Author Topic: Joining RWA?  (Read 1176 times)

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Offline CynJay

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Joining RWA?
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:16 PM »
I know that quite a few people on this board are members of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and I'm thinking of joining and wanted some feedback. Is it worth it? Would I join as a General Member or an Associate, because I only write YA, but these next books (and all of the ones in the forseeable future) have a heavy romance thread. It's not super cheap, but I'd love another quality outlet and group to learn from. Would love your opinions!
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com

agentpaper

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 04:20 PM »
In terms of critting, my local chapter wasn't all that helpful, because I wrote YA. I actually ended up starting my own crit. group. But, my online CP has had a very good experience with hers. However, there's an online YA chapter that's been pretty awesome. (http://yarwa.com/). You might want to check them out to see if it would be beneficial to you. 

Offline ecb

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 05:52 PM »
Cyn, I'm so glad you asked this, because I've been thinking about it, as well! I know Marissa Doyle is a member, and I have an adult-side author friend who is, as well. I've heard their conferences are *wonderful.*
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Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 07:36 PM »
Yep, I'm a member.  I've actually found it more useful than SCBWI to me--I think the RWA does more for its published authors, and did a much better job about educating me about the business side of writing.  Within RWA I'm a member of the Published Authors' Special Interest Chapter (PASIC) which just had an amazing conference in NYC (including a cocktail party where the agents and editors outnumbered the authors), and I'm also a member (and on the board of) YARWA, the YA chapter--we're in the planning stages of an all-day mini-conference to be held during the national Conference in Anaheim in July.  I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has about any of this.

Somewhere else you might look into is NINC--Novelists, Inc., which is for people with at least two published books.  I've just recently joined so I don't have much of an opinion yet, but I joined because of the glowing reports I'd heard from people whose opinions I value.
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Offline LMES

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 09:13 PM »
Oh, this post is perfect timing for me, too! I was just looking over the RWA website this week. Thanks so much for the information, Marissa!

Offline CynJay

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 07:46 AM »
Thanks for the feedback! I've never heard of NINC - I'll look into it. I'm in the Bay Area, so not sure what the chapter here is like, but I am interested in the YA arm of RWA for sure. Do you think it's helpful if you don't write strictly romance? The best we've been able to categorize the new books is magical realism with a heavy romance element. And do they have a message board, or something like this one?
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com

Asnodgrass

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 10:00 AM »
I'm pretty sure they have message boards. I plan on joining my local chapter soon. I've heard wonderful things about RWA in general and rave reviews about the local Austin chapter. If you have a heavy romantic element, then it sounds like a go to me. I know someone from our local chapter who got the idea for her very popular series at RWA and she writes YA paranormal with a heavy romantic element. So, I don't see how it could hurt...  :)

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 10:07 AM »
They don't kick you out if you're not writing for Harlequin. :moose  I'm writing history fantasy with romantic elements, if that helps.  Within RWA there are chapters for writers of women's fiction and books "with romantic elements", and YARWA welcomes any kind of YA.  The SF area chapter is here: http://www.sfarwa.net/, so you can check it out.  Re message boards--the organization is in the process of re-doing its whole member internet access system, but there's no overall forum like this for the whole organization--individual chapters generally utilize Yahoogroup loops, and there are special organization-wide groups for published (PAN) and PRO (people who have completed a book and are actively submititng) members.


Oh--the main RWA site is at www.rwa.org
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Offline CynJay

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 12:56 PM »
Thanks Marissa and Lindsey - I appreciate it! Going to look into it.
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com

Offline write2inspire

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 04:25 PM »
I agree, I've learned more from RWA about the business of being a published writer than I've found with SCBWI. Don't get me wrong, I love SCBWI, and think it's great for children's writers, it's just when I've attended the RWA Conferences in Seattle, I've gleamed so much more about the business side of writing, learned about author branding, writing sequels and spin offs and a whole host of other things.  I'm now writing and publishing romance novellas as well as YA romances...not something I planned on, but very fun! I met editor Angela James, at a conference a few years ago and learned all about digital first publishers. This seems to be much bigger in the romance world than children's. But it did open my eyes and help me make my decision to go with two digital first publishers, Musa and MuseItUp, for my upper MG and YA--one a YA romance, and the other has elements of a first crush. I'd recommend RWA as a great resource!   

Stained Glass Summer, Musa Publishing
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Offline Melissa

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 07:45 PM »
I think the value of RWA, SCBWI, HWA, & SFWA depends on what you're seeking.

RWA-- I've lived in two regions where the local chapters weren't a fit for me. However, I volunteer most years to read for the RITA awards.  As to national conferences, I get a LOT more out of RT than RWA (so much so that I volunteer to organize the YA Track for the past 2 RT Conventions).  RWA National is a great excuse to see friends, but I have enough editors & agents so a big aspect of it (professional networking) isn't useful to me. I also found a fair number of the panels (yes, including the PAN ones) to be less professional/informative than I want at this stage. I don't attend it faithfully, but I think the online resources & the magazine ARE often useful. I'm still a member 6 years after selling the first book.

HWA--I'm reading for the YA Stoker Award this year. The newsletters aren't as useful as I'd like, but I still use them to keep an eye on what's new in Horror. I haven't been to the convention, but I'd like to go. I'm a new member.

SFWA--The forums are a minefield. I felt utterly uncomfortable there. Again, I liked the news, but the lobbying for award nominations & the years worth of unspoken politics made me feel like there were too many perils for my stress level. I let my membership lapse.

SCBWI--This was a definite win when I was pre-published, but after I"d been published a couple of years, it--like RWA--felt like it wasn't so much where I should be spending my time.  I let my membership lapse.

Just my .02 as always :)

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 08:57 PM »
Melissa--heh.  I feel the same way about SFWA--joined and sniffed around for a year, and let my membership lapse.  Too much incipient drama.

I've shied away from RT because of some of the stories about cover models and so on...is it still that way, or has it calmed down?  Do you recommed it for YA authors?
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Offline Melissa

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 10:08 PM »
Marissa, as of this year the "Mr Romance" contest was discontinued. We had over 60 YA authors registered, 17 panels, a bookseller/librarian party, the YA Alley Giant signing, a big Teen Day party.  I think it's insanely good for YA authors.  The Chicago area librarians bussed in teens for Teen Day. 

Wednesday-Friday: the YA panels had 50-80 guests watching each panel
Thursday: the bookseller/librarian luncheon had 91 booksellers/librarians to mingle with about 40 YA authors.
Saturday:  YA Alley in the Giant Book Signing from 10am-2pm. Over 1500 guests getting signatures from 370 authors. 71 of them were in YA Alley.
Saturday: Teen Day panels, over 200 guests attended each session (!)
Saturday: Teen Day Party. We gave out over 3500 free books, pizza, and in general mingled with over 650 Teens & their escorts.  It's only our second "Teen Day" but we had teens fly in to Chicago from as far as Alaska, Florida, and California.

2011 & 2012 Authors included: Ally Carter, Holly Black, Cassie Clare, Veronica Roth, Kelley Armstrong, Aprilynne Pike, David Macinnis Gill, Franny Billingsley, Rachel Caine, Beth Revis, Richelle Mead, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more.

We had the events coordinator for the King County library system & a bunch of folks from the Chicago area libraries (2 largest library systems).  Andersons did the book sales this year.  Total event attendance pre-registered as of Tuesday was 1800 with an additional 300 day passes for Wednesday and 500 day passes for Saturday. 

Four years ago, there were 3 YA panels with maybe 8 people per panel in the audience. Now? It's exploded. Google RT Teen Day and you'll see that we're building something kinda wonderful. Next year will be even bigger.

NOTE: I am remarkably biased since I am the volunteer who took over organization of ALL the YA events at RT as of 2011 :)   

A few readers' opinions:

http://talesofbooksandbands.com/2012/04/19/rt-teen-day-re-cap/
http://www.sophistikatied.com/2012/04/event-recap-rt-teen-day-2012.html
http://areaderspensieve.blogspot.com/2012/04/rt-teen-day-in-chicago.html

And here is the itinerary from this year's Teen Day at the convention: http://www.rtconvention.com/public/pdf/teendayfullspread.pdf

Offline MaureenMcGowan

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 10:35 PM »
I concur with what others have said about RWA being a great place to learn/network. And I would register as a general member. I've been an RWA member since 2002 and the last time I wrote a romance ms was in 2004... (Since then I wrote women's fiction and now YA.)

I'm also a member of NINC. But I'm on the fence about it right now. The listserve has become VERY focussed on self-publishing lately. Not that it isn't interesting... Just not all that relevant to me right now. A lot of NINC members have big back lists they had their rights back on before e-books took off... So it makes a ton of sense for those authors to be putting up their backlist as e-books.

Reading Melissa's post about RT makes me wish I'd gone this year! Maybe next year. :)

~Maureen
Compliance, June 4, 2013 (ACP - Skyscape)
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Offline CynJay

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 11:51 AM »
I actually saw what Melissa did for the conference on Twitter as it was happening, which is what got me thinking about RWA in the first place. So many great people in once place and they all said she did such a great job - I wanted to be part of it! Definitely on my radar for next year - thanks for all of the advice.
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com

Offline Melissa

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2012, 05:58 PM »
If any of you DO intend on coming to RT 2013, please tell me when you commit. I have 43 authors already on the roster for next year.  Panel assignments are due to the conference admin in late July. (They like it done early.)

Offline Marissa Doyle

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 06:03 PM »
Where is it in 2013, Melissa?
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Offline Melissa

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 06:08 PM »
May 1-5 in Kansas City, Mo.

Offline ecb

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 12:31 AM »
Holy cow!! That's where I live! :smile I will ABSOLUTELY be there!

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Offline Melissa

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 12:35 PM »
Elizabeth, when you get a chance please send an email so you are on the database.

ECB & all, the info on what to send me & where to send it is over here: http://melissa-writing.livejournal.com/416541.html

Offline CynJay

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Re: Joining RWA?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2012, 06:31 PM »
I didn't even know we could be on a panel - email to come! Thanks for the info.
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com