Harbourlight Books Guidelines
Please read our guidelines and submission process carefully. Do not submit queries that fall outside our guidelines, and do not submit your work in some fashion other than that outlined here.
What we are seeking:
- All stories must be Christian fiction between 25,000 and 80,000 words.
- Mystery, (cozy or other)
- Suspense, crime drama, police procedural
- Family saga
- Women's Fiction
The focus of a Harbourlight story should be conflict experienced by the main characters. These stories encompass protagonists who may, or may not, be spiritual at the onset, but come to realize through the progression of the plot that faith is a necessity. Protagonists should be layered, three-dimensional, people who struggle with decisions on a regular basis, using their existent or burgeoning faith to augment their growth both as individuals in the world and as Christians. Remember, Christians are emboldened by their faith, not burdened by it. Protagonists' backgrounds do not have to be exemplary, but in the current story line, protagonists must have already come to terms with those issues which do not live up to Christian morality and virtue; their past immorality should not be overtly displayed on the page, but should be the catalyst for their internal conflict and growth.
Harbourlight books should convey life as it is lived, or can be lived, by people of faith. Because life can be humorous, mysterious, hazardous, and even a bit otherworldly, with angels popping in at times, Harbourlight books can encompass a variety of elements. The setting for Harbourlight books can be contemporary, historical or futuristic. They may even feature supernatural elements; however, an element of faith must be present in all Harbourlight stories without becoming overbearing or preachy. (Please take note that supernatural themes are not the same as paranormal themes. Supernatural themes must be limited to Christian elements [e.g. Angels would be acceptable; a talking witch's familiar would not.])
Harbourlight books should be character-driven stories that have an emotional rise and fall. Even a police procedural should be conveyed through the observations and emotions of the protagonists. Feel free to delve into sensitive topics (e.g. infertility, terminal illness, infidelity), subjects that affect real people, but without profanity or nudity. Although Harbourlight does not publish romance novels, romantic tension between characters is encouraged as long as it does not overtake the story.
Protagonists should be Christian, or should be discovering Christianity. Elements of non-Christian faiths may be present in the story, but issues which deny the essence of mainline Christianity must not be conveyed as acceptable. (e.g. Denying the Trinity [One God in Three Persons] or denying the divinity of Christ, etc. would not work if conveyed as acceptable; however, showing someone struggling with these beliefs, and then coming to realize the truth of Christianity, might work.) Please specify in your query if your story includes elements of non-Christian religious beliefs, and briefly describe how they are handled within the story, and why they are essential to the plot.
We may publish what some would call edgy, i.e. stories that fall outside current CBA guidelines, however, please note that edgy doesn't mean profane. It means gently colouring outside the lines because the story demands it.
If you are ready to submit, please use the submission form.