What is Romantic Women’s Fiction?

Busy Student Writing Something

Why did you join RWF, a chapter of RWA?

When I first joined Romantic Women’s Fiction (RWF), I was searching for a group that could help me in my writing journey. I wanted a group that wrote romance and women’s fiction as their genre of choice. I’d had an editor and an agent give me two conflicting statements—one said my story was a romance, the other said it was women’s fiction.

According to RWA, Romance has two basic elements in every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

According to various writers and Wikipedia, Women’s Fiction is about how a woman deals with the challenges in her life.

lover holding hand walking on the beach

From my view point, Romantic Women’s Fiction (RWF) is “a marriage of romance and women’s fiction.” It’s a story of the heroine’s journey through life challenges, and along the way the hero enters, beginning the romantic dance. In the end, many of her issues are resolved and the romance ends with a happy conclusion. Life’s journey is easier when traveled as a couple.

In my research, I found some very good explanations for the meaning of “romantic women’s fiction.”

Edie Claire says, “Romantic Women’s Fiction is a hybrid of contemporary romance and   women’s fiction. It’s a popular type of book; readers often just don’t know what to call it!”

See Edie Claire, Julianne Maclean, and Mary Campsi’s YouTube presentation of its meaning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DbzVlVrMaE

From the savvyauthors.com, Cynthia Rachette, says “A new sub-genre is emerging that combines the ever popular romance and the tried and true   women’s fiction. Yes, it’s romantic women’s fiction.”


RWF is here for you to learn more about writing. And our main focus is writing romantic women’s fiction.

Have you considered what sub-genre of romance that you write?

What are some thoughts you have on writing romantic women’s fiction?

For more in-depth information, please check out the links from my research below, in no particular order:












Avery Cove is the current Vice-President of Communications for RWF. See her Facebook page for more of her thoughts.



6 thoughts on “What is Romantic Women’s Fiction?

  1. Thanks for kicking this off. Before having the term, women’s fiction or romantic women’s fiction, I generally called my kind of book a “family drama/love story.” I think this whole women’s fiction arena opens up such a broad market to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Virginia for your comment. I’m hoping placing a name to this category helps writers feel they’ve found their niche, and they can concentrate more on writing their story than worrying about what kind of story it is for marketing. Like Kristi had said about finding the right category, I too have struggled. I think whether it’s romantic comedy or a serious historical–if it’s about the woman journey and growth with some romance wrapped around it romantic women’s fiction captures it.


  2. Thank you Avery for this informative post. I had similar experience. My work straddled the fence over a few issues. Sometimes I think my manuscript is more closely related to chick lit, albeit the 45+ version. Romance is still a major theme, so other times I think my MS can be defined as romantic comedy. I’m not sure, but I am thankful we have this chapter because romantic women’s fiction is a great umbrella.


  3. Most stories have some romantic element, but RWF combines the power of loving someone with the strength of personal struggles and ultimate triumph. Your definition of it makes that very clear!


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