November 23, 2017

Romance & Libraries

By Bette-Lee Fox

The 29th annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference in Washington, DC, opened on July 15 with a full-day program for local librarians

Local librarians enjoyed a full day of programs on July 15 at the 29th annual Romance Writers of America (RWA®) conference in Washington, DC. Nearly 100 professionals learned the ins and outs of bringing an author event to their libraries from the savvy duo of Deborah Schneider (RWA’s 2009 Librarian of the Year and a romance author herself) and Chapple Romance Writers of America (RWA) Langemack, both from King County Library System, Issaquah, WA. Next up was a panel of authors addressing “Our Favorite Flavors” of a romance novel (e.g., heroes and heroines, premise and plot) for each of their subgenres: Allison Brennan (romantic suspense), Gaelen Foley (Regency historicals), Holly Jacobs (romantic comedy), and Gena Showalter (paranormal).

Multicultural romance was the focus of authors Candice Poarch, Jade Lee, and Tracy Montoya, followed by “If You Like the Classics; or, How To Recommend Romance to Literature Snobs in Your Library,” with professors Sarah S.G. Frantz and Pamela Regis and romance author and a Ph.D. herself Sabrina Jeffries. New York Times best-selling author Stella Cameron delivered a delightful talk at lunch on growing up with books in England.

That evening’s traditional “Readers for Life” autographing session offered up 500 authors to chat with and sign books for avid and eager fans. All proceeds from the sales and a concurrent raffle netted close to $61,000 for ProLiteracy Worldwide. The finale of the conference on July 18 was the awarding of the annual RITA Awards.

 

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