Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - my experience with RWA

Last year for my birthday, my husband paid for my membership with Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was very excited to become part of their organization. I've heard such great things about them. Annual dues are expensive (for me), but if I asked for it every year for my birthday, it would work out. Now as the year goes by, I will not be renewing my membership.

There are two reasons for this: I have neither the time nor the money to fully take advantage of what RWA offers.

IF you have the time and money, you can benefit from membership. They have tons of online workshops, but they cost money. I've heard the conventions are incredible, but they're a lot of money. The contests introduce new writers to agents and publishers, but they have entry fees. I've heard a lot of success stories from authors who've won RWA contests.

It'll cost $95 dollars to renew my membership. I've gotten nothing out of it this past year except a subscription to the Romance Writers Report (RWR) and a monthly newsletter. I've enjoyed both, but that's all I've gotten out of my membership other than saying that I'm a member. Has that benefited me? I don't know. I'm sure some folks are impressed to see I'm a member, but it's only because I paid for it.
To join the local chapter of RWA, it would be another $50 every year. I wouldn't be able to get to the meetings since they're too far away nor would I have the time to go to the conventions.
IF you have the time and money, and you're serious about a career as a romance writer, I would suggest becoming part of RWA. You do get many benefits non-members don't get. Conventions, dues, contests, and workshops are expensive. At least to a family that must watch every dollar they are. I would enjoy all those privileges IF I had the time and money. Perhaps one day I will, and I would happily become a member again, but I haven't benefited from my membership at this time. I have to pass on it for now.

Have you considered membership with RWA? Or if you're already a member, have you benefited from joining?

13 comments:

  1. That is a lot of money if you don't have the time to fully take advantage of what they have to offer. :S

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  2. I agree, it'd be great if you could devote ALL your time to it, but really, who can do that?!

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  3. I agree with you Christine, and that's exactly why I am not a member, and haven't yet attended a RWA conference. I'm not going to hate on people who do, but I'd be wasting money I don't really have to waste. Like, right now, all THREE of my girls need new sneakers. That alone, can almost cost as much as my next car payment! LOL

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  4. I used to belong and left for the same reasons you list. I do miss my local chapter meetings and my friends there though I stay in touch with many of them. The local cost less than thirty.

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  5. This is why I haven't joined SCBWI, because I just don't have time or money to take advantage of it! Sorry it didn't work out for you.

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  6. This happens with many organisations set up for writers... It's such a shame. Can't they see that people want something to show for their expensive fees?? I used to try to attend a conference of some kind each year but even that got to be too much strain on the purse.

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  7. That is expensive! I know somebody who is a member, and she's happy with it. I'm a member of SCBWI for children's writers. Same kind of deal: it's expensive, but I'm glad I'm in it.

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  8. I haven't joined any groups like RWA. I've never even been to a writers' conference. ;)

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  9. I see what you mean. It's a good organization IF you have the money for it. I don't belong to the RWA, but I do belong to Valley Writers (takes up donations instead of fees) and the Virginia Writers Club ($30 yearly fee to be a member). I have considered joining other organizations, but I'm not at the point where I want to spend the money on them, unless I can fully participate.

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  10. Thanks for commenting, folks. It's a great organization if you can take advantage of it. I really only have time for my local writing group that meets once a month. And that's for free!

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  11. Many of my friends are members and I've met wonderful people thru the RWA. I've never joined, as the closest chapter is Portland, and I'm a real weenie about driving thru the mountains in the winter. In the summer, I work weekends, so I just keep my loose affiliation. I belong to Central Oregon Writers Guild, which doesn't have as much to offer, but it's local and cheapk - $18 a year.

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  12. I can't agree more... I joined the Aussie one, and aside from a newsletter and update, everything else cost a lot of money... so after a year, I didn't renew either.

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