Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Online Romance Writing Courses from McDaniel College

McDaniel College is fielding a new five-course sequence in Romance Writing, to begin this fall. Each course lasts eight weeks, and is online, asynchronous (anyone, anywhere with an internet connection can do course work at any time), focused on romance writing, and taught by Jennifer Cruise, MFA, New York Times best selling author. The program is the first of its kind.

These graduate-level courses are for new and experienced writers who have a bachelor’s degree.

The five courses lead students through an examination of the craft of romance writing—with a focus on character as it informs and builds story. Students develop a proposal—a synopsis, 30 polished pages, and a query letter—for an original, novel-length romance.

The first course, Reading the Romance (3 credit hours), guides you through an analysis of the craft elements in novels by respected romance writers:

Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Heaven, Texas. 1995.
Nora Roberts. Montana Sky. 1996.
Loretta Chase. Lord of Scoundrels. 1995.
Beverly Jenkins. Indigo. 1996.
Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, and Lani Diane Rich. Dogs and Goddesses. 2009.
Melissa Marr. Wicked Lovely. 2007.
Patricia Gaffney. The Saving Graces. 1999.
Barbara O’Neal. How to Bake a Perfect Life. 2010.

Your guides to craft will be Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer, and Robert McKee, Story, as well as Jennifer Crusie and/or Pam Regis, who will occasionally teach the first course.

It begins on August 27. Register beginning July 1 but before July 28.

In the next four courses (each 3 credits), Jennifer Crusie provides one-on-one feedback:


you will focus on writing
Writing the Romance Novel I
Writing the Romance Novel II
Romance Writing Workshop
the proposal package

Development costs were funded by a generous gift by the Nora Roberts Foundation.

Credit hours transfer into a McDaniel Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) degree. Cost: $1,290 per course.

Learn more details

For those of you who have heard of Jennifer Crusie's involvement with The Writewell Academy and are wondering if there's a difference between the courses on offer there and at McDaniel College, we explain the Writewell/McDaniel relationship in this way:
Although the information from Writewell will be part of the McDaniel program, it will not be in the same form. Writewell is baseline level introduction to creative writing, consisting of just the lectures and support materials. Writewell's creators don't read anybody's work for Writewell. McDaniel's program is a full blown, hands on creative writing program, workshops, critiques, etc. Professor Crusie does read and offer critique. She says, "It's the difference between a really good bicycle and a Mercedes."


  1. Jennifer Crusie's put up some more information about the courses on her blog.

  2. And Jenny Crusie's got a quick follow-up, about a change to the course requirements, here.