Elisa Rolle

RRW Will Partner With Elisa Rolle In This Year’s Rainbow Awards

There are going to be a few changes with this year’s Rainbow Awards, and one of them will be that Elisa Rolle has partnered with RRW (Rainbow Romance Writers). RRW is a chapter of RWA, Romance Writers of America.

From my inbox:

The 2013 Elisa Rolle Rainbow Awards are an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons. For this the contest’s fifth year, some new rules have been instigated, and a new partner has emerged to assist Elisa. The Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, will partner with Elisa in the management and coordination of this contest. Despite RRW’s status as a chapter for romance writers, their participation in no way changes the Rainbow Awards and do not make them exclusively a romance contest. One need not be a member of RRW or RWA to participate in this contest.

For those who don’t know, Elisa Rolle began the Rainbow Awards alone, and has been running everything  alone while the event has been growing and moving forward all this time. I’ve been a juror since the first year, and I plan to be one this year as well…and to support the event because I think it’s important for LGBT authors.

As a side note, I’d like to mention that I think it’s interesting to see this partnership with RRW. And this is for specific reasons. Almost one year ago today, I posted about a debacle involving another chapter of RWA, RWI (Romance Writers Ink). RWI was having a contest called More than Magic and they decided to ban LGBT fiction…”no same-sex entries.” The fact that RWI actually used a hyphen in same sex made me shudder for a moment.

In any event, I wrote a very strong post about this mess last year, you can read here. 

While I’m not a member of RWA or RRW, and honestly don’t know much about them, I still plan to be part of the jury for The Rainbow Awards in spite of what happened last year with RWI and the More than Magic contest where gay people were discriminated against in one of the most blatant ways I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve calmed down a little since then (time does heal). RWA is a large organization with many chapters and I don’t think one particular chapter represents the entire organization. And, I’ve always been a supporter of the way RWA holds true to its goal in order to maintain certain standards with romance as a genre. 

I’m not sure I fully understand why (or how) RRW is involved in The Rainbow Awards, being that The Rainbow Awards are not specifically centered on romance (there are all kinds of LGBT sub-genres in this award). RWA is very strict about holding true to romance as a genre and doesn’t like to mix things up, as I stated in this earlier post about changes RWA made with the RITA awards. And RRW, from what I gather, is a chapter of RWA and I would assume they have to follow certain rules. But I could be wrong about that. And as you can read above, there won’t be any changes to the sub-genre submissions for The Rainbow Awards, and it’s not exclusive to romance.

I’ll post more about this year’s Rainbow Awards as I see things unfold.




For the first time in the history of the Rainbow Awards, the Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, will help curate the awards and provide assistance to Elisa. The following language clarifies RRW’s role in this process.

RRW will:

– help in the organization of entries, collect payments (using the website shopping cart)
– assist in the finding and organization of judges
– advise and consult with Elisa on issues that arise within the awards at her discretion
– use the resources and talents of RRW and RWA as is deemed appropriate by the RRW board
– focus on the romance-centered elements as per their bylaws
– yield to Elisa’s decisions as owner and founder of the contest
– help ordering winner certificates and sending them
– begin a committee/pool of volunteers and helpers for Elisa

RRW will not:

– own the contest
– take over Elisa’s role as the head of the contest
– get overly involved in the non-romance categories
– engage in any act/promise which goes against its or RWA’s bylaws

2012 Fav Christmas Card From Elisa Rolle…

I’m posting this because it really was my favorite Christmas card this year, and because I sent Elisa a card the week before Christmas and I’m not sure it arrived on time. I’m bad that way. I can get books to publishers weeks before deadlines. If you ask me to do an interview or blog post, I’ll deliver early. I even pay bills ten days in advance.

But ask me to write a Christmas card…or any kind of card…and I become completely kerfuffled.

2012 Rainbow Award Guidelines

I noticed that Elisa Rolle posted the guidelines for the upcoming 2012 Rainbow Awards. Here’s the link, which will show you how to enter and what to do.

I’ve already volunteered to be a juror again and I’m looking forward to this even more than I did last year. One reason is because Elisa has started what I’d hope would become a tradition. It seems to be working that way as more an more authors participate. And what I like most is that it’s not just for m/m romance. There are categories and all LGBTQ books and authors are welcome to submit…including digital books. In fact, out of the six books I read last year, all were digital except for one.

So please take the time to check out the guidelines. Though I didn’t enter anything last year, I’m thinking of entering this year myself with one book in particular.

Release: The Virgin Billionaire’s Little Angel

In this final book in The Virgin Billionaire series, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S LITTLE ANGEL, one of the things I wanted to do most was tie up the storyline in subtle ways with the first book in the series. In fact, I wanted to end the last book with the first line of the first book. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

But I did bring back an integral character that was mentioned in the first book, is mentioned in all the books, and yet never actually appears in any of the books. The character is a woman named Elena. She has a fictional web site in France where she writes about and posts photos of gay men in very tasteful, elegant, and artist ways. It’s no secret now that I loosely based this unseen character on Elisa Rolle, who runs a m/m romance book review blog at livejournal from Italy. At the time, I had no idea this book would become a series. I met Elisa a few years ago in person. She came to my home, we had lunch, and our friendship grew after we met in person.

I also tend to think about the future sometimes. I do believe, without a doubt, what Elisa has been doing with her web site will become part of LGBT history. She will be looked upon as one of the pioneers of LGBT literature and digital publishing one day years from now when I’m long gone. And I wanted to put something wonderful about her in writing because she’s done so many wonderful things for LGBT authors and books.

Here’s an excerpt, without spoilers, from a section of this book where Luis is reading Elena’s web site:

After he walked for about fifteen minutes, he decided to sit down on a park bench and relax. This was something he rarely did in the park. He crossed his legs, swerved to the right, and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He turned the phone on and checked his messages. There was nothing of importance that couldn’t wait until later. Then he went to the website where he wrote guest blog posts, Elena’s Romantic Treasures and Tidbits, to see what Elena’s latest blog post was about. He preferred to read Elena’s posts instead of his own, after all these years, because they still made him feel warm and safe in a way nothing else could. This one thing in his life remained his own private secret treasure no one could alter.

2011 Rainbow Awards…

The results are in, and the 2011 Rainbow Awards have been released.

Please check them out here, at Elisa Rolle’s livejournal.

There are more details here.

Here’s the main link, where you can scroll down and get all the details.

I’d also like to thank Elisa for taking the time to do this once again. I think it’s something the entire LGBT literary community looks forward to and I know it’s a lot of work.

As a judge/juror, I know it takes time to read the assigned books. And I take it very seriously. It takes even longer to decide ratings because the books are so good. So I can’t even imagine how much times it takes for Elisa Rolle to organize and execute an event like this, especially while working full time as a professional in a very demanding position.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards.

Elisa Rolle’s Rainbow Awards…2011

I know it seems as though The Rainbow Awards just ended. But as usual, time passes much too quickly.

I just read an e-mail from Elisa Rolle, which she sent out to all the judges from the 2010 Rainbow Awards to let them know she’s already starting to plan for 2011.

I’m looking forward to judging once again. I love this award and I wouldn’t miss participating in it for anything. The main reason I love this award is because everyone is allowed to participate: there are no restrictions at all. There are no limitations and no hidden political agendas.

Another reason I love this award is because Elisa allows authors to submit e-books, which is not only current, it’s a fair thing to do. When I consider my own reading habits in the past few years, I haven’t bought or read more than two or three print books since 2008. And I don’t intend to start buying more, now or ever again. I have, however, purchased more e-books than I can count. My new reading device of choice is the Kobo e-reader. And I find it interesting that any publishing award nowadays would not allow e-books.

It costs nothing to enter a book (or books) in The Rainbow Awards. And compared to a few other awards, this is a great relief to the authors. The last time I entered an award, which will remain nameless, for gay fiction that wasn’t the Rainbow Awards, it cost me over one hundred dollars when I was finished adding up the cost of snail mail, buying the print books (publishers don’t give them out for free), and sending in an entry check.

I’ll post more about Rainbow Awards: 2011 in upcoming posts. But start thinking about it now, and start following Elisa’s blog to see what she posts so you’ll know ahead of time.

And, best of all, I’ve always thought Elisa was making publishing history with this award. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

Is Elisa Rolle a Classy Lady or What?

This morning I went across the street to my mailbox. We’ve had weather this month. Not great weather either. And so far my mailbox has been run over by the snow plows four times. I’m starting to think it’s sport, and they are aiming for it on purpose.

And it was slammed again last night. But after I lifted it up and straightened it out this morning, I reached inside for yesterday’s mail and found a bright shiny gold envelope with a Padua address mixed between bills and advertisements.

I knew it was from Elisa Rolle. , internationally known m/m book reviewer. I have relatives in Italy, but no one in Padua. Maybe a Christmas card that was delayed thanks to my wonderful post office?

But it was a thank you note, on a Paul Richmond card, with a handwritten note inside thanking me for helping out with the Rainbow Awards this year. It was the last thing I expected, and a very nice surprise on a cold, icy day in Pennsylvania.