Updated NJRW Statements
A letter from New Jersey Romance Writers to RWA National Leadership:
Throughout the shocking and disturbing news that continues to come out of the national RWA offices, NJRW has tried to base our statements on what can be verified. The latest letter from previous presidents and officers of RWA gives information that shows that Damon Suede, current president, and Carol Ritter, current Executive Director, have not acted in the best interests of RWA and its members. The handling of the Courtney Milan complaint shows that they are not following the stated aim of RWA to welcome and encourage writers from marginalized backgrounds. RWA's failure to provide any form of advocacy, assistance or guidance to members who are owed royalties by Dreamspinner Press shows that they are being selective in their advocacy, in conflict with the stated promise of RWA to support its authors against publishers. The handling of Damon’s eligibility for president shows that they will distort RWA bylaws for their own benefit.
NJRW has no faith in Damon or Carol to conduct business in the best interests of RWA. For the welfare of RWA, therefore, and to regain the trust of our members, we demand that Damon Suede and Carol Ritter step down from their posts immediately. We would then like to see the election of a diverse leadership that will truly represent the stated aims of the organization.
Again, New Jersey Romance Writers is a group that seeks to be a space for *all* authors and aspiring authors. We will continue to listen to our marginalized members and will strive to improve wherever we fall short.
The NJRW Board and Membership
The NJRW Board has delayed commenting on the issues with RWA and the censuring of Courtney Milan while we awaited an official response from the national board, with accountability for the action and apologies included. We have not received this. Our primary concern is the wellbeing of our members, and many of them have expressed to us their shock and hurt at the decision RWA made to punish Courtney for her review of a book. We agree with our members that the punishment was entirely inappropriate and that in fact, given the express exclusion of social media from RWA’s purview, the complaint should never have been heard.
As a board we are now in the difficult position of trying to convince our members that we are indeed there for them. This is especially true for the marginalized writers, who are trying to make themselves heard in this cacophony and now feel that once again they are being told to sit down and talk ‘nicely’ before anyone will listen. We urge the national board to do everything possible to reinstate the trust that we have so carefully built over the last few years.
As we said before, NJ Romance Writers are here to promote the careers of ALL our members. We welcome fresh voices from any background. We will not allow people who try to make another feel “less” for any reason disrupt the good work that so many members of RWA are doing.
A Statement Regarding RWA
As you may have heard, there have been resignations from the RWA national board in the past few days. We're saddened and frustrated by the news of this turmoil.
At New Jersey Romance Writers, our policy—and our passion— is to support diverse and marginalized authors, both published and pre-published, and we will continue to do so.
Our thanks to all of you for your current and future membership in NJRW.
Congratulations to our Golden Leaf and Put Your Heart in a Book Winners and Finalists!
Welcome to NJRW!
New Jersey Romance Writers (NJRW) was chartered in 1986 as a state chapter (Chapter 34) of Romance Writers of America to serve as a nonprofit trade association for romance writers. Our membership includes New Jersey residents, as well as long-distance members from across the United States. In addition, our roster of published members includes well-known authors who have achieved best-seller status on New York Times, USA Today and other major lists, as well as RITA® finalists and winners. Members’ works include contemporary, historical, suspense, mystery, paranormal, women’s fiction and young adult books, as well as other genres, for print and electronic publishing houses.
February 15, 2020
Show and Tell with our resident firefighter, Lt. Kerin Slattery
Interested in joining New Jersey Romance Writers? Pre-published or published writers of romance fiction from any geographic area are invited to join NJRW. We welcome individuals with a serious interest in improving their writing skills or marketability, meeting other writers, and becoming part of our impressive networking system.