I’m home from the RWA conference. Geez, I hope I’m home. There were moments driving through L.A I thought I’d never get out. It would have been a Escape from L.A moment.
Back on topic. I had a blast at the conference as usual with friends and those writing buddies I haven’t seen in a couple of years. We laughed, we ate, we drank, we ate some more and just had a great time in workshops, where I met more new people. All and all, it was a great time on a personal level. And yes, I had a fantastic day at Disney with a friend. We shopped, we laughed, we rode on rides we loved and ate. Food always manages to squeeze into everything.
Was it a great conference? Not really. The food at the luncheons was chicken, two days in a row. The same just barely cooked chicken with a different side and desert. I loved the speakers. Always do, they’re so inspiring. Of course, my sleeping muse always woke up in the middle of lunch or a great workshop. Still, it wasn’t one of their better efforts. The food issue was the biggy for me. No dinner at all, only desert at the awards that are always wonderful. This actually was one of the better awards show. Loved the film clips. But still, it wasn’t the best conference.
A lot of changes came down from RWA at this conference. On the good side of things, Indies are now eligible to apply to PAN, as long as they meet the requirements. FANTASTIC!! But, there is a downside to the good news and acceptance as a serious writer and author. Indies who are self-published don’t meet the requirements for the GOLDEN HEART, because we’re now considered published. We don’t meet the requirements for the RITA’s, because we’re not traditionally published. There is no contest at that level for us in RWA. Wither or not this will trickle down to the chapter level, time will tell. We might have to organize our own contest, somewhere. But hey, we were turned down for a chapter. So it would have to be outside of RWA. Or maybe now they’ll give us a chapter, since they are officially accepting us as professional. It all gets very confusing. I’m confused and obviously RWA is confused.
There were a couple of indie authors at the literacy signing. I haven’t contacted either of those authors to find out what they had to do be in the signing, but my understanding it was no easy task convincing RWA to allow them to sign. But they were there, which means next year either there will be a lot more, or non-at-all because the influx of indies wanting to be at the signing, might be overwhelming. So the answer, just don’t allow them to sign. I’m not saying that is what will happen, but one never knows. I’ll keep everyone updated when I get my answer. I am going to contact RWA and get the scoop on that one.
On the downside of things, there is a lot of confusion over the elimination of Women’s fiction with a Romantic Element from the Golden Heart and RITA’s. Apparently, RWA did a study, and actually wasted our money by paying for the study on the two contests. It came back with, this is a romance based organization, so why are they allowing anything outside romance in to the contest. Personally, not getting it at all. Hence the definition of ‘strong romantic element’. Anyone have a different definition for romantic elements? I’m confused. The response from RWA has been confusing and at times doesn’t make since as they step on their own toes over this, but for now they’re sticking to their guns. Strong romantic elements, is not romance. Scratching my head.
RWA claims it won’t affect general memberships, if a member isn’t a romance author. I’ve never been a romance author in the 18yrs I’ve been a member and always held general membership. They happily took my money and ran with it. The concern on the loops was about membership status of NSRE members. What is RWA going to do? Send out the membership police to give us a slap on the hand and change our memberships? Hardly, our money is still good, no matter what we write. We just have to beef up the romance to enter the contests from strong romantic element, to over-the-top-ridiculously-romantic- elements. At the end of the day, it’s still romantic elements no-matter how you twist it around.
I just signed a petition to now allow Erotica into the mix. Is that not romance? I don’t read that genre, but my understanding is between all the crazy sex, there is a romance, most of the time. With ’50 Shades of Gray’, as a mega best-seller, that could change, but remember it has to go beyond the mega strong romantic elements, to be a romance.
It is going to take to the next conference for all the confusion to iron out, then there will be a new confusion over the definition of romance, over wither Erotica is romance, or wither Indies are still considered professional. It keeps things interesting, and RWA members on their toes. Lots to gab about on the loops that are burning up right now, over every detail of our romance world.
I love this old romance book cover. Of course it has Fabio as the model. Now is this romance or strong romantic elements? I can’t tell.