Many of our readers have probably been following recent events in RWA. In the wake of these developments at the national level, RWA local and online chapters have started to weigh in with statements both official and unofficial. I have reviewed each of the chapter websites I could find, and below I have compiled as many statements as I could locate. I recognize that it is the beginning of the year, and that new boards are just taking office in many chapters. Therefore, I expect that the number of statements issued to RWA from its chapters will continue to grow. If I have missed a statement or if there is a new one to add to my list, please feel free to email me at lspenceraar AT hotmail DOT com. I do get a lot of email, so it helps if you put “RWA” in your subject header.
**Please note that some chapters have issued official statements of their position on the recent controversies while others have posted statements to membership expressing concern and indicating that there will be ongoing analysis and possible action to come. I have included both in this list.**
Saguaro Romance Writers (RWA Tucson)
Orange County Chapter – Romance Writers of America – http://occrwa.org/
Sacremento Valley Rose – Romance Writers of America
Louisville Romance Writers (NOTE: Not an official board statement, but an announcement to members relaying concerns)
Toronto Romance Writers – Twitter thread
New England RWA – Twitter thread
Greater Detroit RWA – http://www.gdrwa.org/
New Jersey Romance Writers – https://www.njromancewriters.org/
Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (interim statement; body of it mentions that a further statement will be issued shortly)
Central New York Romance Writers – Twitter thread
Philadelphia Romance Writers – Twitter thread
Austin RWA – Twitter thread
Greater Houston RWA (not a full statement, but expression of concerns and directing membership to a timeline of events; If you check the full Facebook page, there is also information provided regarding the recall petition.)
Greater Seattle RWA – Twitter thread
Wisconsin RWA – NOTE: This first link will take you directly to the Wisconsin RWA website. However, I have been informed by a member of that chapter that the website is being overhauled. In case the site goes down during the re-do, here is a link to a Twitter thread that also contains that statement.
Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest – This is the chapter that originated the petition calling for recall of Damon Suede and which has put in serious amounts of work on this issue. I link to their general Twitter feed because there is a lot of information there – https://twitter.com/CIMRWA
See also this link to the Petition letter that went to RWA on 12/31/2019
Young Adult RWA – Twitter thread
Added to original list on 1/4/2020
The Romantic Women’s Fiction Chapter – This chapter’s statement is not available online, but it was provided to me by a chapter board member, with permission for me to post it here. Here is the complete text:
Letter to RWF Members
Dear RWF Members,
Many of you are may already be aware of the current implosion at the highest levels of the RWA organization. If you have been out of touch because of the holidays (and aren’t on Twitter), you can find a very good recap here: https://www.claireryanauthor.com/blog/2019/12/27/the-implosion-of-the-rwa
It is being updated periodically as more information comes in. There is also a great deal of information being posted on Twitter. The RWA sent out a letter to its members a few days ago, which I have posted below for anyone who didn’t get it.*
We, the board of the Romantic Women’s Fiction chapter, felt it was important to reach out to our members and make sure that everyone was aware of the situation, since it may have far-reaching consequences for the chapter, as well as the organization as a whole. For the moment, as a board we are all sitting tight and waiting to see what happens as this all shakes out. It is impossible to predict what changes may come to the organization but we wanted to reassure our members that as long as it is possible, we intend to keep this chapter running as usual.
We also wanted to make it absolutely clear that the Romantic Women’s Fiction chapter is committed to including any and all writers, no matter their race, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. All members will be treated equally, and with courtesy and respect. If anyone has ever had an experience otherwise, we hope that you will contact us and let us know. We are writers and we are here for each other.
This issue will be discussed in detail at the upcoming January 12th board meeting, and we are open to all comments and questions any of you might want addressed at that time. We have no answers at this moment as to what measures are being taken to remedy the leadership gap at the top, but we will keep you posted if there are any major developments.
Please feel free to contact any of us with questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued membership and your patience during this alarming and upsetting time.
Kristi Rhodes, President
Deborah Blake, Secretary
Brenda Willis, Treasurer
1/5/2020 – EDITS
I have learned of 2 additional chapter statements this morning, so here they are:
Dallas Area Romance Authors – Please note that this statement raises some issues not included in most other chapter statements(probably because some of this information only very recently came to light.)
NOTE: Once again, if new chapter statements are issued, please email me at lspenceraar AT hotmail DOT com and let me know. I plan to keep editing this blog post to keep the information current for as long as necessary.
– Lynn Spencer
a note from the publisher:
We have put together a storefront of all the books authors have pulled from 2019 RITA consideration. If you want to support those authors by buying their books, here’s a way to do so. All money raised from these sales (AAR gets 4%) will be donated to whatever comes after RWA.
If you want to support a list that’s being made to support ONLY marginalized authors who have pulled their books, here’s a link to that from Romance Sparks Joy.
I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.