Frequently Asked QuestionsPen to Paper logo

1. What is Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing?

Formerly known as Push to Publish, Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing is a comprehensive seven-month writing program for unpublished romance writers. The focus of the program is providing mutual support and building the skills and knowledge romance writers need to be successful in today's market.

The participants work together in small groups called Partner Circles with experienced author Guides to go from their first idea to the first draft of their romance novel.

Participants will learn through self-study assignments that include exclusive videos by experts, weekly groups meetings in Partner Circles, writing assignments, and critiquing.

The program consists of three levels, each level taking a total of eight weeks to complete. The levels are:

  • 101: What Makes a Romance?
  • 102: Scene, Story, Structure and More
  • 103: Pacing, Conflict, HEA

2. Why change the name?

When the program was completely outlined and the curriculum developed, we realized that the original name of Push to Publish didn’t properly match the focus of the program.

3. How will the program work?

This program will be designed using a blended learning approach. The blend for Pen to Paper is to use a combination of:

  • Workshops delivered through on-demand learning materials including exclusive videos, articles, books, online assignments and Q/A, and writer’s tools such as checklists.
  • Discussions to answer questions and explore application of key concepts.
  • Live virtual sessions with small groups, called Partner Circles, to help apply learnings to the participant’s ongoing manuscript work, collaborate on writing, and build a community of support for participants.
  • Reference materials including RWA Conference videos and podcasts, external videos, websites, and podcasts, craft books, and articles for deeper study on workshop and related topics.

4. How often will the program run?

Pen to Paper will run annually.

5. Who can participate?

Pen to Paper is open to people who meet the following criteria:

  • Unpublished in novel/novella length fiction in a commercial market.
  • Not under contract or have an active pre-sale.
  • Prepared to meet the participation requirements, writing commitment, and assignment due dates for the program.
  • Agree to abide by the RWA Code of Ethics.

6. Can non-members participate?

Yes. Non-members can participate provided that they meet the criteria listed above.

7. How are Participants chosen?

Participants are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, with the number of participants contingent on the number of Guides available.

A waitlist will be established in case of additional availability during the first two weeks of the program.

8. What’s expected of the participants?

Participants should be prepared to commit to the entire program.

Participants should be prepared to meet minimum attendance requirements and complete assignments as outlined in the syllabus in order to remain in the program.

Participants will be expected to commit to approximately 4 hours a week, including weekly Partner Circle meetings.

All participants are required to receive critiques on their manuscripts, and are required to critique the work of other participants.

At the end of each level, participants complete an evaluation, to provide immediate feedback that facilitates continuous improvement in the program.

9. Who can be a Guide?

Guides must be RWA members in good standing who meet the following criteria:

  • Published at least one PAN-eligible novel or novella. Two to three is preferable, but not required.
  • Prepared to commit to completing at least one eight-week session, with a minimum time commitment of 4 hours required each week. (Guides have the option of completing one, two or all three sessions.)
  • Have a reliable internet connection and reasonable computer fluency.

10. How are Guides chosen?

Guides will be chosen by RWA staff based on established criteria and the number of guides needed based on participant registration.

11. What’s expected of the Guides?

Must commit to completing at least one eight-week session, with a minimum time commitment of 2-3 hours required each week. (Guides have the option of completing one, two or all three sessions.)

Schedule Partner Circle meetings based on a group consensus (meetings should be at least once a week and should total 60 minutes a week. Additional meetings are optional.)

Encourage progress and participation in the Partner Circles, reaching out when participants miss meetings or falling behind on assignments.

Use the Syllabus and Unit materials to lead participants through weekly skill set development.
  • Lead discussion of Unit self-study assignments.
  • Guide the critiquing process based on the skills developed in that Unit.
  • Review each writers’ assignments after peer critique to ensure critique is on-point. The five writers’ work is divided by the two guides so each guide is only required to review 2-3 writing/critique assignments for each Unit.

Encourage and provide positive reinforcement to participants.

Communicate regularly with partner Guides and with the Guide Coordinator.

12. What do participants get out of it?

The Pen to Paper participants will be recognized in an exclusive celebratory get-together during the RWA Annual Conference, where their accompaniments will be recognized and celebrated.

13. What do Guides get out of it?

Guides will be compensated as follows for their time:
Number of Sessions   Compensation 
 1  $250
 2  $500
 3  $750 and one year of RWA membership

14. How much does the program cost?

  Early Bird Tuition   Regular Tuition
 RWA Member  $750  $900
 Non-Member  $900  $1,050

15. Is there a refund policy?

Refunds will be granted only within the first seven (7) days of the program, minus a cancelation fee of $100.

Refunds will be processed for registrants who provide documentation to prove they were unable to attend the P2P program due to circumstances beyond their control, such as serious illness or death of registrant or the registrant’s immediate family member.

16. May I join RWA and then receive the discounted rate for the program?

Yes, you may join RWA, and then enroll in the program at the published member rates above.

17. When does the application period open?

The 2021 application period for Guides opens May 3, 2021 and closes June 21. Guides will be notified of their status by June 27, 2021.

The 2021 application period for Participants opens June 28, 2021 and closes July 26 (or when the program is full.) Participants will be notified of their status on August 1, 2021.