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September MRW meeting: Writing Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance

September 19, 2020 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

September 19, 2020 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm



Though both genres can contain romantic elements, romance writers know there is a big difference between romance and women’s fiction. But what really distinguishes a Nora Roberts from a Nicholas Sparks novel, or a Beverly Jenkins work versus a book by Terry McMillan? Does it all come down to a happily ever after versus a bittersweet or tragic ending?

As a writer of both romance and women’s fiction, NAACP Image Award-nominated author Shelly Ellis has learned that other factors come into play when writing both genres, such as a story that focuses on a couple’s journey versus a character’s interior journey, or the traditional “beats” you hit in a romance novel versus how the age-old “hero’s journey” story structure plays out in many works of women’s fiction.

If you’ve ever considered dabbling in women’s fiction and want to know how to go about it, or if you just want to take a deep-dive into the similarities and differences between these two half-sister genres, this workshop is for you.

About the Presenter

Shelly Ellis is a NAACP Image Award-nominated women’s fiction/romance author and creator of the MacLaine Girls, Chesterton Scandal, and Gibbons Gold Digger series. Her fiction writing career began when she became one of four finalists in a First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was a publishing contract and having her first short-story romance appear in an anthology. She has since published 15 novels, three novellas, and was a finalist for 2015 NAACP Image Award in the Literary Fiction Category, a three-time finalist for the African American Literary Award in the romance category (2012, 2016, and 2017), and a finalist for the 2015 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in Multicultural Romance category. Her latest novel, She Wears the Mask, is a work of historical women’s fiction.

She is married and lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband and their daughter. Visit her at her web site www.shellyellisbooks.com.

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