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I shouldn't be surprised

…and actually, I’m not quite sure surprise covers my reaction. Outrage is in there, for sure, but there is an element of incredulity.

During the RWI debacle, someone at the SBTB commented that it wouldn’t be long before there were cries from conservatives about how de ghays oppress and bully them–and not shortly after, this comment popped up at Courtney Milan’s blog.

And then, when the furor has calmed down some, someone calling itself SeaLaughing left this screed (without a link, of course): (more…)

Discrimination goes both ways

Okay, so everyone (including me) is up on arms over the fucked up contest rules at Romance Writers Ink.

Over at the SmartBitches, dick is trying to convince someone that it’s not discrimination because people are entitled to their own discomfort. Which is another way of saying “let’s be tolerant of their intolerance,” from where I’m sitting.

Look, for me it’s like this: I don’t read f/f and read very, very little m/m for the same reason I don’t read horror or inspirationals: I don’t feel like it.

And given that I barely have money to buy what I do want to read, I don’t feel very charitable toward anyone who tells me that I should/must buy f/f to demonstrate that I’m not homophobic.

Sorry, but fuck that.

However, there’s rather a wide gap between that and “hey, this is a romance writing contest but GLBT people need not apply.” Why? Because in the past they have found judges more than happy to read and judge such stories with an open mind–open enough to have had GLBT winning stories.

So yeah, that’s bad–fucked up bad.

But there is a further problem, for me.

Several commenters are now blasting Oklahoma and all of its residents as homophobic assholes just because the apparent¹ majority of that RWA chapter made a GLBTphobic decision.

Sorry, guys–one attitude is just as fucked up as the other one.

(Furthermore, it’s a bit reminiscent of those lovely voices that keep chanting, constantly, that all “romance is trash, all romance is porn for women, all romance readers are all fat, delusional women, the romance genre is by its own nature inferior to all other literature” and the like. )


If you read Courtney Milan’s post, don’t skip the comments–at the very least, read this amazing one by Tessa Dare. Also, this Facebook post by Suzanne Brockmann.

* * * * *

¹ I would certainly love to see the numbers of membership, numbers of voting members, etc. for that particular decision.

Well, look at what we have here, apparently RWA have found a way to still stay friends with HQN, after taking away their eligible publisher status in a stand-off akin to the one that took place at the Alamo back in eighteen something or other. I can’t believe it took them so damned long:

Taking into account emerging trends in publishing that may offer opportunities to writers, the task force recommended that RWA adopt methods used by other trade shows and conventions and to shift its method of evaluating publishers as a whole to evaluating publishers by divisions, imprints, or lines.

Under this revised method, RWA will extend invitations to a wide pool of publishers. Invitees may only represent their non-subsidy/non-vanity publishing programs (imprints, divisions, or lines) at RWA’s conference. Space for spotlights, workshops, and booksignings will be allocated to lines, imprints, or divisions that best meet the requirements for “Qualifying Markets.” This new process of evaluation will likely increase opportunities for small presses and e-presses that previously have been excluded.

Of course I’m not surprised, I knew RWA wouldn’t be able to stick to their principles, they need HQN more than HQN needs them. In the words of Mrs G:

RWA 0 – Harlequin 1

I hate to say I told ya so, so I’m just gonna post what my cynical self wrote back in November:

I’m with Mrs Giggles, I wonder how long it will be before the RWA change the terms of publisher eligibility in order to welcome Harlequin back into the fold?

Now let’s wait and see how long it takes before they ‘invite’ HQN back to the fold.


Via Dear Author

eff off

…Comes courtesy of Mrs Giggles:

At this point, I’m hoping that Harlequin will come out with its own statement – “Yeah, yeah, delist us, whatever, LIKE WE CARE!” – so I can watch the lulz that results and laugh.

Man, I totally feel the same way. I would love for Harlequin to tell RWA, MWA, and all the other WAs to fuck right off.

Giggles is right, HQN will go on with or without the MWA and RWA, because guess what, writers are more desperate to be published, than they are to be accepted into author cliques, and that’s pretty much all that the RWA seems to be. One big fat clique, where if you mind your Ps and Qs, you might get a merit badge, and an invitation to the ball.

I’ll be impressed when authors who insist on bitching about the self-publishing/vanity press ding dong actually start leaving HQN on account of their principles and all.

But I’m guessing that’s not going to happen any time soon. Not unless they’re offered a better contract at least.

As far as I can tell, the RWA needs Harlequin more than Harlequin needs the RWA, and they should just stick to their guns and ride this thing out.

Bullying tactics annoy the shit outta me.


Apparently RWA aren’t renewing DA Jane’s RWA Associate membership, because apparently she doesn’t support RWA or romance authors.




Hmmm, I bet the RWA never thought they’d be in a position where they’d have to un-recognise one of its biggest publishers as a result of their stance on e-publishing companies vanity presses eh?

I’m assuming that most of you have heard about Harlequin Horizons by now? If not, Dear Author has a very informative post about HQN’s newest get-richer-quicker, ethically dubious venture.

For those who can’t be arsed popping over to read the post, (more…)


Warning, this is a particularly long rant, the likes of which I rarely like to indulge in these days, so I suggest you grab yourself some coffee and chocolates before you commence reading.

Dear Diane

I read your post the other day on E-span, (in response to Deidre Knight’s post that she wrote a few weeks ago) trying to defend RWA’s stance on e-publishing, and I must say, I was swearing rather loudly by the time I finished reading your column. I had to immediately take some maximum strength headache tablets, due to the brick-sized foot that seemed to be stamping on my head.

Diane, I get it, I really do, the RWA is a dinosaur that’s hard to move, mired in tradition such as it is. The majority of your members are print-published, so to a certain extent, I do indeed understand your reluctance to embrace anything that on the surface seems to veer away from those very traditions that are an essential part of your history and success.

However Diane, dinosaurs eventually became extinct, and there’s nothing to say that RWA in its current format, will continue to be successful. Myopia has downed many great organisations in the past, and RWA doesn’t have the divine right to be the exception to the rule.

Your stance with regards to digital publishing has turned this into a Them vs Us debate. Print vs E-published, as if the two aren’t able to co-exist happily together, without the constant attempts to undermine and bully the new kid on the block.

You wrote in your column: (more…)


Like many readers who spend time around romance blogs (readers’ or authors’) I have been an interested observer of the continuing train wreck that is RWA’s stance on e publishers.

Leaving aside the often condescending (if not outright distasteful) attitude that seem to drip off some of RWA’s board members’ communications with the general membership *coughDianePershingcough* here is some of the stuff I don’t get. If I understand correctly, the raison d’être for RWA is to educate its members, giving them the information they need to make intelligent choices about everything from choosing an agent to reading a contract, in order to have fulfilling careers as writers of romance novels.


Plagiarism = Bad. Period.

Plagiarism doesn’t equal “Yeah, it was bad, but those girls were so mean.” These are two fucking separate issues altogether.

Any author who writes yeah, plagiarism is bad, but those girls are mean bitches, run the risk of people assuming that they don’t really think the issue is that big a deal. Unfair maybe, but that’s how it comes across.

Writing a friggin’ long essay on how mean, some bloggers and their readers are, whilst taking potshots at said blogger and their readers, is a tad hypocritical. (Passive aggressive tone, notwithstanding.) Some people prefer to call it righteous indignation, than what it actually is. Whatever works for them I guess.

Using the blog in question, as a forum to wring one’s hands in consternation over the way one has been treated in the past, due to one’s own actions may I add is… well…cringe-worthy lame.

By the way, most bloggers, or at least the ones who don’t put their readers to sleep will always have their own lovable sycophants. When you write a blog about how fangirlish certain blog readers are, and then your own blog readers chime in with, ‘Right on sister!’ or ‘Amen motherfucker!’, you look silly. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why. We’ve all done it I’m sure, but it still makes us look silly.

The next time anybody talks about trying to gain respect in this genre, I’ll be sure to pipe in with my ‘Not in this lifetime’ mantra, and quote the RWA’s initial response, when this issue was first reported to them.

Thank goodness for The SBs, Dear Author, and Nora Roberts I say.

Anyway, I’m turning off my comments because I don’t really want to have a discussion on the subject. Plagiarism is wrong, period.