If you're a romance writer, you should be a member of RWA. There's just not a more supportive and informative professional writing organization around, IMO. The Romance Writers Report (RWR) that members receive monthly is chock full of writing goodness for aspiring authors, from innovative ways to hone your craft to how to find time and motivation to write when the world is falling down around you. You get in-depth editor and agent interviews, writer profiles, and up-to-date information about romance publishing houses and what they're seeking.
And if you're a member of RWA and there's a local chapter nearby, join it. My local chapter, Southern Magic, is amazing. We have over a dozen published authors, several PRO authors and quite a few contest divas, including brand new Warner author Kelley St. John. Today at the meeting, Kelley and her two partners in crime, American Title winner Janice Lynn and GET BUNNY LOVE author Kathleen Long, gave a wonderful workshop on using hooks in your writing. Titled "I'm a Hooker, She's a Hooker, Wouldn't You Like to be a Hooker, Too?", the workshop addresses how to find your hooks—the story elements that keep readers reading—to get an editor to read and love your work. If they offer it at a workshop in your area, go. You'll enjoy it. And three nicer women you'll never meet.
After a week of waffling over what I wanted to write next, now that all my other manuscripts are with editors, something they discussed today at the workshop sparked the perfect idea for a new manuscript. I can't wait to start!
If you live in the Alabama area--and that includes Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida, bookmark this page: Southern Magic Romance Writers. We have some programs coming up in the next few months that will be worth making a two or three hour drive to attend.
And if you're an unpublished writer with a manuscript you want to put in front of editors or agents, be sure to keep an eye out for the first annual Linda Howard Award of Excellence for Unpublished Writers, coming up at the beginning of 2006!