Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing

Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing is an immersive ten-month collaborative learning experience where small groups work together in weekly online sessions with published authors guiding the way. This intensive, hands-on program grounds you in the craft of writing, so you can go from a story idea to first draft with confidence.

Please see the calendar for important Pen to Paper program dates 

Please read all the information provided before you enroll. If you have questions about the program, please email [email protected] with your questions prior to enrolling.

ParticipantsPen to Paper logo

Registration for this program is closed.

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

  • Unpublished in novel- or novella-length fiction in a commercial market.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.

Can Non-members Participate?

Yes. Non-members can participate provided that they meet the criteria listed above. Non-member Participants agree to follow RWA's Code of Ethics for the duration of the program.

Non-members, we invite you to join RWA first, then register as a member at the lower rate once you receive an email that your membership is confirmed. RWA membership information may be found here. This is an opportunity to both save money and receive the benefits of being a RWA member.

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.

Participants must meet the qualifications listed above to participate. A wait-list will be established in case of additional availability during the first two weeks of the program. 

What’s Expected of the Participants?

Participants who remain engaged and active will derive the most benefit from the Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing program. To ensure their success, Participants are expected to:

  • Commit to the entire ten-month program.
  • Meet minimum attendance requirements (75 percent, 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.
  • Commit to devoting approximately eight hours or more 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.
  • Learn from experts in the romance universe via articles, audio recordings, live events, and exclusive videos developed for this program.
  • Engage weekly in Partner Circles led by two published author Guides. This writing group of no more than eight participants will stick together throughout the program, creating an inner circle of allies and writing partners that could last long after the program ends.
  • 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. Participants will communicate issues or concerns to their Guide or Participant Liaison immediately.
  • At the end of each course, Participants complete an evaluation to provide immediate feedback that facilitates continuous improvement in the program.

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

By participating in the Pen to Paper: Guide to Romance Writing program (“Program”), you agree to release, waive, and discharge the Romance Writers of America (“RWA”), including its directors, employees, and agents, from liability from any and all claims relating to your participation in the Program, including misappropriation or misuse of any intellectual property or breached expectations of confidentiality regarding your submitted works.

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 Pen to Paper logo

Here's what last year's participants said about their experience.



“I need a better grounding in my craft, so I can write faster and smarter from the first page to the last. Pen to Paper is perfect for me!”

- Susan Guest, unpublished romance author


“We set up Pen to Paper specifically for unpublished authors who aren’t sure their good idea will make a good book. You don’t even need a complete manuscript to participate. By the end, you’ll have a great first draft and be ready for programs like RAMP.”

- Erin Novotny, committee member