Writing Romance and Women's Fiction

23rd September 2024 7:00pm to 28th October 2024 8:30pm, Online

Do you want to write swoon-worthy romances? Are you drawn to writing stories that centre female characters and experience? Then this course is for you!

'Writing Romance and Women’s Fiction' is a course for those who have never written a word or already written their first manuscript. Editor and tutor Tara Loder will define what publishers mean by 'women's fiction', the differences between romantic fiction and women's fiction, and how to capture readers in both genres! Over six weeks Tara will help you craft irresistible opening chapters, define a strong plot and create characters your readers can fall in love with.

You will learn what to keep at the heart of your novel, so that agents and publishers know what your book is, where to place it in the market and why that’s so important in pitching and getting your book published.

By the end of week six you’ll have up to three polished chapters, shaped by a commissioning editor with big five publishing experience. 

This course includes:

- A six week course with five online sessions and one dedicated writing week. Each online session is 1.5 hours in length, for a maximum of 20 students. 

- Practical workshops with takeaway exercises to be applied to your own work to prepare for the next session

- A private online forum, to share discussion and writing throughout the course

- A copy of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2024

- A women’s fiction book bundle from Bloomsbury Publishing



Before class starts students will submit 200 words of their novel, synopsis or idea, so the class can be tailored to your interests. You'll need to submit this one week before the course start date (16th September) so Tara has time to read these ahead of the course beginning.


Week 1

First half

Romance vs Women’s Fiction. What’s the difference? Why this difference is important. And why you need to know. 

Second half

Find out where your novel sits in the genre spectrum, so that you can successfully shape and then pitch your novel. We’ll look at bestsellers, using their covers and descriptions to determine their genres to help you discover where your novel fits and what that means

Takeaway exercise: you’ve summed up your novel in 200 words. Now make it into a one to two line elevator pitch. To be submitted before week 2.


Week 2

First half

Does your book do what it says on the tin or are you offering something different? Learn which is easier to get published and why those two lines you submitted may be the most important ones you write. 

Second half

Sharpen your shoutlines so they sing, and grab the attention of agents and editors. We’ll brainstorm ideas just like they do in an editorial meeting and give your novel focus by determining what will be/is at the heart of your novel.

Takeaway exercise: Ruminate on what we’ve discussed. Now you know the heart of your novel, does it fit what you had planned? How will you incorporate it into your novel? We’ll be discussing your first three chapters in Week 3.


Week 3

First half

Discover how to ensure your book keeps its promise. We’ll discuss examples of books that never saw the light of day and the importance of your first 50 pages.

Second half

We’ll workshop your first three chapters, learning how to grab the reader’s attention and figure out how to make them laugh, cry, gasp or offer a question they need to know the answer to. 

Takeaway exercise: Write as much as you can of your first three chapters.


Week 4

Reflection & Writing Week

This is the moment to take all we’ve covered and craft or edit as much as you can of your first three chapters. Make them irresistible! You’ll be submitting your chapters for editorial feedback.

You'll need to submit these (up to 10,000 words) to Tara by EOD on 17th October.


Week 5

First half

Feedback on your first three chapters will be given in group, so we can all learn from the exercise. Individual feedback will follow via email. We’ll discuss accomplishments and how to improve your chapters. 

Second half

You’ll master the Squiggly Line Test. Now we have the start of your novel and the heart of it, we’ll look at the overarching plot. This will be a session of brainstorming using the Squiggly Line Test.

Takeaway exercise: Edit your first three chapters.


Week 6

First half

We’ll catch up on where you are with your novel and the challenges you’re facing. We’ll discuss writing schedules and how to finish your novel. You’ll be surprised how quickly this can happen.

Second half

You’re now well on your way to having a novel. I’ll reveal what happens once your novel is finished from an insider’s view of publishing. We’ll finish with a Q&A session.


Optional extra

At a cost of £50, you can get bespoke feedback from Tara on up to 2,000 words of original writing (a one-page synopsis can be included).

Speaker profiles
Tara Loder

Having worked as an editor across 'big five' publishers such as Little, Brown and Headline, as well as the UK’s fastest growing publisher, Tara Loder knows what it takes to create a bestselling novel. She’s worked on Sunday Times bestsellers, as well as chart topping digital bestsellers, and is experienced in taking a novel from an idea to a published masterpiece. She loves working with authors, those already published and those just starting out on their publishing journey.

Tara has edited crime novels such as The Locksmith, as well as romantic escapism such as A Year at the French Farmhouse and paranormal romance such as Burn. She's currently pursuing her passion of working on romantasy novels. There is hardly an area of fiction she hasn’t published into, and she recently turned her hand to writing romantic fiction. She knows what agents, editors and readers are looking for, and is keen to help ensure your manuscript grabs their attention.

Booking & payment

The course fee of £350 (inc. VAT) is payable in full online. Please note that payment instalment plans are available for all W&A events, writing courses and editing services. Contact W&A Admin on events@writersandartists.co.uk so that we can find a payment schedule that works for you.

If this event is Sold Out, please look out for other writing courses by visiting our Events homepage.

This is a live online course which will be presented using video conferencing software. Joining instructions and full guidance will be provided by the W&A Team a week before the event start-date. All timings for this event are as per UK time.

To view our event refund and cancellation policy, please click here.

Accessible to All

It’s of real importance to Writers & Artists that our events and courses remain accessible to all.

  • Writers & Artists has made one bursary place available for this writing course as part of our accessibility scheme. Please visit our bursaries page for further information about how to apply. 
  • At the author’s discretion, event materials will be made available to attendees after the course.
  • A link to a recording of the course will be circulated each week. This will be made available to course attendees only, and for a time-limited period.
  • This course will include written text and visuals. Please contact us in advance so that we can make arrangements to be sure all documents appear in a format that works for you.
  • If you’d like to attend but have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility, then please email AccessWA@bloomsbury.com


United Kingdom

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