Academic Grant Recipients Announced

Romance Writers of America congratulates the 2022 - 2023 Academic Research Grant recipients:

Locating Authenticity in Crime Romance Novels: Perspectives from International Readers and Writers

Recipients: Jo Coghlan, PhD; Lisa J. Hackett, PhD [University of New England (Australia)]

The focus of this research is to examine how readers and writers of contemporary crime romance fiction negotiate issues and tensions of accuracy and authenticity in the genre, and the different levels of accuracy that may be wanted by readers. Crime can occur in any romance novel, however, there is a distinct subgenre of crime romance fiction. One prominent series is Harlequin Mills & Boon’s Intrigue series which promises the reader can “[d]ive into action-packed stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Solve the crime and deliver justice at all costs” (Harlequin 2022a). Crime romance fiction can be set in any era and can occur across various romance subgenres. This research is focused on romance novels from across the spectrum that have a strong focus on crime.

Romance Readers Experience Webtoon: An Examination of Reader Engagement with New Media

Recipients: Dr. Hyerim Cho; Dr. Denice Adkins (University of Missouri)

The romance novel is traditionally viewed as a text-mediated form – one that is published in stand-alone or series format and experienced in print or audiobook form. Romantic comedy movies, comics, and manga expand access to romantic storylines. In this study, we investigate Webtoon as a new medium for presenting romance stories. In this proposal, we want to 1) highlight the experiences of readers who read both “traditional” romance novels and Webtoon with romantic storylines, 2) investigate the appeals of both formats for them, and 3) discuss how the Webtoon format may provide unique appeals in the reading experience.

Learn about the RWA Academic Research Grant and these recipients' projects.