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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

RWA. Seriously.

Can I offer a bit of advice?

If you’re not a member of RWA and you write any sort of romance, you really should consider joining. And if you’re actively marketing a manuscript that contains any sort of romance, you should seriously consider joining RWA PRO.

I dunno, you say. It’s kind of pricey. What’s in it for me?

Well, aside from being a member in one of the largest organizations in the world dedicated to writers, you’ll be gaining access to limitless network potential with other writers, inside info on the industry and all sorts of workshops and contests that are either only open to RWA members, or available at a discount.

Then there’s the Golden Heart Award for unpublished manuscripts. Being a finalist in--or winning--this contest can be a huge boost for your chances of getting published—or as editorial consultant Marcela Landres puts it—getting published well. It’s sort of like being a superstar among your peers, and getting elevated to the “Most Likely to Succeed” category.

And let’s face it, you’re probably in this to succeed, right? To see your work published, share your stories with the world and maybe even earn a nice secondary income or—better yet, your living—doing what you love.

I waited fifteen years to join. My mistake. I didn’t understand the importance of being a peer member of a professional writing organization or the fantastic perks! Now I do. I wish I’d come to my senses a lot sooner. But I made up for lost time by also joining the FF&P Chapter (Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal) and I’ll soon be joining my local chapter, as well. Next, I’m going for my PRO membership. The FF&P Chapter is even sponsoring a program right now to help me get there.

As you may know from my earlier posts, I attended the RWA National Conference this year. What an amazing, motivating, high energy experience it was! So many writers, agents and editors in attendance that my head was spinning. I took workshops from agent Laurie McLean, senior editor Chris Keeslar of Dorchester, and authors like Ann Aquirre, Alyssa Day and Golden Heart finalist Jacqui Jacoby. But maybe best of all was the chance to meet, have dinner and drinks and “talk shop” with some of my peers including Sharon Lynn Fisher, Jess Granger, Lisa Paitz Spindler and Donna Frelick. (Donna will have an upcoming post on Spacefreighters later this week.)

I invite you to take a peek inside the world of RWA and see what this association has to offer. And the membership fee? Consider it an investment in your future. Remember, when you make a sale, that expense is deductible (please consult with a tax preparation expert, which I am certainly not, for the scoop).

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