Learning From the Great Novels - One Hundred Years of Solitude

Dear Washington Romance Writers,

I am honored to be your new president, and am looking forward to a great year filled with camaraderie, workshops and writing!

My vision for this year is to put some emphasis on finishing our stories, especially since Romance Writers of America (RWA) is changing General Membership rules starting in November. This is my own personal issue, and I don’t think I’m alone.

I get so much out of WRW. It helps me stay on course and keeps me focused on the work. The chapter has so many plans for the year that we can all look forward to regardless of where we are in our writing careers. I wanted to share some of those plans with you:

WORKSHOPS: Our programs committee is putting the finishing touches on some amazing workshops for a year promising to help take your writing career to the next level.
LUNCHEON: In October, we have our second Reader and Blogger’s lunch event and I have no doubt it will be even more fabulous than last year.
PARTY: One of our members has graciously invited us to her house for our Holiday party in early December, and I hope everyone will be able to attend.
RETREAT: Finally, the retreat team has already begun to line up guests and workshops, and we can expect another amazing retreat in April. Keep on the lookout for more information.

Several of us attended the annual RWA Conference this summer in New York City. It was a wonderful event, as usual, and gave me some food for thought. As you’re thinking about the upcoming year and your writing goals, here are some notes from conference I think might help:

1. The annual dues for RWA will go up slightly this year, but should not be more than three or four dollars.
2. RWA is revising the rules for PAN, and is introducing a new concept of Preliminary PAN for those of us who have either published a book and have not earned the minimum amount, OR has signed a contract, received an advance (of the minimum amount) prior to the book’s release.
3. There are slight changes to the wording in the contest rules for the Rita and Golden Heart, primarily in defining genres for Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, and Erotica.

Our Annual General meeting in September will have reports from several committees, and we will present the operating budget for the fiscal year, as well as conduct other chapter business. So, let’s kick off this year by everyone attending and renewing their intention to their writing life.

Whether you are visiting, just joining us or have been around forever, I look forward to seeing all of you at workshops, write-ins, parties and retreats. This year promises to be the most prolific of your writing career. So let’s get started!

Julie Halperson
President, WRW