Find Your Writing Niche:
Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas, Romance
In my Nov. 18 blog I recommended giving memberships in writers’ groups as gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah and other Holidays celebrated at this time of year. I concentrated on nonfiction, but this time fiction, specifically romance, takes the spotlight.
I joined the Raleigh, N.C. affiliate of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, about seven years ago and not only gained valuable information about constructing, organizing and selling romances, but I increased my friends and acquaintances a hundredfold. Statistics at www.rwa.org indicate how popular the genre and all its subgenres are. In 2013 sales reached $1.08 billion, accounting for 13 percent of adult fiction.
It is not necessary to have a romance published to be a member of these organizations. The advantages are multiple:
- Contests: The RITA for published romances, The Golden Heart for unpublished manuscripts
- Annual state and national conferences
- Critique partner match-up
- PRO members who have evidence of submitting a manuscript to an agent or publisher
- PAN members for those who have earned money from published romances
- RWA University classes
- Contact with agents, editors, publishers and other romance writers
RWA requires affiliate members join the national organization. Check out www.rwa.org for an overall view of what it offers. I travel three hours to attend Heart of Carolina Romance Writers (www.heartofcarolina.org) each month . Another North Carolina chapter is in Charlotte. (www.carolinaromancewriters.com). The Charleston, S.C. chapter is www.lowcountryrwa. You can see if your state has a chapter by going to http://www.onceuponaromance.net/writersgroups.htm. Some states have several chapters.
Writers need to be connected to other writers. Membership in professional organizations is worth the dues.