Shannon Stacey

A question…

the husband has asked:

How does it effect my career long term if I tell the RWA to kiss my ass and give me some of my :censor: money back?

How big a deal is to romance publishers/editors/agents if I’m not a member of RWA? How about if I was a member and left in a rather…kiss my ass manner? Does that make me a troublemaker? A person prone to hissy fits and less than desirable to work with?

I’m sure he’s doing his part to keep me from making a decision I may regret, but the questions are still valid. Alison’s going to leave, but she’s got a solid career, a great editor, and a fabulous agent. Will getting pissed off and leaving now come back to bite me in the ass in a year or two if I decide to go agent hunting?

13 comments to “A question…”

  1. THIS! Christine
      · June 6th, 2005 at 1:33 pm · Link

    Hold on for just a little longer. At least wait for RWA to respond to all these concerns. I’m not saying I agree with what is going on, but until I hear from the other side how can I make an informed decision?
    I know how much the goal of RWA membership meant to you. If you wait, and then decide to leave, you will at least know you did so after careful consideration and weighing of both sides of the argument.


  2. cece
      · June 6th, 2005 at 1:43 pm · Link

    IMO being a member means you’re serious about your career as a writer–and not much more. You have a sale, you’re writing therefore you’re obivously seriously about your career as a writer. There are also other writing organizations. I’m tired and should probalby just shut up LOL but I do agree w/Christine about hanging tight before you make a decission if it mean(t) that much to you in the first place :nod:

  3. PBW
      · June 6th, 2005 at 3:35 pm · Link

    I agree that it’s not a decision to be made in haste. Going it alone can be tough, but it can be done. Being part of RWA will bring some benefits that you can’t get as a loner, and is not to be discounted.

    This is your career. Do what you think is right for you.

  4. Charlene T
      · June 6th, 2005 at 5:00 pm · Link

    I find it hard to believe that a publisher or agent wouldn’t want to do business with you based on whether you’re a member of RWA or not. There are many other organizations for authors (like NINC) and very few writers have the funds to pay for membership in all of ’em. There are many ways to be active and demonstrate seriousness about your career. Whatever you choose, I can’t see you not writing!

  5. Shannon
      · June 6th, 2005 at 6:30 pm · Link

    I think I’ll belay any decision to after Nationals. Until the AGM and the Lit signing actually take place, and the proposed erotic romance chapter is accepted or denied, I think tempers will run high.

    I’m still pissed. Very pissed. I’ve written the letter and everything. But I won’t send it quite yet.

    Quote from the husband: “So what if you quit in a blaze of righteous glory, burning bridges as you go, and find out later the situation had been blown way out of proportion by speculation and gossip and it wasn’t that bad? Do you want to take that chance?”

    No. Between you guys and him, I’ve backed away from the matches. :kiss:

  6. Karen Templeton
      · June 6th, 2005 at 7:38 pm · Link

    Shannon, I’d wait for a bit and see what happens. RWA seems to go through these upheavals almost every year (and since they elect new board members every year, it’s with a different board/chairman!), and then the dust settles and things go back to normal. I’m not taking sides in this issue, but I think until everyone hears some clarification, it’s probably best to wait and see.

    Having said that, however, you should NOT feel you’re “burning bridges” by leaving RWA, if that feels like a right move for you, or that your career will suffer in any way. Not all romance authors belong to RWA, and some have NEVER belonged. Agents and editors are first and foremost interested in whether or not you have a story they can sell; any professional affiliations come a very distant second in their assessment of your work. I sold before I even KNEW about RWA, so obviously my professionalism was based on factors other than my belonging to that or any other writers’ group. So I think it’s fairly safe to say you can follow your conscience with, well, a clear conscience :roll:, whatever you decide to do!


  7. PBW
      · June 6th, 2005 at 10:22 pm · Link

    No one is going to condemn you for a wait-and-see stance, Shannon. If they do, let me know and I’ll beat them up for you. :whip:

  8. Shannon
      · June 6th, 2005 at 10:53 pm · Link

    Oooh, it almost makes me hope somebody condems me! :rofl:

    As always, Karen, you’re the voice of reason. So many new writers, myself included, are lucky to have you around. :nod:

    I’m officially in hover mode. I’ll watch and wait and try to keep my yap shut, even though there are definitely some things I’d love to rant about ad nauseum. Temporarily I am :angel:

    And I’m not in such a bad place, because I do, after all a fabulous editor myself, and while she may eventually tire of my comma whoredom and emdash misuse, I know she won’t dump me if I leave RWA. Have I mentioned how fabulous she is? :kiss:

  9. Alison
      · June 7th, 2005 at 11:07 am · Link

    Shannnon – I publically stated my plans not to renew my RWA membership long before this brouhaha. *g* I’ve also publically stated what a grand help the organization was for me as an aspiring author. And it was! As a published author? Not so much. So, I agree with the others that since it *is* important to you, don’t rush into quitting! Wait and let all the swirling seas settle. But trust me. No agent or editor is going to care if you belong to RWA! In fact, I talked to an editor recently who has nothing but contempt distaste for the current board.

  10. Diana
      · June 7th, 2005 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Hmmm, tough call, Shannon, since RWA has been all about …. hmmm, you don’t seem to have a little smily face icon for “bent over being :censor: up the :censor:”… you since you sold. Word count my :censor:!

    Sorry. These cold meds are making me punchy!

    :shrug: I don’t know. I tend to think of an organization being made up of its members, not the ruling politics that not all members agree with, and if enough member decide not to agree, then we’ll see what happens.

    Stick it out a bit. If I were you, though, I’d be aiming my fight at the word count for PAN, not graphical standards. JMHO.

  11. Shannon
      · June 7th, 2005 at 7:56 pm · Link

    And it’s starting to chafe like hell, Diana. :lmao:

    I’m sitting here, practically hyperventilating, after reading the last few rwa-org digests. Two things are stopping me from setting my membership card on fire.

    1—I told myself I had to wait until all sides were heard and behavioral reports came back from Nat’ls.

    2—I can’t find my membership card.

    Unsympathetic spousal comment: They’re going to succeed in driving you guys out. They’ve got you so pissed off and so busy running around the internet screaming about it, none of you are writing.


  12. Laura
      · June 9th, 2005 at 10:44 am · Link

    Shannon –

    No editor or agent is going to pass on a great book just because you aren’t a member of RWA. Likewise, no editor or agent is going to sign on for a so-so book just because you are an RWA member. Everyone knows that many, many RWA members are RWA members so they can SAY they are RWA members and little more, because in truth, RWA is not really so helpful for experienced and published authors beyond the networking aspect (which, frankly, you can get online these days).

    Many published authors will tell you they belong to RWA ONLY so they can belong to their local chapter, which is, basically, a group of writers who’ve probably become friends and share some interests and social stuff.

    Being a member of ANY writers organization is a matter of spending your money. It’s not like a member has to participate or pass a test or something, so YOUR SKILL is not judged by whether you are a card carrying member, but by your books.

    Do what feels right for you, whether it’s staying or leaving the org. Regardless of what you decide, it won’t have an impact on your career where agents and editors are concerned (lots of published authors are NOT RWA members). They don’t care how you spend your time or money, as long as you make THEM money. Period.

  13. Shannon
      · June 9th, 2005 at 4:28 pm · Link

    Excellent advice, Laura! It’s definitely a tough decision, and one I’m still hoping to make when I’ve managed to take an emotional step back from the current Great Annual Brouhaha. It hasn’t happened yet, though.

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