Writing & Romance in the News: Summer 2019

I try to keep as up-to-date with current events as possible. Usually that means I’m checking my Apple News feed and listening to my favorite political podcast. I’m also keeping an eye (and ear) out for news about writing and publishing. As a romance writer with a goal of publishing, it’s a good idea to keep informed about current happenings in that arena. And you just never know when you might draw writing inspiration from a news story.

I’ve found several news articles applicable to writing and the romance genre this summer. Below I’ve curated a list just for you, lovely readers! Please click the embedded links below to read the full articles.

Romance Writing & Publishing

  • Have you ever judged a romance novel (or even the entire romance genre) by its cover? Well, you’re not the only one. Lulu Garcia-Navaro on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday interviews a mother and daughter with related experience. Listen to the NPR story or read the accompanying transcript about Katie Mingle’s initial embarrassment with and later praise of her mom’s (Pamela Mingle’s) new and unexpected career in writing romance.
  • When we romance writers are not being criticized for writing a “lesser” genre, we’re also being…abused? That’s exactly what many romance authors (the vast majority of whom are women) report experiencing on a regular basis—especially online. Many women are already targets of online sexual harassment and, for romance writers who write about sexually-liberated women, that experience is further pronounced. Julia Carpenter interviews romance author, Alisha Rai, and other women in the field for her article in Glamour this past June.
  • In very bright news indeed for authors who “indie” publish (self-publish) their novels, five authors publishing their own novels through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service were announced as the 2019 winners of the prestigious RITA award, at the most recent Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference in July. A total of 23 of the RITA finalists were independently published this year. Read Amazon’s press release via Business Wire here.
  • Potential drawbacks to continued progress in eliminating barriers to publishing include less curation and, therefore, increasing rates of plagiarism. The romance world was recently rocked by plagiarism accusations against romance author Cristiane Serruya, who allegedly ripped off many romance authors (including THE QUEENS themselves, Nora Roberts and Courtney Milan). Some forms of plagiarism have proven to be more direct than others, however, making identifying all of these cases difficult. Writers, readers, and a resourceful data analyst are coming together to fight back against this scourge upon individual hard work and creativity. In her article for CBC News Canada published last month, Deana Sumanac-Johnson details the concerning phenomenon and how some of those writers whose works were targeted have responded.

General Writing & Publishing

  • Okay, so this is not an article specifically about a career in writing, but I think it’s applicable nonetheless. How many times have you (as a writer seeking to gain that elusive publishing contract) wondered how long you should continue to slog on writing query letter after query letter with no success? Or, if you self-publish your novels, how many times have you contemplated giving up writing due to low purchase numbers and seemingly minimal reader interest, though you’ve tried varied ad campaigns? If you identify with these scenarios, you may find some wisdom in this article which encourages you to do some honest self-reflection to determine your next move. Should you continue or is it time for a change? Be sure to check out the full article, When Is It Time to Give Up on a Professional Dream?, one of a monthly series of articles in Marie Claire where career coach Liz Bentley answers the tough questions.
  • Should books include credits like films? An interesting question which I had never considered. It’s also the title of a very interesting article written by David Barnett on The Guardian’s ‘Books Blog’. Many traditionally published books have multiple people (not to mention multiple teams of people) who helped to make the book what it becomes in its final form. (I would argue that even self-published books often have multiple people involved in helping to create the final product too—critique partners, beta readers, editors, cover artists, etc.) If there was a large number of people involved in helping to make your book incredible, why not let a full set of credits roll at the end of your story?

Have you read any interesting news related to romance, writing, or publishing lately? Perhaps one of these articles spoke to you or gave you something new to consider. Let me know in the comments below!

-AW

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