Okay so today I took a big step. At least for me it was a big step. Not as big as sending my very first manuscript into publishers in hopes of getting published of course. That step was not just big. It was HUGE.
Nevertheless, today’s step was a big one, an important one. First let me say that in September of this year I joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA).
I’m sure every romance author knows what the RWA is. But if not, here’s a quick summary:
The Romance Writers of America (RWA) is a national non-profit association for writers. It provides networking and support to individuals seriously pursuing a career in romance fiction. In addition it supports top authors in the industry.
And for me, a fledgling author with only 2 books out so far, being part of an organization that includes some of my favorite authors is amazing to me. I mean, I grew up reading these authors’ books. Books which I still continue to read today.
Did you know that in 2007, there were over 9,000 members in the RWA? And of those, 2,000 have their books in print form while others are available in digital form.
Anyway, back to my “big step”.
I entered my book, Stone Cold Angel, Book 2 in The Perfect Order series, into the RITAS. Tapping the submit button sent my stomach into nervous waves. I mean, I just sent my book into the RITAS!!
For those that don’t know, the RITAS are kind of a big deal.
Here’s a rundown if exactly what it is:
The whole purpose of the RITA award is to promote excellence in the romance genre. This is done by recognizing the most outstanding published romance novels and novellas. And you even get an award!
It is a golden statuette named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction.
This is the MOST PROMINENT award given throughout the genre of romance fiction.
Authors and editors submit published works for consideration in the fall of every year. Then mid-spring, finalists are announced. The winners are presented with a statuette in a ceremony held on the last day of the RWA National Conference each July.
See, I told you it was a big deal.
Just how big you ask?
For most authors, I think would it would be a major milestone in their writing career. I mean, to be recognized among many for something that you created, something that you loved and cherished only to see that many others authors think it worthy of greatness.
Some of the greatest romance authors of all time were or are a part of the RWA and many of them won the RITAS.
For example, Nora Roberts, Cindy Gerard, and Anne Stuart just to name a few. (I am big fans of each of them. My bookshelves are filled with their books as well as many, many others.)
There are so many talented authors out there and I know the the competition will be tough but I have high hopes for Stone Cold Angel. So far it is the favorite of my published novels although there are many more in the works.
The only thing left to do is wait and see, hope like crazy that Stone Cold Angel has what it takes to win or at least make it to the finals.
So here’s to all of the authors that will submit this year. It is a big step for all of us and I wish only the best of luck to each and every one of you!