Frequently Asked QuestionsPen to Paper logo

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

Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing is a comprehensive ten-month writing program for unpublished romance writers. The focus of the program is on 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. The program provides a safe, supportive environment to build writing skills and nurture confidence.

Participants will learn through self-study assignments that include books, articles, exclusive audios and videos by experts, weekly group discussions in Partner Circles, writing assignments, and critiquing.

They have the opportunity to network with other Participants and Guides outside their Partner Circle through, Zoom meetings, and other social learning avenues.

2. How does the program work?

This program uses a blended learning approach. The blend for Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing is to use a combination of:

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

3. How often will the program run?

Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing runs annually. The 2023–2024 program begins with on-boarding in November 2023 and ends on August 31, 2024. (See Program Dates for details.) 

4. Can non-members participate?

Yes. Non-members can participate, provided that they meet the criteria listed for Participants. Please see the note in the Investment section above that explains the advantages of joining RWA before enrolling in the program.

5. 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 member rates. 

6. How are Participants enrolled?

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

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

7. Are scholarships available?

Some scholarships will be available. For more information and an application, visit the Scholarships page.
8. What do Participants get out of it?

The Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing program will guide Participants through the confusing maze of books and courses that exist for writers and give them a structure they can use to create not only their first novel but future books by providing:

  • Access to experienced published authors who guide you through the writing process, answer your questions, and help you think through your novel.
  • Access to top-notch study materials and the chance to learn the craft from published romance writers.
  • The opportunity to complete a first draft of a novel if writing progress is made  weekly throughout the program.
  • The opportunity to create mutual support networks with published and unpublished romance writers.
  • Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion upon graduation.

9. What’s expected of the Participants?

  • Participants commit to the entire ten-month program. Participants should be prepared to commit to the entire three Course program.
  • Participants meet minimum attendance requirements (75%, or at least three live, online Partner Circle meetings per month) and complete assignments as outlined in the syllabus in order to remain in the program.
  • Participants commit to devoting approximately 8 hours per week to the program, including::
    • completing self-study assignments in preparation for Partner Circle meetings,
    • participating in weekly Partner Circle meetings,
    • meeting one-on-one with their Guides at least six times during the program,
    • writing their manuscript, and
    • critiquing peers’ work in progress.
  • Participants learn from experts in the romance universe via articles, audio recordings, live events, and exclusive videos developed for this program.
  • Participants will engage weekly in a six-to-eight person Partner Circles led by two published author Guides. This writing group will stick together throughout the program, creating an inner circle of allies and writing partners that could last long after the program ends.
  • Participants give and receive valuable critiques that enhance their knowledge and application of writing techniques to meet their reader’s expectations. All Participants are required to receive critiques on their manuscripts and to critique the work of other Participants.
  • A Participant Liaison keeps in touch with Participants and helps them work through any challenges to ensure they get the most possible from the program.
  • At the end of each of the three Courses, Participants complete an evaluation to provide feedback. The feedback is immediately analyzed to identify continuous improvement opportunities.

Paper to Polished: Editing for Success will be available separately at an additional fee in October 2023.

10. Is there a refund policy?

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

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

11. When does the enrollment/application period open?

The 2023–2024 enrollment period for Participants opens September 8, 2023, and closes October 15, 2023 (or when the program is full).

The 2023–2024 application period for Guides opens September 1, 2023, and closes September 16, 2023.
Please thoroughly read all the information provided to be sure the Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing Program is right for you. If you have further questions, please email [email protected], and we will respond as soon as possible!