Category: bad sex in literature award

Mean Girl Bullies in Workplace; RWA Rita Award Changes; Bad Sex in Literature Awards

In browsing through the web, I found an interesting article about bullying. It’s not about kids bullying each other in school and it’s not about authors and reviewers bullying each other on the Internet. This time, shock of shocks, it’s all about women bullying other woman in the work force.

While investigating woman-on-woman bullying I found most women were eager to tell their stories under anonymity. One woman told me about her encounter with a woman boss who told her “nice would only get her so far.” She says after that first encounter her boss subjected her to taunts and rants that soon pushed her to leave the company. Another woman described her age and the boss praising her work as one of the triggers that caused her to become a victim of bullying. Although she chose to fight back she eventually decided to resign.

It’s a fascinating article and you can read more about it here. If you’re industrious and curious to know more, or if you’re dealing with this right now, I also found more than a few other articles on the subject that a simple search will find. I do think that strong women in business get a bad rap whenever they show any signs of authority. But I’ve also seen my fair share of women bullying other women and I think it’s time for that to stop. There’s one thing about bullies I’ve learned, if you “get in their face” so to speak, they always back down.

This next article I found more than interesting because even though I do write gay romance, and have written pg rated hetero romance with a pen name, I’m not a member of RWA. I was just asked last Friday by someone affiliated with “Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey” if I was planning to attend RWA in Atlanta this July. I politely declined. One, I don’t travel often because of my dogs. Two, because I’m thinking of attending GRL in October in Atalanta. And three, because I write gay erotic romance for the most part and I never felt well received by RWA. I’m not complaining about this, not at all. I have a great amount of respect for what RWA means to the romance community, I support the general concept of RWA, and this is my own personal decision based on what I think is most productive for me as an author. In other words, I doubt my readers care whether I belong or not.

But last summer more than a few people were less than thrilled to learn that RWA made a few changes with the RITA Awards. The author of this blog had this to say:

 And although I’ve nattered on about the RITA, it’s not about the award itself. It’s about the very clear message being sent that unless your books are solely romance, you’re not one of us. Fair enough–like any organization, RWA is going to evolve over time. It must if it wants to survive in any meaningful way.

In a follow up post the same blogger states this:

As a follow-up to the piece I wrote about RWA and the changes to the RITA categories, I was very honored to be offered a place on the bylaws committee. I accepted with pleasure. I very much hoped to represent the SRE (Strong Romantic Elements) viewpoint in the discussions.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. Yesterday the Board clarified membership requirements based on the existing bylaws and, according to that clarification, I should not be–and perhaps never should have been–a general member with full voting privileges. According to their parameters, I should be no more than an associate member–a level which does not permit voting or holding office.

I seriously recommend reading both of the articles to which I’ve provided link above. For one thing, I found the blogger both gracious and humble…as well as disappointed. And also because when I did a basic search for this topic I didn’t come up with much. I’ve had this issue with all things related to RWA in the past whenever something controversial happened and I’m beginning to think that either most people don’t care about them, or a lot of people who might disagree with them tend to remain silent for fear of backlash. I’ve heard…and this is only hearsay…they can be a rather intimidating group when they want to be. It seems that whenever there is a firestorm on the Internet regarding anything publishing or the romance community at large, you can find information all over the place. Not so much with anything connected to RWA.

In this next link from Galleycat, you can read all about Nancy Huston winning the bad sex in literature award for her book, Infrared. Now I know that might sound negative to some, but I’ve seen these awards before and they often help sell books. Not only that, I find most “literary” fiction authors have trouble writing about sex… “he brought her off, oh yes he did.” I think that’s because most don’t get it (sex) very often, but I could be mistaken.

Just take a look at any Jonathan Franzen book to see what I mean. But in the same respect, Franzen did get a few very sexy scenes in “Freedom” with the one young male character, a name I can’t recall at this moment. So I guess it’s a matter of personal taste sometimes. And I’m the last one to comment on a topic like this. I not only wrote about  burping dick once in jest, but I just finished a scene in my latest bad boy novel where the mc shoots ping pong balls out of his rear end, on stage. 

Now in its 20th year, the award continues a tradition of “gentle chastisement of the worst excesses of the literary novel.”

From what I can tell, they linked to samples of the books included in this year’s contest for bad sex in literature, but only to Amazon and nothing specific. So I did a little checking and found this in the LA Times.

The judges cited “Infrared” passages such as “flesh, that archaic kingdom that brings forth tears and terrors, nightmares, babies and bedazzlements,” and a long one building to a climax of “undulating space where the undulating skies make your non-body undulate.”

I think you’ll have to ponder that last line a few times. Oh, these grand literary authors are a pithy little crowd, aren’t they?