Romance Novels and Writers
LOVE is IN THE AIR!
This is the place to celebrate all things romance: discover enchanting novels, meet new romance writers, fall in love with podcasts and more!
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Whether you’re looking for love, you’re in love, or you loathe love…this is the anti-romance party for you! Celebrate Valentine’s Day with rejection letters of famous writers and tell your own stories of rejection during open mic. We’ll be serving up a signature cocktail, The Optimistic Ending, along with beer and wine. Listen to a specially curated playlist of breakup songs as you enjoy refreshments and explore all of our exhibits.
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and the American Writers Museum gift shop—both in-person and online here—is full of gift ideas for the literature lovers that you, well, love. From jewelry and pins inspired by American writing, book-themed ties and scarves, posters with romantic quotes and more, you’re sure to please your beloved this Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year for that matter. They deserve it.
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson and playwright and screenwriter Bekah Brunstetter (producer and writer on NBC’s This Is Us) share insights into their roles in adapting The Notebook, the novel by Nicholas Sparks, into a new musical at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Michaelson wrote the music and lyrics and Brunstetter wrote the book.
“I loved reading romance: the stories were fun, they made me happy, but they were so much more than that — they tackled major issues about sexism, relationships, consent, race, politics, family, and so much more. I hoped it would be as fun to write one as it was to read them, and I was right!”
—Jasmine Guillory, bestselling author of The Wedding Party, While Were Dating, and more
Hit the American Writers Museum blog for even more reading and explorations of romance writing.
- Prior to her July 2019 visit to the AWM to discuss her book The Wedding Party, we did a Q & A with Jasmine Guillory about the book, the romance novel genre, and which American writer of the past she would most like to go on a date with.
- Check out this list of LGBTQ+ Books to Read, including classics and recent releases, all of which remind us love and romance looks different to everyone.
Check out the AWM Podcast Network to learn about influential romance writers of the past or hear current romance writers discuss their work.
- On Dead Writer Drama, our co-hosts dive into the dramatic life of Nora Ephron, the Queen of Rom-Coms known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally.
- Learn even more about the legacy of Ephron on Nation of Writers in which we chat with Kristin Marguerite Doidge, author of Nora Ephron: A Biography.
Over on our YouTube channel, revisit many of our past programs with romance writers or authors who write about love and romance in popular culture.
- Bestselling author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong discusses her book Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love from the American Writers Museum.
- Lawyer-turned romance novelist Angela Terry discusses her debut novel Charming Falls Apart with members of the Chicago Council of the American Writers Museum.
Young Adult Romance Novels
Check out these past conversations with leading young adult authors to learn more about their books, crafting love stories for young adults, and the importance of youth seeing their lives and selves represented in literature.
In Never Look Back, acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera blends a touch of magical realism into a timely story about cultural identity, overcoming trauma, and the power of first love. Featuring contemporary Afro-Latinx characters, this retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice is perfect for fans of Ibi Zoboi’s Pride and Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper.
If graphic novels are more your thing, then tune into Ngozi Ukazu discussing her book Check Please! In this coming-of-age series, junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire and baking aficionado Eric Bittle adjusts to life as a freshman on the Samwell University ice hockey team and navigates a newfound crush on Jack, the team’s captain.
Looking for more diverse reading suggestions for young adults? We suggest these Young Adult Reading Recommendations. Not all of them are “romance novels” per se, but many of them are!
And for those of you who LOVE your pets, watch Jennifer Finney Boylan discuss her book Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs with Kathy Griffin. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” Their love enables us to pull off what seem like impossible feats: to find our way home when we are lost, to live our lives with humor and courage, and above all, to best become our true selves.