Saturday, June 25, 2011

Romance Writers of America

I am neither surprised nor dismayed that the RWA thing didn't work out. Like MWA, RWA claims to represent the best interests of authors. Their concept of how to do so is to relieve authors - who, like infants and idiots, are unable to be responsible for themselves - from making an agreement with a publisher. I think the OTP contests are great; many of us may never have started publishing without them, and I have been happy with the quality of many of the entries I've read. I think it is perfectly reasonable for OTP to charge a $25 entry fee; running a contest requires a lot of time and effort. Others may disagree. Fine - no one is forced to enter. But for those of us who do so not only voluntarily but happily, we have violated the rules of the big organizations; i.e., we have determined how we will deal with publishers instead of being dictated to. The following is a gratuitous suggestion since I am not a member of MWA or RWA, but I believe those who are members would be doing a fine thing if they resigned en masse. All of them. Then they could donate their membership fee to ProLiteracy, an organization which really does help authors and many others as well.

Mike Orenduff


Kit Sloane said...

Oh, it's the usual silly business from groups trying to make themselves stand out. They've all tried it, one way or the other. I always just resign when I can't stand the message anymore which is why my bio states "long time member," not ACTIVE member of said groups!

It's just annoying that all this "stuff" is out there intimidating new writers and making old writers shake their heads.

OTP does not need the likes of these orgs.


BillieJohn said...

All true and on point comments here...and the other little element is that RWA National has its own contests (The RITA!) and most chapters host local contests where they are permitted to charge an entry fee and determine the prize.

I would love to build our romance line (LOVE, romance, ha ha...get it!!) but I am sure there are many other options to do that. In fact, that human tornado, Sunny Frazier is working on things in this area now.

We are developing a Paranormal line, and many of these stories spin out from a romance set up. And many of our mystery submissions are trending toward having romance or a strong relationship figure into the story.

Personally, I enjoy the romance aspect more where there is a murder or two along the way, or some peril, danger to overcome. Two hundred pages of eyes flashing and heart palapting and knees weakening and hands trembling...well it is just way too much for yours truly. As a child of the 1960s, I am much more drawn to a female character who finds her love life in the context of a full, rich and challenging life...not just a life hanging on the sidelines until Mr. Wonderful comes along.

I've heard RWA, et al say their readers are predominately career women between the ages of 40-60 who seek the escape of these simple, predicatable stories, but for me, I just can't suspend THAT much disbelief!


Holli said...

I think discouraging writers from entering contests where the prize is getting a publishing contract under the guise that this somehow protects writers is illogical and counterproductive.

I don't need protection from big bad publishers who want to award me a contract for writing the best manuscript in a contest- I need protection from non-inclusive groups who think I'm not good enough for them because that's how I got published.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice
Jambalaya Justice coming July, 2011

Sally Carpenter said...

I haven't joined Mystery Writers of America because that organization does not recognize OPT as an "approved" publishers. Never mind that the "approved" publishers only look at agented submissions and right now agents won't represent new, unpublished authors. So MWA apparently is not interested in new "active" members, only "associates" who cannot vote. What a pity that all writers are not considered "equals" in a field where authors need to support one another.
Sally Carpenter
"The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper"

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

The battle with MWA goes on and on. I still belong because I'm so old I get a really good discount on dues. I have a problem with Sisters in Crime too, they have some of the same issues though not as far as joining.

The big mystery cons also are using MWAs guide as to who can be on a panel and who can't be.


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