RWA Conference News

no-sex.jpg  The Board of Romance Writers of America met this morning and just released their new decisions. The women on Romance Divas are now discussing them. Here’s the gist of it:

For PAN (Published Author Network), RWA is shutting out any publisher that uses their own website as the primary means of sale, any publisher that hasn’t had national distribution for a minimum of 3 years, and any publisher that doesn’t pay $1,000 advances.

There will be no erotic romance category for the Golden Heart or the Rita Awards.

This is, in effect, excluding all erotic romance e-publishers and most erotic romance authors from PAN and the awards. A huge statement that will affect many authors. (Current members of PAN, like me, are grandfathered and can remain members.)

Boy, are people mad! It’s a real slap in the face to many, many romance authors. The fall-out is going to be huge.

My own reaction? I’m shocked and disgusted that RWA passed this. The group is supposed to help its dues-paying members, not exclude and insult them. Why doesn’t RWA focus on things that will help? For instance, where is our group health insurance?

RWA is always moaning about how romance authors “get no respect” from the world at large. They don’t seem to realize that infighting, spatting, and wrong focusing like this could be one reason why.


5 thoughts on “RWA Conference News

  1. Amen. I’m happy I dropped my membership a few years ago, and I blogged my unhappiness too. What ARE they doing that helps anyone? A self-serving conference and awards ceremony?

  2. Yep, and let’s not kid ourselves about why RWA did this. They’ll give all kinds of high-toned reasons, but, in her blog, Ciar hit the nail on the head about the real reason:

    “WHAT is RWA getting out of this? Oh, right, keep the riff-raff out. Those folks who publish the icky hot stuff, or the icky homosexual stuff, or the icky stuff that New York publishers are trying to get onto the shelves as fast as humanly possible.”

  3. The other criteria for vanity/subsidy are pretty much industry standard, but that bit about how the primary means of offering books can’t be the publisher’s web site is very troublesome. If they’d said it can’t be the ONLY means, that’d be one thing, but they said PRIMARY. Are there any e-pubs whose primary distribution is anything other than their web site?

  4. Yet another reason why I’m very glad I didn’t renew my RWA membership. And I’m very happy that I’m not getting caught up in the fall-out from this latest decision.

    I wonder how much longer RWA will be a powerful voice for romance writers. I also wonder if another group will emerge to give RWA a run for its money.

  5. The gals at the RWA must have lost their minds. I don’t regularly read romance but I do regularly see what’s at the front tables at the bookstores here in the big evil city and its all Elora’s Cave and married woman submits sharing space with urban street lit written by and aimed at black women. Judging by the trends, urban women readers want some pimping and some bondage with their romance. RWA seems want to go back to the 19th century. And, while I’m on the soapbox, not admitting the vanity crowd ignores the many great books that started there and migrated to a commercial publisher.

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