless you make money.

More info on royalty rates and rights HERE

If you want to keep track of special submission calls for Scandalous, sign up for the newsletter HERE (only used for submission calls)

Any questions for Gwen? Leave em below and she will follow up!


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12 replies on “GUEST POST: Gwen Hayes, Editorial Director for Entangled Scandalous”
  1. says: A_Writer_of_History

    I think I’ll sit down and write one straight away! WWI is my specialty. Thanks for the encouragement at a time when writers are under so much challenge.

  2. says: Louise

    thank you for your continuing excellent post! I save a lot of your posts for “future” reference. I have been working on a “steampunk-ish” novelette, and now that I know there is some interest, I will get at it!. I love the well-researched, murderish, sexy romp – thank you for a great post!

  3. says: Téa Cooper

    Hi Gwen
    I write Australian historical romance, usually mid nineteenth century. Currently I have a 1920s Sydney based story burning a hole in my head. Are Scandalous interested in historical romance based in Australia?

    1. says: Gwen Hayes

      We are! All countries welcome. One of my goals is to make our line more inclusive–that means origin, skin color, sexuality, culture…I still love Regency England…but I want to look at love through all kinds of different filters and time periods. Looking forward to seeing it!

  4. says: hels

    I couldn’t possibly write a novel. But I am fascinated by your project. Hope it goes well.

    My favourite era for reading about women is during the Edwardian era (approx 1900-13) and WW1 (1914-18). All sorts of new beliefs and behaviours seemed possible.

  5. says: JazzAgeFollies

    Ah how exciting! I’m doing research on 1920s New York, and though the end product will be more of a comedy with romantic elements rather than a traditional romance, this is still encouraging 🙂

  6. says: Caligi

    “Stories need… an alpha hero at their core.”

    So only superficial diversity, then. Good to know.

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