I’ll admit, I don’t consider myself a romance writer despite the fact there’s usually an element of romance in my novels, but I love romance. I’m a completely hopeless romantic and adore happy endings. Because I don’t look around for romance contests, this would have slipped completely under my radar had someone in my authors’ group not spoken up.
There’s a romance writers contest called “More Than Magic” that’s been around for ten years now, at least according to the “previous winners” on their website that I found. They take any and all genres of romance from erotica to paranormal to chaste to historical, whatever kind of genre, as long as it’s a romance novel, they’ll accept it for submission to the contest…until this year.
This year holds the following rule taken directly from their “Rules and Information” webpage:
1. All entries must be book-length romance fiction.
Includes novellas of at least 15,000 words.
– Note: MTM will no longer accept same-sex entries in any category.
So in their very first rule, starting this year, gay romance is no longer welcome in this contest.
Of course, this begs the question, what about Bi romance? Or Transgender? How about African American romance? Does that count? Or what about mixed couples, is that okay? Does that fit their criteria of acceptable romance novels? It’s ridiculous that a contest that’s supposed to be about love discriminates against one form of it! No, not ridiculous, outrageous!
As others (http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/romance-writers-ink-contest-an-exercise-in-discrimination & http://heidicullinan.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/rwa-shouldnt-be-in-the-business-of-discrimination/ and more I haven’t seen, I’m sure) have said, hit them where it hurts! If you’re a writer, don’t enter their contest. If you’re in a position to be a judge, tell them no. There’s no contest if people don’t enter.
If they don’t want me or mine playing in their sandbox, well, there’s going to be a reckoning.
You can also write them and tell them how wrong and unfair this policy is at: firstname.lastname@example.org, their contest coordinator. Don’t spew, be nice. As Shakespeare once said, “There is a way to kill with kindness,” and that’s exactly what we should do!
Please repost this! The more people who know, the better.