I’m super excited to see that the Romance Writers of America have received enough entries for its prestigious Rita Awards to field a category in Young Adult fiction. Last year, they weren’t able to get this done, and I was saddened to see many of my fellow authors leave RWA, feeling disenfranchised by restrictions that seemed to emphasize romance over the story arc for the hero or heroine.
Romance is important, clearly–and since the group is named “Romance” Writers of America, I understand the need to stay true to their core principles. Nevertheless, YA fiction has a slightly greater obligation to its readers to show that you have to first love and honor yourself before you can love and honor another person.
This year, however, in part due to advocacy of its author members, RWA changed the language in its entry requirements just slightly, and as a result, more entrants registered for the contest. I couldn’t be happier–Beatrice fully expected to be able to participate in this contest with her book, Maid of Deception! And since her romance with Alasdair was so much fun to write, I am glad that a few new readers will get to learn about her adventures.
So thank you to all who entered!