Have you heard of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association? It’s a non-profit organization for those who write … well, I guess you figured that out. Their new site went live on September 9 and was jammed temporarily by so many writers trying to join at once. I’m now a proud member too.
All writers of women’s fiction are welcome: multi-published, debut, and aspiring. Among other things, the association will offer mentorship, critique groups, forums, online workshops, contests, and agent/editor pitch opportunities for members. They’ll also have an annual retreat.
The WFWA’s About Us statement:
We began this organization in 2013 with the idea to create a safe, nurturing place for male and female writers of women’s fiction. The publishing industry is morphing – with new opportunities and, as yet, unknown futures. Some of us came from the Romance Writers of America, where a shift of focus left many of us out in the rain. The founders of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association wanted somewhere to amass and disseminate information to and about our chosen genre.
Defining Women’s Fiction has proven as subjective as the types of books we prefer. For that reason, our guiding statement is broad and comprehensive:
An inclusive organization of writers who create stories about a woman’s emotional journey.
Our stories may have romance. Or they may not. They could be contemporary. Or historical. But what binds us together is the focus on a woman’s emotional journey.
As you may know, I’ve struggled with the definition of women’s fiction. It’s a very broad category, ranging from chick lit to near literary—but not straight romance. Not everything I write would be categorized as WF. Some would exclude my first published novel, but though Jalal dominates The Brevity of Roses, it’s definitely about Meredith’s and Renee’s emotional journeys as well as his. An Illusion of Trust, the sequel to Brevity, squares firmly with the WFWA definition, as will my next novel.
So, even if you don’t write women’s fiction exclusively, you’re still welcome to join us. Us. Yay! I’m excited to be a part of WFWA. And self-published authors are not considered second class citizens in this group. Another yay!
12 thoughts on “Do you write women’s fiction?”
I really don’t know if I write women’s fiction or not. I think I probably write fiction that will appeal more to women than men but these pieces are rarely about ‘a woman’s emotional journey’. Or at least not primarily. And now I’m not sure why I’m assuming that bias of appeal! I suspect I use far less action plotting and rather more interiority of expression but I don’t see why that should make it women’s fiction any more than ‘hard’ SF is men’s.
Bewildered (again) of Li’l Ol’ England (south – where it’s warmer)
Even my writing is sometimes enjoyed by men, Suzanne, though it’s mostly read by women, but I don’t think of your writing as WF. I think of it as contemporary or even literary.
I think I feel more identified with that, Linda, if there has to be a classification. I suppose part of the definition comes from who you have in mind while you’re writing, and I don’t have women particularly in mind. Interesting thoughts – thanks for lifting the edge of the rug under which I normally sweep this kind of stuff!
Suzanne, you said “if there has to be a classification.” If you ever query a novel—or self-publish one—you HAVE to classify it. And don’t you have to do that somewhat to submit short stories to the proper journals or sites?
I do classify for submissions but it always ends, sotto voce, in ‘ish’ and I take pot luck on hitting the eds on a good day!
Great post, like Suzanne I don’t fall into any one category, though on my blog I seem to be tilting towards children’s fiction. Thank you for posting, I will check it out.
I have books planned to write that won’t be women’s fiction, Maria, but this group fits me best right now. I need the sense of belonging.
Aww, this is fantastic! I will see if I can join.
Hope to see you there, Michelle. 🙂
Hi Linda, I have struggled with this, too. My story is definitely about a woman’s emotional journey, so it could be women’s fiction, but I have always figured it was literary fiction.
Yours very well may be literary, Cristina. A story of a woman’s journey could fit in many categories depending on other elements.