Sunday, August 12, 2012

Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction

Kristin Ramsdell is looking for people to write entries for an Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction to be published by Greenwood/ABC-CLIO. Those people don't have to be academics:
The encyclopedia is aimed at students and general readers, not romance specialists or scholars, so the articles would need to take that into consideration, and, as my editor keeps reminding me, they shouldn’t be too academic. The articles cover all aspects of the romance genre (or as many topics as we could come up with and get approved) and range in length from 350 to 4000 words.

As is typical of projects of this type, there is little, if any, financial reward, but I can offer a copy of the encyclopedia to contributors, as well as author credit, which is always useful for one’s CV and might appeal to students, in particular.
I've been in touch with Kristin and seen the list of topics. At the time of writing, there are still a huge number up for grabs.

Some of them focus on the history of imprints/publishers: Arabesque, Avon, Bantam, BelleBooks, Bethany House, Brava, Dell, Dorchester, Ellora's Cave, Grand Central, Kensington, Mergers and Acquisitions, Minerva Press, Naiad, Penguin Group, Publishers and Imprints, Silhouette, Simon and Schuster, St. Martin's, Tyndale House, Zebra.

Some of the entries will focus on specific authors/books: Angelique series, Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Barbara Cartland, The Count of Monte Cristo, Janet Dailey, Ethel M. Dell, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Emma, Forever Amber, Elinor Glyn, Sergeanne Golon, Gone With the Wind, E. M. Hull, Ivanhoe, Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park, Grace Metalious, Margaret Mitchell, Mysteries of Udolpho, Northanger Abbey, Pamela, Persuasion, Peyton Place, Pride and Prejudice, Ann Radcliffe, Samuel Richardson, Rob Roy, Rosemary Rogers, Sir Walter Scott, Sense and Sensibility, The Sheik, A Tale of Two Cities, Three Weeks, The Way of an Eagle, Kathleen Winsor, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Wuthering Heights.

Others will look at specific subgenres/types of romance and plots: Alternative Reality, Arranged (or forced) Marriage Plot, Beauty and the Beast Theme, Chick Lit, Cinderella Theme, Comedy of Manners, Contemporary Romance, Early Classic Romances (e.g. Greek, medieval), Erotica and Romance, Fan Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Futuristic Romance, GLBT Romance, Gentle Reads, Horror and Romance, Hot Historicals, Medical Romance, International Popular Romance, Multicultural/Ethnic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Pygmalion/My Fair Lady Theme, Romances by Men, Romance Films, Romances for Men, Romance Subgenres Overview, Sagas, Science Fiction and Romance, Secret Baby Plot, Seduction Novels, Sentimental Gothic Romance, Short Stories and Novellas, Story Papers and Dime Novel Romances, Suspense in Romance, Sweet Romances, Sweet/Savage Romance, Time Travel Romance, Urban Fantasy and Romance, Urban Fantasy Romance, Women's Fiction and Romance, Women's Romantic Fiction, Young Adult Romance.

On the more technical side there's: Agent, Audio book, Backlist, Clinch Cover, Covers and Cover Art, Critique Groups/Critique Partners, Cross-genre Romance Marketing, Current Publishing Environment, Decline of the Midlist, Editor, Editorial and Printing Quality, Electronic Publishing, Financial Aspects of the Genre, Formats/Definitions - History and Importance of, Hard cover, History of Romance Publishing, Illustrations, Marketing Romance, Mass Market Paperback, Out-of-Print Titles, Pseudonyms, Publishers' Genre Labels, Publishing Cycles, Publishing Industry and Romance, Romance Blogs/Wikis/Websites, Romance Industry and the Business of Romance, Romances in Bookstores, Self-Publishing and Self-Published Romances, Single Title, Small Presses, Social Media and Romance, Technology and its Impact on the Romance Genre, Titles (selection and importance of), Trade paperback, Video book

Some deal with broad themes/issues/character types in romance: Alpha Hero/Beta Hero, Appeal of the Romance, Censorship in Romance, Characterization (importance of), Characters (secondary or supporting), Cultural and Social Impact of Romance Novels, Description in Romance, Empowerment of Women, Happily-Ever-After-Ending, Hero (role of, importance and types), Heroine (role of, importance and types), Mood and Atmosphere in Romance, Perception of the Popular Romance Genre, Plot Patterns in Romance, Point of View in Romance, Power of Love Theme, Reader/Writer Connection, Romance (Definition), Sensuality Levels in Romance, Sensuality's Effect on the Popular Perception of the Genre, Sequels and Spin-offs of Classic Works, Setting as Character, Setting (Importance), Settings (Typical of Various Subgenres), Sex in Romance, Small Towns/Communities as Settings, Social Issues Addressed in Romance Fiction, Society as Character (e.g. the Regency ton), Subversive Nature of the Romance Novel, Themes in Romance Fiction, Trends in Popular Romance Fiction, Writing Styles (importance of), Writing Styles (types and techniques)

On the organisational side there's: Daphne du Maurier Awards, Libraries and Romance Fiction, Maggie Awards, Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association, Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University, Prism Awards, Romance listservs, Romance Readers (who they are and cultural and period differences), Romance Reading Collections, Romance Research Collections, Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America Awards, Romance-Related Conferences and Conventions, Romance-Related Organizations, RoNA Awards, Royal Ascot Awards, Scholarly Research and Publication in Popular Romance Fiction.

I may have accidentally missed out some entries because the list is extremely long and, in the time since I received it, it's possible that contributors may already have come forward to claim some of these topics.

If you're interested in contributing to the Encyclopedia, please contact Kristin at


  1. I tried to contact Kristin at the address above but windows tells me that the addy is invalid???

    1. I'm sorry you've had trouble with the email address. is the right one and I'm not sure why it wouldn't work. Actually, I've had trouble posting to this thread; maybe this will work.


  2. Hmm. I'm not sure why it's not working. I don't think I made a mistake with the address. It's possible that I have, though, so I've sent an email to Kristin from my gmail account to see if it gets through to her. Hopefully it will.

  3. Wendy, I've had another thought; if you still haven't been able to get through to Kris's address, you could email me and I'll forward her your query.

    Kris, I'm sorry Blogger's been causing problems. I'm glad it eventually accepted your comment.