University of Iowa

What Every Fiction Writer Can Learn from Romance Novels

Weeklong June 09 to June 14 2019

Whether or not you read romance novels, there’s no denying it’s the most popular genre of fiction currently published. The Romance Writers of America has estimated that annual sales of romance in 2013 totaled $1.08 billion. Given its strength and endurance through decades of development, fiction writers of every genre can mine romance for valuable techniques to bring to their work. In this course, we will discuss and workshop elements of fictional craft such as plot, pacing, characterization, and dialogue, using romance novels as our foundational texts. A day of the workshop will also be spent on the business of writing and how to practically manage writing as a career. In our week, we will generate new writing as well as discuss work you bring from home. Advance reading of texts I will assign before the workshop is also recommended. Please note, you do not need to be familiar with romance novels to join the class, nor do you need to intend to write romance novels. We welcome writers of all fiction genres and subgenres.


In this workshop we will generate new writing through guided exercises and prompts; provide feedback on writing you bring from home; provide feedback on writing you produce in our week.