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Friday, November 14, 2014

Irish Woman Wins Global Writing Contest

 Amanda Cinelli of Newbridge, Ireland. Photo Credit: Irish Independent.
"I entered the competition two years ago with the same manuscript and didn't make the final cut but an editor did express an interest," said Amanda.
"She asked me to send her the completed manuscript but I panicked and had doubts about my writing so I never did."
But Amanda was inspired to re-enter the competition this year, after having her daughter Zara in January.
"I thought having my first baby would make writing difficult but it made me all the more dedicated.
Offered Two-Book Publishing Contract with Harlequin/Mills & Boon

NEW YORK, LONDON, TORONTO, SYDNEY, AUCKLAND, and JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Harlequin (Harlequin.com), a leading publisher of books for women, added a compelling final chapter to its tremendously popular So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) 2014 event by announcing Amanda Cinelli of Newbridge, Ireland, as the winner of its writing contest and the recipient of a two-book contract with Harlequin/Mills & Boon.

Out of approximately 500 entries, ten manuscripts were selected by Harlequin's editors and presented for public vote. Ms. Cinelli's manuscript, entitled Resisting the Sicilian Playboy, received 39 percent of all ballots cast—the highest proportion for any entry in the history of So You Think You Can Write. The County Kildare resident was elated when she was notified by telephone of her win by Mills & Boon editor Carly Byrne and USA TODAY bestselling author Sharon Kendrick, the writing mentor assigned to Ms. Cinelli during the final stages of the contest. Ms. Kendrick is a Harlequin Presents and Mills & Boon Modern Romance author who has had over 80 titles published by Harlequin. Please click here to view "The Call."
Resisting the Sicilian Playboy describes the story of a thirtysomething wedding planner who must rely on the owner of an Italian castle to pull off the celebrity wedding of the year.

"Amanda's entry initially stood out because of a memorable opening scene, and the rest of the manuscript lives up to the promise of those first pages," said Ms. Byrne. "The characters have interesting emotional issues to overcome—such as infertility—and the historic castello, where much of the story takes place, is very atmospheric. We are delighted to offer Amanda her first publishing contract—she possesses a fresh and exciting voice that is well suited to the Harlequin Presents series."

In addition to an offer of a two-book series contract with Harlequin/Mills & Boon, the SYTYCW 2014 prize includes a series-specific editor, marketing and PR support, social media training, and a summit meeting with the creative team. Resisting the Sicilian Playboy is scheduled to be published digitally on or close to Valentine's Day 2015 with a print edition to follow. To help her celebrate the fantastic news, Ms. Cinelli is also being presented with a gift card to be used on a champagne dinner for two.
Ms. Cinelli is the first Irish entrant to win the So You Think You Can Write contest. Previous winners hail from the United States and Canada.

Harlequin will also be reaching out to more than twenty additional authors whose contest entries showed promise. Harlequin's editors hope to work with them to revise their manuscripts for resubmission with the publisher.  Harlequin is proud of its reputation as a leading traditional publisher that continues to read slush submissions and work with unpublished writers. Many romance stars like Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber started their careers by working closely with a Harlequin editor.

The So You Think You Can Write contest follows Harlequin's annual online writer's conference where hopeful romance novelists get to spend time with more than 50 Harlequin editors from New York, London and Toronto through social media tools, including podcasts, videos, blogs, live chats, community discussions and Twitter events. Aspiring authors are led through a virtual week-long "boot camp" designed to teach them how to write a romance novel that will attract the attention of publishers.

So You Think You Can Write will return for its sixth conference and contest in September 2015.
For more information, please visit soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com.

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About Harlequin Harlequin (www.Harlequin.com) is one of the world's leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in 102 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world. Harlequin has offices in 18 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks.

About HarperCollinsHarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 19 countries. With nearly two hundred years of history and more than 65 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in over 30 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp and can be visited online at corporate.HC.com.

Media Contacts
North AmericaPenny Tantakis
Harlequin
416.391.7008
penny_tantakis@harlequin.ca
United Kingdom/Ireland/South AfricaClaire Adams
Cherish PR
+44 208 735 4240
claire.adams@cherishpr.com
Australia/New ZealandAdam Van Rooijen
Head of Digital & Marketing, Harlequin
+612 94159245
avanrooijen@eHarlequin.com.au
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SOURCE Harlequin
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