Shannon Stacey

Another brouhaha

So much for the RWA Great Annual Brouhaha. This entire year’s been one disaster after another.

Jorie’s got a good round-up, including the following—

I found it in extremely poor taste that pictures of Charles and Di’s wedding were played, then the script said, “They may not have lived a fairy tale, but the winner of the next Golden Heart category will.”

OMG. And they’re suprised Nora walked? I’d have been disgusted if she hadn’t.

The Smart Bitches weigh in.

Alison’s got some coverage, including a letter to the board from Jennifer Crusie which includes the following kick-ass bit:

At this point, I don’t care who was responsible for that truly wretched script; I don’t care who was responsible for forcing it through, even though Nora Roberts, one of the smartest people I know when it comes to gauging audience reaction and public relations, was ignored when she tried to stop the train wreck that ceremony became. I just want to know that whoever was involved in this will never again be allowed near any public statement, that there will be a committee that reads the script ahead of time that has both taste and veto power, and that the next time a very smart woman says, “You cannot do this, it’s horrible,” SOMEBODY will listen.

So I missed the train wreck of presenters in leg warmers running around to kicky, fun music with a montage of national tragedies playing on the big screen. I missed conference chicken. I missed people stealing promo goodies and books right out of other peoples’ bags.

Oh gee. Color me bummed. I think that, once I buy the conference CDs, I’ll feel not so much as a twinge of regret at missing this one. I heard it was, overall, just a MEH conference, with a less pleasant atmosphere than usual. And that was before the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy—they’re just tanks come to run your ass over” show.

I am SO looking forward to RT. Which, as told by my new Countdown over there —>, is in 268 days.

13 comments to “Another brouhaha”

  1. Màili
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 11:22 am · Link

    I missed people stealing promo goodies and books right out of other peoples’ bags.

    Was this made in jest or it did really happen?

  2. Anna Lucia
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 11:23 am · Link

    Yeah, for the first time I’m glad I didn’t go, too. I had so much fun in NYC, somehow those good memories would have been spoiled.

  3. Charlene T
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 11:30 am · Link

    I am glad to have missed it. With all the ugliness that’s flown around this year it was bound to be in evidence at the con. Although in my wildest imaginations I never dreamed up anything like the Rita/GH disaster. But RT in Florida is right by Disneyworld! How can we go wrong there? Also, EC author on the spot Nicole Austin is scouting out spas for us. :woot:

  4. Shannon
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 11:39 am · Link

    Unfortunately it did happen, Màili. I’m not sure how much it had to do with the rumored tight-fistedness with promo on the part of the publishers, but it happened. And, from what I hear, it was not an isolated incident by any means.

    (I’m going to pause and give myself a :clap: for finally tracking down how to make an à so I can type Màili’s name properly.)

    I’ve never been to spa. :oops: I don’t think I’m a spa kinda girl.

    You should try for an RT convention, Anna! They’re rumored to be tons more fun! (And I’ll be there, hopefully. :rofl:)

  5. Rae
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 12:54 pm · Link

    At the party for the new launch of HQ going to some audible books, two MP3 players in “goodie” bags with a theme, like cleaning the house while listening to our books kinda thing were stolen from the HQ suite. And I had a water bottle stolen from my bag at that party as well as a hat. So, yes, it was very distasteful on the part of whoever did those things, especially since they were to be given away as prizes for a drawing and there were other water bottles and hats laying on the table.

    As for the Rita’s. I thought they were tacky. Boring and irrelevant to 25 years of what made RWA the place that it is. Had they shown authors and book covers throughout the years, that would’ve been so much better. At least the past skits have been about writing–which is what the W in RWA stands for in the first place. None of that was mentioned. They did however use the first lines to Linda Howard books–and showed women sitting around the table, the founders of RWA. But that was it.

    I missed seeing TTQ in her white mustang. But at one point, the fumes from the Limo made me ill. I think it would’ve been worse had I witnessed that particular display…

  6. Anna Lucia
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 4:21 pm · Link

    I’m not sure how well I’d deal with RT, Shan. The love-affair with cover models goes right over our heads here in the UK – some of what I’ve heard of RT would just make me feel uncomfortable.

    That makes me sound like such a party pooper, but honestly, it’s a cultural thing. I’ll have to do RT at least once, just for the experience, and I’d be right there should I ever have a need to promote a book… but I’m not sure it would be exactly my cup of tea.

    Anna sits primly on the chippendale* and sips tea from a china cup, little finger correctly crooked

    * That’s a CHAIR, people.


  7. Sasha
      · August 3rd, 2005 at 4:38 pm · Link

    I was obviously in my own happy little “I just sold” world because I had a blast! Well, ok, except for the GH/Riat ceremony…I had a blast. :noevil:

  8. Pat McL
      · August 4th, 2005 at 8:01 pm · Link

    Ahhh, Shannon, a bastion of sanity in a blog-o-sphere of … :whip:

    I didn’t go to the conference this year, went to family celebration instead. I’d heard good things about workshops and some other events, then came word about the awards thing.

    I feel bad for the finalists, winners and even the presenters, that they have not had the full enjoyment of their celebration. From what I’ve heard, I would have hated the thing, too. And the dismay with the event and how it apparently came to be is understandable.

    But ay-yi-yi! Some of the reaction (not here) strikes me as — dare I say — a bit over the top. A political conspiracy? A religious conspiracy? A conspiracy of silence because some folks aren’t blogging about it? The sign that RWA is useless? The sign that the RWA is on the cusp of a civil war?

    I don’t know who did what. Don’t have personal attachments to any of the folks I’ve heard about being involved. But a minimal sense of fair play would urge holding off making sweeping and/or harsh personal charges that would appear to be substantiated only by the gossamer of rumor or personal opinion.

    The letters I’ve seen posted from Nora Roberts and Jennifer Crusie make their points clearly and pointedly. And by NOT resorting to outrageousness to express their outrage, they are eloquently effective. SO much more effective than much of what I’m seeing.

    The part of Jennifer’s letter that you highlight is the essential element — make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Thanks for giving me a place to express my thoughts, Shannon. A few of the other places scared me :cry:

    On a side note, I find the many references to “red” and “blue” moot. Have you seen the maps that show that, judging by the most recent election results, most of the country is, in fact, purple? Take a look at this fascinating Princeton site:

    On another side note: Anna, I agree with your sentiments about cover models, which would indicate it’s not a cultural issue, since I’m true-purple U.S.

    Pat McL, about to sink back into her cave.

  9. Shannon
      · August 5th, 2005 at 7:42 am · Link

    What a wicked cool map, Pat (I especially liked the 3-D view) When they start with the damn polls again—one of the joys of being first in the nation is the phone blitz—I’m going to tell them I’m purple. (I suppose being registered as independent would be pretty purple.)

    I’ve also seen a range of reaction from “What’s the big deal?” to demands for resignation to conspiracy theories even Mel Gibson wouldn’t touch. I find the whole thing with the ceremony as bizarrely inappropriate, but I can’t imagine TTQ and the others getting together and planning to horrify the membership. Somewhere something went wrong, and eventually we’ll find out how it happened.

    (I’m not a cover model kind of person, either. I’ll be the one sitting in the bar with her hands over her eyes. :rofl:)

  10. THIS! Christine
      · August 5th, 2005 at 12:15 pm · Link

    The Bar?!?


  11. Pat McL
      · August 5th, 2005 at 7:02 pm · Link

    Uh-huh. We’ve ended up in the bar. Now how did that happen? :angel:

  12. Pat McL
      · August 8th, 2005 at 1:07 pm · Link

    I did actually write to the board (1st time in xx years of membership), but not about the past ceremony. I’m less concerned with pinning blame and more concerned with the future. So I strongly urged the board to eschew the efforts to go “glitz” with the awards, which I’ve frequently found embarrassingly silly over the years, and instead to return to simpler, shorter and more dignified presentations. And then to spend the thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars they’ve put into these things on something worthwhile. Like having health insurance available to members.

  13. Shannon
      · August 8th, 2005 at 11:15 pm · Link


    Well said! Personally, I think everybody would like a shorter, more simple and elegant ceremony followed by copious amounts of chocolate desserts. (Of course I’ve never been there, so maybe it IS followed by copious amounts of chocolate.)

    I read somewhere (I need to start writing stuff down so I have sources) that the RWA’s consideration of having at least some for-profit status is that it can offer health insurance. That would be sweet. We don’t have any right now because it’s diabolically expensive for our business.

    Live the American dream—own your own business…just don’t get hurt.

    I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out in a bar with Pat. (Okay, it wasn’t as bad-girl as all that. We sat in the lounge of the conference hotel.) It was awesome, and if I remember correctly, copious amounts of water and coffee were consumed.


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