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High drama for the Romance Writers of America: A ‘firestorm’ over race and diversity

If there are soap opera fans out there who aren’t romance novel fans, the events surrounding the Romance Writers of America over the last several weeks could very well convert you.

The public callouts and calls for resignations, and the scale in which it unfolded, caught the attention of publishers, had people choosing sides, and made writers hopeful that the narrative on inclusion, diversity and equity in the genre would change. The series of events led to the cancellation of RWA’s 2020 RITA awards ceremony this week. And when the nonprofit trade association, whose mission is to advance the professional and business interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy, canceled its annual version of the Academy Awards, the move brought the complaints about a lack of diversity in the genre to a head on a global platform.

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