I went ahead and did it.

I joined Romance Writers of America (RWA). A dozen years ago when I was in the prime of writing might have been better. My books are coming much more slowly now, but I’m hoping to rejuvenate my production. This was a first step.

I did not join principly for the main organization, however. I joined because doing so is a prerequisite to join Rainbow Romance Writers (RRW), the LGBTQ romance chapter.

Two decades ago, LGBTQ romances, and their writers, were not as welcome in RWA. That situation, and the one at Lambda which had only a couple lesbian/sapphic categories for entering books in their awards – and a paucity of reviewers who were even looking at sapphic (either lesbian or bisexual women-centered) books – led to the creation of an organization I support: the Golden Crown Literary Society. I also support the Bisexual Writers Association, which runs the Bisexual Book Awards (I’m even a judge) created for much the same reason.

You might ask, why would I belong to more than one organization for writers? I believe one cannot have too much support, resources, and networking when it comes to this relatively lonely profession of author.

The missions of these organizations is also each slightly different. Golden Crown seeks increased visibility for stories by and about lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer women, under the umbrella term “sapphic.” They began with only lesbian in their mission statement, but have since grown more inclusive and diverse.

The Bisexual Book Awards, sponsored by Bisexual Writers Association, grew out of a frustration that there was only two categories for a long time for bisexual books at the Lambda Awards: fiction and non-fiction. The BBA has categories for every genre, including plays, and even separates between the close relatives “romance” and “erotica.”

Romance Writers of America has positioned itself as something of a union and produces a monthly industry news magazine. And it runs peer discussion forums and workshops as continuing education. There are always new mediums for publishing, new trends, new developments in how to research and market to readers.

So, yep, I joined up.

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