I have a confession-I'm not a romance writer. I am in the RWA and have been so for a number of years. I read romance and my books all have some romantic element in them (kinda hard to avoid ;))- but my books will all live in the SF/Fantasy side of a bookstore. So why am I in the RWA you may ask?
Excellent question with a few answers.
1) I wanted to be part of a writing community, I wanted to be around other folks who understand when your character runs away with the book, or your middle sags. And guess what? There is NO such community for SF/F writers. Nope. There is SFWA, however they don't really let you play in their sandbox until your are published by a NY publisher. Now, they do provide information for the great unwashed- er unpublished, and they have some very good stuff up, don't get me wrong. But they have not created a community to nurture unpublished novelists in their genre. So, I went to the best group that does that- RWA.
2) Good writing is good writing. Since I don't write romance, I don't follow all of the standard patterns of plotting as they do. But pretty much all the other aspects of craft and business are the same. It doesn't matter if you write horror or cozy mysteries- good writing and good story telling is a must. And the RWA has tons of resources, members with blogs, workshops to help teach it.
3) I needed to learn about marketing. In this day and age, writers have to market themselves. Through my RWA chapters, I've seen many amazing examples of blogs, blog tours, contests, tons of marketing ideas.
So I am proud to say that I am a member of the RWA, one who is writing books with romantic elements as opposed to pure romance (for now ;)). Genre’s be darned- it’s the writing that counts and I’ve learned more from my romance writing buddies than I ever could have learned without them.
I'm so excited to find your blog! I'm in the same writing boat as you are, it seems. And like you say, good writing is good writing. The support structure in RWA is fantastic.ReplyDelete
I too have been very impressed with the community of both the national RWA and the local chapters of which I am a member. They have all been very welcoming and helpful.ReplyDelete
I'm in the same boat. My novels rarely even have romantic elements. I'd definitely be in the general fiction section of the bookstore. I belong to RWA because they offer so much to the unpublished author. I love my chapters and wouldn't give up my membership just so I can stay in them.ReplyDelete
I couldn't agree with you more about the benefits of RWA. I've only been a member for a couple of years, but I've met so many great authors who are willing to share knowledge about craft, marketing, and how to keep your sanity!ReplyDelete
I love the RWA! They've provided me with great ideas and positive helpful criticism of my writing. Great blog.ReplyDelete
I'm brand spankin' new to RWA, but I already love it. I've never seen this many writers so generous with their advice, encouragement, and genuine interest in the work of other members.ReplyDelete
BTW, nothing wrong with SF/F with romantic elements. Novel with strong romantic elements happens to be an official category in the National RWA contests. You belong :)
I'm not a romance writer or reader either. Suspense with romantic elements is how I would describe myself.ReplyDelete
I wish I had joined RWA 10 years ago. Lord only knows where I would be as a writer today. Probably the NY Times best sellers list! LOL I've been with a chapter only a few months, but between the classes, the members, and the opportunities, my writing has truly advanced.
Agree with everything in your post. RWA is such a welcoming organization. Like you, I don't write straight romance. I write YA and adult fantasy with romantic elements. I have never felt out of place at RWA. The national conference in Orlando last year was fantastic - I learned so much. I do wish other genres would follow RWA's lead and reach out to unpublished writers. I think their communities would be all the richer for it.ReplyDelete
Thanks all! I know blogger was having problems keeping posts earlier today- hopefully it's staying for now! Ya know, ya really would think the other genres might see what RWA is doing and think- hmmmmm- that's a really good model! And all of you great folks on here are just another example of why RWA rocks!ReplyDelete
When I first started writing, I had no idea about critique groups or contests. Then I found RWA. Joining has opened many networking doors and exposed me to workshops and contests I never would have been privy to. Even if you don't write straight romance, it's definitely worth being a member.ReplyDelete
When I started writing a year ago, I happily joined RWA and another writing organization. Immediately, I went to my local RWA meeting and the people there were cheerful, fun, smart and very, very welcoming. The next week, I went to the other organization's local meeting and they...weren't. Since then, I have attended national conferences with both groups and found the same to be true. RWA, and the people in it, is very special, indeed.ReplyDelete
I also come from a sci-fi fantasy background, but read a lot of romance. When I decided to follow the dream of a writer, I wanted to combine the two. My local chapter was invaluable on getting me started, and getting me to the point where I'm now published, with that first romance sci-fi time travel coming out soon. The writers here in RWA are wonderful, sharing and will pick you up every time you fall.ReplyDelete
*raises hand* Me, too! I don't write romance, but i do write romantic elements. I have an urban fantasy series coming out from Harlequin's Luna imprint and the 1st book will be released this fall. I've been a member of RWA for about 10 years and i love it. Tons of support and education.ReplyDelete
Regarding SFWA, they look down their noises at some of the big NY Publishers too. For example, they turned me away because Harlequin is not on their list of approved publishers. Can you believe it? *shakes head* What's this world coming to?
An urban fantasy coming in September 2011 from Luna-Books @ Harlequin