Courtney Milan's thread on Twitter regarding RWA, RITA awards, Harlequin, and Authors of Color.
I really do have to get myself to work, but I thought I'd post this here because we're mostly readers here, but we are also involved, intelligent, critical readers, and I'd love to read your thoughts.
Or you can post to Courtney Milan, I suppose.
My only contributions would be:
Harlequin has been screwing authors since forever. That part of it is nothing new. I think I've written about it before, so I won't bore you again.
RWA has also been screwing authors. The fact that the organization remains majority unpublished is probably the main reason. No one was ever willing to stand up to the publishers, with their puny royalties and shitty treatment, because heaven forbid that some unpublished idiot -- not that all unpublished writers are idiots, but the idiot ones are the people who held the most power in RWA in the past, and I'm assuming they still do -- would lose a chance to publish her masterpiece.
I've never been a heavy reader of Harlequin books, but the first contemporary romance
about POC and written by an AOC that I ever read was for the RITA judging in the mid-1990s, in the preliminary round. The book was good and I gave it an appropriately high score, but it didn't go on to the next round. This was before there were separate lines for African American authors/characters. (Side note: Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that Harlequin, known for its global/exotic settings, is somehow leaving out of this category POC from other "Anglo" countries? Hello, but there are Black people in England, Canada, Australia, etc. Okay, enough of that tangent.)
I left RWA with few regrets in 1998. I felt it was an unprofessional organization then, and I still do. Courtney Milan's long Twitter thread didn't change my mind.