Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge : Women’s Fiction Genre

A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic–nothing else. This year, I’ll be covering writing genres.

Today’s genre:

atoz-wWomen’s Fiction


Women-centered books that focus on women’s life experience and typically marketed to female readers

Tipsa to z

  1. Show the female journey.
  2. Help readers understand what it’s like to be female.
  3. The heroine is the central focus of the story.
  4. Help readers understand that they are not alone in their problems or thoughts.
  5. Women’s fiction is not romance or chic lit, but it can include those elements.

Popular Books

  1. A Summer All Her Own by Rosanne Keller
  2. Anything by Rosamunde Pilcher
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  5. Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  8. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  9. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  10. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

More W Genres

Click for complete list of genres

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for May, 2017. Click to follow its progress.


69 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge : Women’s Fiction Genre

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  4. I just completed my first novel where the protagonist is a female Border Patrol agent. There is conflict with the macho males, corruption that she unearths and the first flame of a romance. Yet when I floated some chapters out there to receive critique, women chided me that this was not women’s fiction. (Maybe if I had given the lesbian character more than 3 scenes…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It might be a thriller with a female protagonist. Women’s fiction does delve into women topics at the expense of plot and action. You decide which you are more tilted toward and that’ll help you decide your genre.

      Me, my main character is female with a love interest, but what forms the story is the plot. So, I call it a thriller.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I must admit I hate the term ‘women’s fiction’ because it’s not like you see ‘men’s fiction’ anywhere. I wish they’d just stick to calling it contemporary fiction. Having said that, it’s a genre I do enjoy. Liane Moriarty is currently my favourite author in this genre followed by Jodi Picoult.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fried Green Tomatos – I’ve read it three times! Wonderful, wonderful characters. I think when womens fiction is done badly it tends to be really bad though. Lots of men read ‘women’s’ fiction too. Westerns (Before Annie Proux) might be in the genre of ‘men’s fiction’ – maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It has always buffled me that there should exist a ‘women’s fiction’ genre. There are many mostly male genres, but no ‘men’s fiction’. Why there should be a women’s fiction? Isn’t enough to have mostly female fiction?

    I understand distinguishing fiction by age, because the age of the reader will affect thier understanding of the story. I understand distingushing by genre, because the structure and themes of certain story will appeal to a particular kind of reader. But distinguishing by sex? Doesn’t make sense in my opinion.

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve found a lot of my books fall into the women’s fiction classification, at least in part. I like to say I write historical which included interstitial elements of women’s fiction and a few other genres.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. I think it’s simply the focus–the theme. If your goal is to discuss the mysogeny and it comes up at every opportunity, that’s different from blending it into an action plot or romance. Don’t you think?


  9. mmmmm, great list some of which I’ve read. White Oleander, so long ago. I know I’d read it again if I got my hands on it. Women’s Fiction Genre has much to commend it and covers historical and contemporary. Wolf Hall comes to mind as does – blast I can’t remember the title or the author. Philippa Gregory and Susan Howatch are two other women writers for whom I have great admiration. Fay Weldon …

    Liked by 1 person

    • This one was challenging for me because I don’t think of authors as male or female–good or bad suits me better! And, I tend to shy away from discussing women’s sort of issues. Still, I recognize I am a minority.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “Women’s Fiction” always sounds a little condescending to me, a little like women’s experience is only for women. I mean, look at the incredible works on that list that somehow get separated from the lofty “literature” category because of the subject matter (or,let’s be frank, authors).

    Sometimes I feel like categories are used to pass judgment on the work itself, rather than simple, objective classification; it’s as though the categories fit a certain hierarchy.

    OK, stepping off of my soapbox! 😉

    A to Z Challenge: Wolf
    Isa-Lee Wolf
    A Bit 2 Read

    Liked by 3 people

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