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#972731 added January 5, 2020 at 3:55pm
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RWA Part 2
I wanted to get back to this sooner, but this is first chance I've had to get back to it.

BTW -- Happy New Year!! 2020 is in the house!!

From my last BLOG:

WHAT HAPPENED NOW IN 2019?

Courtney Milan, a well known romance author of Chinese decent recently tweeted criticizing remarks about another romance author. The other author is Kathryn Lynn Davis who wrote "Somewhere Lies the Moon," in 1999. One of the characters in Davis' novel is of Chinese heritage. Milan called the book "a F*** racist mess."

WHY?

So who is Courtney Milan? Who is Kathryn Lynn Davis? What's the plot of "Somewhere Lies the Moon?" Why didn't Milan criticize Davis in 1999? Why do it now in 2019, 20 years later? And what did the RWA do about it? It is an organization that is about the writers, the romance writing process? What happened to start this and how can be resolved?


WHO IS COURTNEY MILAN
Courtney Milan is the pen name for Heidi Bond, an author who grew up in Southern California. She has degrees in math and chemistry. She attended and graduated law school at the Seattle University of Law. She's been a writer since she was ten. Her earliest book was published in 2009. Is a proud of supporter of diversity in the work place.

WHO IS KATHRYN LYNN DAVIS
She is an author who wrote "Somewhere Lies the Moon" in 1999. As mentioned above, Milan said one of the characters in the book is a racial ".... mess."

The RWA has over 10,000 members and over 150 chapters so it is very big. The mission is to advance the business interest of career focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.

Boy, does this get complicated! Here's a good blog post about what happened and when it happened.

https://www.claireryanauthor.com/blog/2019/12/27/the-implosion-of-the-rwa

In a "simpler" world -- Milan has spoken out supporting diversity in romance writing, HOWEVER, how she "attacks" peers regarding diversity is what generated her ethics complaints. (Name calling in tweets)

NOV 19 2019, the RWA ethics committee decided to recommend a punishment of suspension of membership for a year and a lifetime band against holding a leadership for Milan.

17 DEC 2019, the RWA accepts the ethics committee recommendation.
When Milan's "discipline" has been announced, romance writers go crazy. The RWA takes it on the chin as writers leave the organization and criticize how the RWA handled Milan's issues. RWA Leadership may resign -- judges for the RITA have pulled out. It's madness.

I don't know what will happen with the RWA, it's leadership, or the organization.

Here's a post by NBC that puts a lot of the controversy in perspective. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/romance-writers-america-racism-row-matters...

Milan has a right to criticize others -- not bully them. Diversity should be explored and in the romance genre. Readers are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and White and have the right to read romance with characters they identify with. So here's the food for thought:

Did Milan draw attention to racist writing in the romance genre or did she draw attention to poor writing? Can authors handle criticism of their writing? Will successful authors loose money because of Milan's criticism?


I am a writer. I've been writing since I was six. I've grown as a writer over the years. The challenge, I've found, when writing a historical or writing about different cultures is to pay history/different cultures respect. Write a quality product and people will read. Write about characters who are different and write about them with respect.

******

Back to my personal prelude --- I'm a writer. I'm not a financially well off author, but I enjoy writing. I always aspired to be a member of the RWA when I was "younger" but honestly, I just want to be a part of a supportive network of writers who give constructive critiques, not criticism. I want to write a good story with interesting characters who are rich in diversity and culture. I want to have fun writing.

The drama is too much for me. I believe in treating all people with respect. I may be one person, but hopefully, a better way starts with one.

I'm very sad and disheartened to see this happening in the "bigger" writing community around me, and I ultimately, I just wanted to share and vent. Thanks for letting me.






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