Friday, August 07, 2015

My Response to RWA

RWA has issued a response to concerns over an offensive novel being a finalist for the RITA award, romance publishing's top award. I won't rehash the details here, but after reading the organization's response, I felt compelled to reply. For the record, I am a member of PAN (Published Author Network), and of RWA for many years:

"There's a difference between censorship and judging a book's subject matter to be so tasteless and offensive that it should not be considered suitable to win Romance's top award. RWA's own guidelines say: "An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love."
It boggles one's mind that a relationship predicated on an unequal status of mass murderer and victim can lead judges to find that "emotional justice". In addition, we're not talking about a book in a mythical time of Vikings or gladiators, we're talking about a novel set in a time real people, RWA members and romance readers, lived through, and still suffer its effects as children and friends of survivors, and simply as caring human beings.
The RITA judges are held to a high standard because they're supposed to be judging the best of the best. That is not censorship, that is a call to action."

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