Are you looking to add emotional depth to your writing? Do you worry sometimes that you can write a good “plot story” and a good “feelings story,” but you have trouble marrying the two? Are you a romance reader who wishes your genre fiction plumbed the same delicious, feelingsy depths as your favorite romance stories? This workshop will teach you how to apply techniques commonly used in writing romance to writing genre fiction of all sorts. You’ll learn…

  • How to use romance tropes to build tension in non-romantic relationships.
  • What are the beats of a romance story and why are they satisfying to audiences?
  • Why romance readers connect so strongly with romance stories in the first place.
  • How to set emotional goals for your stories and stick to them.
  • How the structures of traditional romance stories can be applied to many other types of writing with a few tweaks.

Please note that if you are an experienced writer of romance or analyst of romance stories, you may not find anything new here. Similarly, if you are looking for a class on how to write romance stories in genre settings, this may not be for you–while this class breaks down a lot of classic romance story elements, it does not cover how to write satisfying romance arcs.


This workshop is available to anyone aged 18 or older for a $55 fee.

Unless otherwise stated, all times listed are US Pacific Time.

We offer a limited number of scholarships for each class to Black and Indigenous writers and writers from other marginalized backgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Please email us at workshop@clarionwest.org with a one-paragraph statement about your scholarship interest and/or need. Please include the name of the class you would like to apply the scholarship to.

By participating in any Clarion West activity, you are agreeing to our Code of Conduct, the Clarion West Harassment Policy, and our Zoom Guidelines.

Clarion West will refund all class fees if the request is made 30 days prior to the class date. Refund requests made within 30 days of the class will be honored if we can fill the seat. Any exceptions are subject to approval by our workshop staff.