I joined the Romance Writers of America recently, mostly because my editor asked me to, but also because RWA, as it is affectionately known, is one of the largest, most widely recognized conglomeration of authors and industry professionals in the country. The association represents more than 10,250 members in 145 chapters offering local or special-interest networking and education.
Right away, I realized I'd made a good move by joining RWA. I began receiving newsletters and magazines jam-packed with information that I would not have otherwise had access to...at least...not easily. From marketing and publicity, to education and online workshops, RWA offers a wide variety of materials for writers of every level and ability.
Okay, I'm starting to sound like a commercial, so...here's a list of my top five reasons why every author should join RWA, followed by a snippet from the RWA website about the Romance Genre and how to write it successfully:
1. Networking ~ every author needs contacts and RWA offers over 10K at your fingertips.
2. Marketing ~ it's like a dirty word. RWA offers insight into marketing yourself effectively.
3. Education ~ just when you think you know it all, the rules change. Keep up with industry guidelines and stay informed regarding publishing house changes.
4. Conference ~ RWA offeres one of the largest, most sought after conferences in the nation. Learn more by clicking here.
5. Information ~ RWA gives its members insight into what is happening all around the publishing industry.
About the Romance Genre
Romance fiction is smart, fresh and diverse. Whether you enjoy contemporary dialogue, historical settings, mystery, thrillers or any number of other themes, there's a romance novel waiting for you!
Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.
A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.
An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.
Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction. Click here to better understand the subgenres within romance.
Romance Novel Formats
There are two formats for romance fiction:
•Series or "category" romances: books issued under a common imprint/series name that are usually numbered sequentially and released at regular intervals, usually monthly, with the same number of releases each time. These books are most commonly published by Harlequin/Silhouette.
•Single-title romances: longer romances released individually and not as part of a numbered series. Single-title romances may be released in hard cover, trade paperback, or mass-market paperback sizes.
To learn more about RWA, visit their website at http://www.rwa.org/.