Wanted: Amish Romance Plot Writer?

Well, not wanted by me, but by someone who’s posted a job offer on freelancing site Upwork.

This is just a quirky thing I came across in my Amish news feed today. I wondered some years ago if the appeal of Amish romance would continue. Going by anecdotal evidence at least, the genre appears to still be running strong.

This kind of ad seems to support that idea. Here’s what they’re looking for:

We are looking to hire someone who REALLY understands the Amish romance genre and can write good plots with the right tropes, rising tension, intrigue, and interesting characters.

Ideally, we are looking for a long-term relationship with the chosen applicant to become part of our publishing team.

Please note that we will ask to submit plot “idea” and brief character’s description for our approval before proceeding with chapter-by chapter plot.

They have some stipulations:


You are experienced at plotting / writing Amish romance novels.

You are knowledgeable about this genre and are familiar with the appropriate terms of address, language, accurate historical settings, themes, and terminology.

Your write original plots and not used or repurposed elsewhere.

You agree to sign NDA

When you apply, please, submit a small example of your Amish plot as a brief outline. It does not need to be complete.

I’ve never come across offers like this before, but I guess that is one way to do it.

And it appears this same company is looking for not just plot writers – but entire-book-writers as well.

From a related ad that appeared on the same page:

We are seeking experienced Amish Romance authors to join our expanding ghostwriter team.

Ideally, we are looking for a long-term relationship with a reliable and committed applicant to become part of our publishing team.

We provide a full plot outline and full support.

So this is what the production process looks like – one side creates the plot outline, then it’s given to someone who can flesh it out into a whole book.

I didn’t realize that books were created this way, but apparently they are. At least that’s the model for this publisher, which goes unnamed in the ad. I don’t think most Amish fiction writers are working by this model, however.

How lucrative is this? Well, for the plot writers, they are offering $30 per plot.

What about those who write the actual books? They will pay $220 for a 20,000-word book. That’s about a penny a word.

My first book was around 60,000 words, if I recall correctly. It took years to write.

Now, a long-researched non-fiction book vs. a compact fiction novel is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but…it seems like it would be hard to make ends meet at that rate. However, maybe for someone it can be a nice way to break into the industry?

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    1. Karen

      Writers for peanuts

      As a professional writer, I find this company to be very disrespectful of the author! Earning just a Penny per word is ludicrous and I would never want to support a company that thinks so little of the writer that they would pay such insulting wages. There should at the very least be an advance and a percentage offered on the book sales!

      1. I do wonder how they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for at those rates.

    2. Frank Comstock

      I Would Stay Away From This

      My guess, especially with no company name, is that this company is overseas, possibly India or China. They are trying to get something for nothing. The pay rate is ridiculous.

      I’m a mostly retired freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. I’ve also written and published many short stories in literary journals and I’ve published two novels. My last check for about a three thousand word article in a fairly major online magazine was more than twice as much as what this company is offering for a 20,000 word novella.

      Thirty dollars for a plot? Absolutely ridiculous. Should be several hundred dollars, at least.

      I used to receive requests for freelance work from people in various overseas countries where the pay rate would run from a tenth of a cent to about a penny a word. I never took any of the jobs. On the other hand, if an editor regular buys my work, I occasionally give that editor a free article that didn’t take me long to write.

      Too many media outlets are trying to devalue the work of writers. It’s a shame, but this is ridiculous.

      1. Lucinda

        They claim to be in Israel.

        1. I saw that – not the first geographic location that comes to mind when you think Amish fiction. Maybe it’s someone with ties to the US with a company or presence abroad.

      2. Thanks for sharing that real world example, Frank. Yes these ads seem disconnected from reality. As I wrote, the only positive spin I could come up with is maybe it’s for someone who would want to create a few plots or one novel for very little pay just to get the experience before moving to something better. Just looking at rates for genre writers on the same site, the hourly rate for many is as much or more than the price offered for one plot by this company. https://www.upwork.com/hire/romance-writers/

    3. "bonnet rippers"

      These Amish-oriented romance novels are sometimes known as bonnet rippers.

      Also, the fees offered are absurdly low. This must be some kind of rip-off. I was a professional writer (staff and freelance for newspapers, magazines and four books), and even a generation ago those fees would have been considered way low.

    4. Alice Berger


      Looks suspicious to me. Anyone who is interested should check out Preditors & Editors to verify the legitimacy of this offer.

      1. Interesting, is that some sort of industry watchdog?

    5. Leslie Harris


      Hi Erik,

      A super-quick Google search turned up:




      Hope those help for a start.