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.
PARTICIPATION OF RAINBOW ROMANCE WRITERS
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.
– 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