For those on the Northern Hemisphere, Today is Christmas Eve. The bookish community is supposed to be just worrying about how to get that last-minute gift, what cookie they will bake, and watching sappy christmas movies. Unfortunately for us in the romance genre, or ‘Romancelandia’ as we affectionally call it a bomb dropped on us last night that left us seething in anger.
If you read a lot of romance (especially cishet romance) you probably read a Courtney Millian book. She best known for her historical romance series, ‘The Worth Saga’. Courtney is practically a household name on twitter and she is often the loudest voice for diversity in the romance genre.
As a board member for the Romance Writers of America (RWA), she pushed loudly to make the organization more diverse and inclusive to BIPOC authors and books. In my previous post, I talked about the dire need for black diversity in romance, especially in m/m romance. 2018, The RWA had it’s first ever black author win their annual RITA award in 38 year history .
In 2015, they only just accepted LGBT books to be accepted as nominees. Courtney Milan was one of the biggest voices pushing for change in that organization and a lot of BIPOC authors joined thinking RWA was finally making room for them.
Then yesterday, author Alyssa Cole posted a copy of complaint against Courtney Milan by a Suzan Tisdale and Kathryn Lynn Davis. Apparently, they filed a complaint with the RWA calling Courtney rightly calling out the racism in Davis’s book, ‘Somewhere Lies the Moon’ harassment and even comparing it to the censorship Nazi’s did to the jews. So yeah, a special fuck you to all of you Jewish peeps who are celebrating Hanukkah right now.
And instead of laughing in Tisdale and Davis’s face and telling them where to stick the bogus complaint, The RWA sided with these two white women and unanimously agree to offically censor and suspend Courtney Milan, a woman of color for daring to calling racism.
Not only that the timing of this is really suspect. This dropped yesterday, right before Christmas, when their head offices are closed today and tomorrow for the holiday.
Romancelandia is in a fucking uproar with the hashtag #IStandwithCourtney and #IStandwithCourtneyMilan and most people are reconsidering renewing their membership. Yet, a lot of authors, especially BIPOC authors are pulling their memberships all together.
Now, lets get to the point of this post. People still want to join author organizations as the resources and support for authors is a real plus. Another thing is the huge opportunity to network with professionals within the industry. However, where do begin to look? Well, I got some suggestions. I got 10 organizations that are alternatives to the RWA.
Now, I haven’t really put did the research about the diviersty of it’s ranks but this will give a good start to do your own research.
The Romantic Novelists’ Association was formed in 1960 to promote romantic fiction and to encourage good writing and now represents more than 700 writers.
The Alliance of Independent Authors is a professional membership organisation fostering ethics and excellence in self-publishing.
Rainbow Romance Writers develops and promotes excellence in LGBTQIA+ romance fiction, offering a virtual home to professional authors of gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, aromantic, intersex, nonbinary, and transgender love stories
People of Color in Publishing is grassroots organization created by book publishing professionals dedicated to supporting, empowering, and uplifting racially and ethnically marginalized members throughout the industry,
Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.
Black Publishers & Writers Association serves as information and referral center for the black literary community. Our free online community serves our members which will include publishers, award-winning and best-selling authors of fiction and non-ficton.
A global powerhouse & digital village for mighty, soulful women writers. Come Home. Craft Your Story. Grow Your Soul. Change Your World.
The Authors Guild supports working authors, advocates for authors’ rights, and provides a community for our members.
The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) is devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans, and to providing an alternative literary arts space at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice
We are a network of book professionals committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people.
Note: I just talked to one of the organizers last night and they revealed that they have plans to create an inclusive author organization.
Readerfest provides training, workshops and events to writers & artists of diverse backgrounds with a focus on bringing unique perspectives into the market.
Correction: Rainbow Romance Writers is an affiliate of the RWA. If someone can point me in the direction of an author organization for LGBTQ+ people I would appreciate it.