Although romance books sometimes come in for a hard time in elite publishing circles, there’s no denying the enormous popularity of this wide-ranging genre, and one might reasonably assume that such a universal theme as love and relationships would make romance a hugely popular genre everywhere in the world.

Yet there are parts of the world that seem to have somehow escaped the charm of the happy ever after ending. Even – perhaps especially so – in the stable, literate and otherwise open to anything societies of Scandinavia.
Bizarre though it may sound, the country that brought to the Anglophone world a new niche in thriller and crime writing, Sweden, is pretty much indifferent to romance as a genre.
But that’s about to change, as Sweden’s publishing industry journal Boktugg reports.
The Swedish Romance Academy, which will have its inaugural meeting this spring, is the brainchild of author Simona Ahrnstedt, Pamela Schultz Nybacka, PhD in Business Administration and Head of Publishing Science at Stockholm University, Anna Frankl Agent and Partner at Nordin Agency, and Ebba Östberg, responsible for Lovereads in Bonnierförlagen.
The Swedish Romance Academy, Boktugg reports, will

create a forum where dedicated authors and readers can meet, talk and discuss, (something that) has been missing in Sweden,

Author Simona Ahrnstedt feels there is a tragic

contempt for romance that goes back in an equally terrifying contempt for what women create in society,


There is a passion for this genre among readers and writers that I do not see elsewhere. It is inclusive, attracts diversity and creates community. Many romance writers began to read the books and they know how important it is to have a dialogue with readers. The communication goes on both sides here, which is incredibly important and quite unique.

On the plans for the Swedish Romance Academy, Ahrnstedt said,

we want to promote and support the genres, create an engaged forum, but also have workshops, events, celebrate novelists and award scholarships and prizes.

Boktugg notes that for now the Romance Academy can be followed on instagram – @romance academy.