Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maybe RWA Isn't Right For Me

I'm starting to wonder. After all, President Diane Pershing says RWA's "purpose will be thoroughly diluted if members are not truly focused on writing romances as a career choice."

I'm not truly focused on writing romances and haven't been for at least a year and a half. Maybe two. Especially since my writing has gone more in the direction of urban fantasy and YA.

Does that mean I'm diluting RWA? I guess my 3 years as chapter vice president (2 different chapters), 3 years as webmaster (2 different chapters), 2 years as contest category coordinator and current status as chapter president (ESPAN) aren't worth as much as I thought.

And to think I was mulling over a run for the national board. But, ya know, I'd hate to dilute it or anything...

19 comments:

  1. Ya know, I always wondered about RWA and non-romance writers, but I figured it was RWA's way of reaching out to become a writing community for everyone. And now that it is, their president is unhappy with it? Feh. I wonder if she'll worry about the dilution once membership dollars start to slip.

    What's needed is a non-genre equivalent of RWA. Every writer gets to join, and no member can slam anyone else's genre.

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  2. B.E.'s comment is spot on.

    I'm so getting tired of being treated as a red headed step child. Not allowed in the RITA's even though I proved PAN eligibility after the change. *sigh*

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  3. Very difficult topic, K. My local chapters (including STAR) are important to me. I can't be in those and have those contacts with RWA membership.

    Quitting an organization may not be the answer when you don't agree with it's direction. Your thoughts of running for the board may be the answer. You can only change an organiztion from inside. I would encourage you to consider running

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  4. Goodness that letter was just...bad. I can understand your reaction. Instead of getting better I feel like the organization is getting worse. And I hate that. It downright discriminates. So not cool.

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  5. A lot of authors nowadays don't write specifically in one genre, anyway. I find writing in other genres is a way to challenge my own skill and get out of my comfort zone. B.E. has it right--we need an organization for ALL writers. Where writing is your career, not writing romance, or sci-fi, or whatever you write. It's your choice.

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  6. UGH, that whole article pissed me off. She really needs to stop digging a deeper hole for herself.

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  7. WTH? RWA needs to roll out of the dark ages if they want to keep members and status among the writing community. Pffflt, that's what I say, Pffflt!

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  8. Maybe I'm dumb, but it really seems like when enrollment is down and times are tough, the best thing an organization can do is to be as inclusive as possible. Why can't RWA be a big tent that helps as many people as possible? Not sure I get it.

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  9. Her term is almost up. Will there be any changes with the next board? Maybe if you run.

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  10. So, am I reading this correctly? Romance writers aren't allowed to write other genres or *gasp* have a career other than writing? I hope she doesn't really believe that, because she'd be out of touch with reality.

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  11. No way, Lucinda. RWA out of touch? Blasphemy! *gg*

    Kristen, you gotta run. If only to keep your peeps sane.

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  12. Interesting... in this same issue of RWR is the RWA Honor Roll, the list of "RWA members whose book length romance novels or other books" have made one or more bestseller lists.

    I'm wondering how many of these Honor Roll members achieved this status with a non-romance book. Because, as far as I can tell, bestsellers like this promote our organization, not dilute it.

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  13. I love my local chapter NW Houston RWA but am considering is it worth my soon-to-be $85. I'll probably suck up and pay but to make RWA viable for thos who are epubbed/small press the entire board has to have the vision that this form of publication isn't bad, just a different way of presenting romance to readers AND the way of the future.

    Best,
    Tambra Kendall

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  14. I belong to CelticHearts.com which is a virtual chapter of RWA. They are a fount of information I wouldn't necessarily have access to if not a member. But to be a member, I must belong to RWA.

    Other than the opportunity to join a chapter, so far I haven't benefited much at all from my membership in RWA.

    I agree that if it's Romance, it's romance whether it's pubbed by a "NY House" or an epublisher. There are some excellent ones out there that are publishing some awesome romance and the RWA is cutting off their nose so to speak in alienating these authors.

    Yup, make a non-genre equivalent to RWA. I'm guessing the membership would be huge.

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  15. I'd vote for you ketteh.

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  16. Since it's become harder and harder for authors to make writing their 'only' career, does that mean RWA is looking to include only full time authors who don't have to look elsewhere than their publishers for a paycheck?

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  17. I'm tempted to tell you to run, but I'm wondering if the time suck involved is worth it. You'd be awesome, though;)

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  18. I'm a newbie to RWA (I joined Feb. 2008), but even in that short time I've seen some rather divisive actions. And that's been my impression since the first RWR hit my mailbox. I usually try to hold off judgments until I have more facts, but it's clear that a lot of the board's stances are slanted towards the NY publishing houses. I enjoy my local chapter, and that's what's keeping me paying the dues for now.

    I'm all for working within the system, but it's a daunting task in any organization, especially one which has such diverse members under the huge umbrella of romance. Maybe a romance ebook professional organization independent of RWA, if RWA continues this trend, would be an option.

    Is anyone a member of EPIC? That organization is open to all ebook genres, not just romance. I don't know much about them, though.

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  19. Kristen -- I've struggled with the same thing. I love my chapter, and they've recognized my "published" status since I became e-pubbed ten years ago, so THEY'RE the bomb, and the only reason I fork out my moola every year.

    At this point, I'm even considering foregoing Nationals from this point out. Guess we'll see what happens at the AGM this year, eh?

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