Bad Attitude Gets Blogger Blackballed from RWA

By Neal Comment

rwa-plain-logo.jpgLast night, Dear Author co-editor Jane Litte posted the contents of a rather unusual letter from the Romance Writers of America, in which professional relations manager Carol Ritter informed the romance blogger that, after three years as an associate member of RWA, she would not be permitted to renew her membership because “numerous posts on your blog and on the ‘romfail’ thread on Twitter that indicate you do not support RWA or romance authors.”

(Romfail is a hashtag Little created to spotlight her weekly critiques of what she considers to be poorly written ebooks—ironically, the name came about in part because the stories Litte first highlighted were, in her opinion, erotica misleadingly branded as romance; heck, most of them still are… which means suggesting those tweets were not supportive of romance authors is a bit like suggesting that heckling designated hitters proves you don’t like National League baseball.)

Anyway, Litte’s literary criticisms, coupled with her public criticism of RWA over, among other things, its “lack of vision,” appear to have ticked somebody in the organization off enough to deny her continued membership (which she says she actually isn’t even interested in maintaining). “This decision is not one that we would have chosen,” Ritter says in her letter—never mind the fact that it is the decision the group has chosen, and almost certainly a crummy decision, especially for the precedent it sets regarding future criticism of RWA and its stances on issues that affect romance publishing and book publishing as a whole. All we can say is that if RWA plans to deny membership to people on the basis of public criticism of individual romance (or “romance,” as the case may be) novels, it might be a lot easier to get a good hotel room at next year’s national convention…