Terri Reed here talking today about something near and dear to my heart. In 1993 I joined a writers organization called Romance Writers of America®
I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and needed something to distract me from the constant morning sickness (I had it from the moment I conceived until the moment she was born-Ick). I took a class at the local community college on How to Write a Romance. During the class the instructor gave us information about RWA. I went to my first local RWA chapter meeting a week later and joined that night. Through RWA I have learned the craft of story structure as well as the business side of writing, made some of my best friends, networked with agents and editors, and have served on the national board of directors for four years.
Romance Writers of America® (RWA) was chartered in 1981 to serve as a nonprofit trade association for romance writers.
The mission of Romance Writers of America is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income. To learn more about this organization visit http://www.rwa.org/cs/home
Every writer hopes their work will be recognized and appreciated by readers and peers alike. In the romance world there are many contests open to authors but the contest that tops them all is Romance Writers of America’s RITA®. In 2004 I was a RITA finalist with my second Love Inspired Romance novel titled A Sheltering Love. Finalists receive a silver pin in the shape of the RITA®, which I proudly wear every year to the national conference.
We have had several Craftie Ladies final and win in the RITA contest over the years. Our 2012 finalist is Linda Goodnight. (see sidebar)
Winners receive a gold pin and a gold statuette in the shape of a woman sitting on a stool with an open book in her lap. The statuette is named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada.
From the RWA National website: The purpose of the RITA® contest is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
About the Contest
Up to 1,200 romance novels from 12 different categories are entered in the RITA competition each year. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book's publisher in one of the 12 categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists.
Once RWA announces the RITA finalists, a final round of judges evaluates and ranks these novels to determine the 12 RITA Award winners.
Romance Writers of America will announce the winners of the 2012 RITA Awards during its Award Ceremony at its 32nd Annual Conference in Anaheim.