The following letter was emailed to Mr. Suede and Mses. Alward, Dixon, McMurry, Rhys Barnes, and Ryan on December 30, 2019 at 12:43 p.m. EST from Romance Sparks Joy on behalf of a Group of Concerned Romance Readers . A hard copy of the letter is to follow.
Mr. Suede and Mses. Alward, Dixon, McMurry, Rhys Barnes, and Ryan:
The Romance Writers of America “works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements their main income.” In essence, you exist to help authors sell books to readers. We are those readers, and we are writing to express our disappointment, frustration, anger, and disgust regarding the actions taken, rescinded, and now being reviewed against Courtney Milan, as well as actions and inactions with respect to other members and prospective members of RWA.
These actions or inactions include, but are not limited to, credible allegations that RWA has:
- Manipulated the complaint process against Ms. Milan in a way that was procedurally unfair, substantively incorrect, and damaging to her and any member who expresses concerns about the mistreatment of a marginalized individual or community.
- Disregarded ethics complaints by marginalized authors.
- Rejected membership applications by authors who do not write about cisgender, heterosexual, monogamous, allosexual, Christian, or other characters deemed acceptable by those reviewing the applications.
- Paid BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) authors less for speaking engagements compared to their white counterparts.
- Declined to intervene on behalf of authors not receiving payment from Dreamspinner Press despite previously having taken action with other publishers.
- Permitted judges to reject or deliberately deflate the scores of RITA-nominated works about marginalized individuals, thereby undermining the integrity of the award process.
- Continued to protect white, cisgender, heterosexual, allosexual, nondisabled, and otherwise non-marginalized authors (“non-marginalized authors”) at the expense of BIPOC, LGBTQIAP+, disabled, and otherwise underrepresented and marginalized authors (“marginalized authors”).
We readers are a diverse group. It is simplistic to imagine there is one stereotypical Romance reader; in truth, we come from every background, every life experience, every corner of this country and beyond. Thus, it behooves the genre as a whole to explicitly and intentionally promote books for every reader. The lack of respect for marginalized authors directly impacts those of us who are also marginalized. It’s a reminder that we aren’t as important, that our stories aren’t as important, because the people who tell our stories aren’t considered as important. Furthermore, RWA’s lack of support for these authors hurts all readers who value good stories regardless of their identities and the identities of the characters. We demand a place where all love stories are held in high regard. Now we are left to wonder how many authors and stories we never knew about because of RWA exclusionary tactics. Moreover, we are heartbroken that beautiful stories and artistry are lost to all readers regardless of their background due to RWA’s unjustified gate-keeping.
As readers, we are also critics. We discuss books with other readers and make recommendations. We also rely on honest critiques and reviews when deciding how to spend our money. When RWA took a complaint against Ms. Milan for criticizing a published work on social media seriously, it communicated that honest critique of a problematic text is an attack on non-marginalized authors. By incorrectly and unfairly sanctioning Ms. Milan for failing to “create a safe and respectful” environment, RWA created a hostile environment for readers who engage in and rely on criticism. RWA’s stance is now that describing and analyzing any problematic elements in a text is an attack on the author and that the feelings of authors are more important than those of the readers who make up your members’ customer base.
Likewise, readers believe RWA is failing in its mission to guide readers to the best of the genre. After years of watching mediocre, problematic, and even racist books land on the finalists’ list, it is clear to us that something is very wrong with the judging process. Many of us saw the proposed changes to the judging panel as a sign that the RITAs themselves would finally be indicative of quality. By making it clear that marginalized authors and their allies are not welcome in the RWA, the RWA has undermined its mission.
We have also noticed that the RWA is refusing to offer support to marginalized authors to ensure they receive the money we paid for their work and has been withheld by publishers. When we buy books, we expect that the authors will be paid. If they aren’t, as the trade association for the Romance writers, your job is to advocate for them. In previous situations similar to the one involving Dreamspinner Press, RWA has advocated for non-marginalized authors with other publishers. We question the organization’s silence now. By failing to ensure authors receive the financial compensation for their work they are entitled to, RWA has exacerbated a situation that may cause authors to stop publishing, thus depriving readers of their stories.
By its own actions, the leadership of RWA has shown it does not care about what is best for Romance. Rather, a reactionary swath of authors and readers have become beneficiaries of RWA support, advocacy, and protection at the expense of marginalized authors and readers. We, therefore, call for:
- A clear, unequivocal statement that RWA is anti-racist and that all of its policies, procedures, and activities will ensure that the organization meets this standard.
- A public apology to Ms. Milan, the Board members who have been compelled by their consciences to resign this week, and members who have been harmed by the RWA as stated above.
- The resignations of President/President-Elect Damon Suede and Executive Director Carol Ritter.
- An emergency election of new Directors to replace those who have resigned in protest.
- A full, transparent, and independent investigation into the complaint, investigation, and censure processes around RWA’s Code of Ethics, with attention to events related to the complaints against Ms. Milan and reports that ethics complaints by marginalized members were not forwarded to the Ethics Committee by RWA staff.
- An accounting of the actions that led to the creation of a secret ethics committee and the Board’s initial vote against Ms. Milan.
- The removal of staff if investigations demonstrate those staff members discriminated against marginalized authors based on their identities, whether intentionally or through negligence.
- An Action Plan developed with public input to address the systematic exclusion, harassment, and lack of support for marginalized members and prospective members at every level of RWA, including chapters, conferences and events, staff prerogatives, and Board action.
Additionally, we support the petitions by 28 incoming and outgoing chapter presidents calling for transparency.
Until these conditions are met, we will:
- Encourage a boycott of any events sponsored by or affiliated with the national chapter of RWA.
- Encourage a boycott of books published by and events attended by authors who remain in leadership positions within the national organization.
- Reevaluate other relationships with RWA, such as academic grants and awards to librarians.
- Pledge not to give any publicity to the RITAs.
- Use our voices and dollars to support the marginalized authors whom RWA has betrayed.
RWA has lost our trust. This letter outlines what we consider to be the minimum acceptable actions. However, we remain hopeful that the values that have brought us together as Romance readers will inspire you to support Romance in the way that RWA was intended—as a place to help everyone find Happily Ever After.
Elizabeth Early (@EisReading; #RomanceSparksJoy), Lena Corazon (@lenacorazon), Melissa McHugh (@crimsonglass), Heather Sands, Amanda Morgan (@DCRomanceReader), Heather Lire (@heatherlire), Jordan Brock (@jordansbrock), The Book Reading Gals (@bookreadinggals), Dani McKie, Pam Upper (Romance reader), Colleen Vanderlinden, Miranda West (Librarian and romance reader), Kimberly Golden Malmgren (Author; reader; contributor to Sistah Girl Next Door), Jessica Calla (Author and reader, former member of RWA), Julie Staniford, Karen Danner (Romance reader for 40 years), Leslie Sabin, Elizabeth Pickett (@PickettPhD), S. Ross (@MxS_510), Jennifer Bruce (@SheRead_HeSaid), Taryn Hearn, Lillie Applegarth (Lillie’s Literary Services), Misty McMillen, Niamh Kennelly, Rochelle Jennings (Emmalita at CannonballRead.com), Alison Morrow, Kay Taylor Rea (Not Now, I’m Reading podcast), Jill Scheyk (@maximumjill), Megan Dansie (@megan_dansie; Reader), S.A. Adler, Emilia Agrafojo (Circebee), Lori Hill, Suzanne Danks, Kathryn Taglia (Romance reader), Michael D Taub, Esther Theia (@celestialesther), Joely Sue Burkhart, Melanie Sen (@melon_reads), Babs (Reviewer for A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet), Jaz Twersky, w/a Dee Carney (@dee_carney), Angela Kristy (@angelareadsbooks), Kazen (@everalwaysdoing), Kristen Watts, Laura Yamin (What to Read Next Podcast), Carol Lee (Writing Bookish Notes), Kate Orr, Kelly Pickett (@KPisbusyreading), Jade Sarah-Louise, Riikka T. (@twinkledp), Stephanie Collins (Book-A-Holic Anon), Katharine Lawson (@katie71483, PattyKates; Cannonball Read,), Kim Penn (Romance reader), Molly, Joanne Chow, Hannah Y. (Hannah Hearts Romance), Nanette Donohue (Librarian and book reviewer), A Norton, Ana Salgado (@idleutopia_reads), Lucia Blanchet (@metaspinster), Ashley Warren, Darie McCoy (Aspiring Author), Pooja Sharma (@ladesigirl), Susannah Cooke, Joy Harris (Joyfully Reviewed), Lena Clare, Amara Royce (Former RWA (PAN) member), Kellisa Mirabel (@ksquaredreads), Rochelle French, Terry Neill (Reader), Whitney Eads Moore, Zoe Andraska, Annie Haley (@hea_annie), Isabel Wright (#RomanceSparksJoy), Quinn Edelson, Aurelie Le Borgne, Sara L. Olesen (Reader, Aspie), Amber Hayes (@dulivre), Catherine Heloise (Reader and Staff Reviewer for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), Kate Michael, Judy Neeb, Cheryl Weller (@lawless523), Hannah C, Eva Scalzo (@evascalzo), Karoline Bowman, Myst D (Myst Detetiv (@DetetivBlog) from What’s detetiv doing now blog), Robyn Stein, Renae Pérez González (@romanticparvenu), Sarah Pesce (Lopt & Cropt Editing), C Jordan (@christiejordy), Akeisha Heard, Emily Hemenway (@pacificeater), Gwendollyn Ray (@bleedingbluekc), azteclady (@herhandsmyhands; herhandsmyhands.wordpress.com), Courtney Case (Goodreads, Amazon, and NetGalley reviewer), Aimee Dowd, Hannah Reed, Beth Ellen, Ki-Wing Merlin, Jacqueline M. Moss (Romance reader of 25 years), Charity Haines, Marla, Tali Chernin, Ann Marie DiLullo, Yvonne Lundine, Julie Karaganis (Co-owner, Copper Dog Books), Leigh Kramer, T Morrow, Amanda Hicken, Amanda Vincent, Jessica Nolen, Kathleen Connor (RWA member, unpublished author), Steve Goodhall / C. J. Czelling (@CJCZELLING; Associate Member of RWA. Twitter:), Jennifer Brown, Nancy Kelley (@Nancy_Kelley), Laura Tatum (@babybeachblues), Sonia Menso, Wan-Yu Lu, Candy Chou (@cannedebonbon), Dr Laura Vivanco (romance reader, and part of the academic community which studies romance novels), Lauren Burke, Sarah Dorman (@ShippingAcademy), Emily Lind, Laura (Thebookcorps), Casey Berberich, Alissa Corsi (Reader and editor), Lauryn Hunter, Shaheen Amjad-Ali, Jean M. M. Russell, Jess Fox (@jessfoxbooks), Lindsay Jones, Kristy (Caffeinated Fae), Lana Barr, Rosemary Kiladitis, Elizabeth Kirsop-Brown (Concerned Reader), Rebecca Travis, Shannon Donahue (@Shannonldonahue), Ilene M Fenichel, Janette Kirchner (@JanetteKirchner (twitter)), Nicole Springer, Catherine J. Hutchins, Ainsley Wynter, Rachel Tibbetts, Robin Smith, Eliza Luce (@lucewriter), Kara McDermott (Scootsa1000 at The Cannonball Read), M.T. Barner, Malin Engdahl Patterson (Cannonball Read), Jennifer Demas (Librarian, Reader), JS (@K2togetherSSK; Queen of the Trollops and Harpies; Romancelandia reader of 200+ romance a year), Heather Kinion, pophyn, Laura (@RabbitRodney), Ness Shortley (@LochNessLibro, librarian), Tara L. Singleton, LL Phillips, Kira S. Roth, Carol Doscher (@carol_doscher_reader), Jenica Hughes, Michelle Johnston, Ardith Santiago, DJ Perez (@apolishedreader), Karen D. Toonen (Romance reader; Professional Reviewer; Collection Development Librarian), Jennifer Prokop (@JenReadsRomance; Fated Mates Podcast), Melinda Utendorf (#RomanceSparksJoy), K. L. Toma, Paige Beckwith, Trish Bowers (Sunshine Reads), Margaret Loebe (@loebemargaret), Allyson C. White (Reading romance since 1984), Elle Blum (@elleblum), Heather Johnson, Shannon Curry, Kimberly Lucia (Kimmy Loves to Read Blog), Laura Suttle, Rana Leed (@gmail.com; rana.leed), Brandy Jones, Larissa Haluszka-Smith, Carolyn Martinez-Ross, Cathy C (Leads a romance book club), Lesley Knieriem (Public Librarian, Professional Reviewer, and advocate for genre fiction), Lex Raffsberg, Maura Kenny, Sandy Dunavan, Laura Fliegel, Samuel Leitermann, Katie Brenneman, Erin Sharpe (Reviwer for Pretty Sassy Cool and Diverse Reader.), Carly Lane-Perry (@carlylane; FANGRRLS Romance & Kissing Books), Sandy Harroun (Bookseller), Lea Schmidt (Avid romance reader), Meade Peers McCoy, Rebecca Smith (Librarian and romance reader), Karrie Hyatt (@klahyatt), Marie Winters (Avid reader), Sarah Hammack, Ashley (Red-Haired Ash Reads), Taina Benitez Lagodzinski, Evelina Martinez, Jessica Patterson, Melissa McLaughlin, Abby Angelucci (@willow1213), Cara Mosier, KP Simmon, Michelle Athy (@Sunflowerrei), Holly Atkinson (@EditorHolly); Reader, writer, and editor), Kelly E. Lipp (@KellyELipp), Suzanne Forrest (@suzannestjames2), Samantha Corrado, Marjorie Ingall (@marjorieingall), Hannah Lehrman, Sarah Dempsey, Phil J. Harrison (Author and former RWA member), Jamie Parnell, Shannon Haddock, Cynthia Joy Wentworth Breen, Julie Ganis (reader, book editor), J. A. Rama (@Jay_A_Rama_SFF), Bjørn Hell (@bjorn__hell), Michelle Bashta, Alexandra Simon (@catswithbats), Phaedra Salamoia, Lisa Ruffin Schauf, J. M. Levinton (@jmlevinton; Author), Marjorie Florestal, Sarah Calfee (Three Little Words Romance Editing), Lauren Argetsinger (Reader), Rehana Lanewala, Rebecca Bluish, Hanna Osborn, Denise Moline, library addict, Julia Linthicum (@mizzelle), Kasandra Seda, Alexis Dubief (Author), Kella Campbell, Vicky Hoyle (@romancingread), Holly Potier, Pia Winther, Michael M. Jones (@oneminutemonkey; professional book reviewer), Bronwen Fleetwood, Adele Gleason, Jaye Em Edgecliff (jayeedgecliff.com), Anne Donaldson, Mara Greengrass, Delta McKenzie, Kaitesi T. (@AdotKEdits), Katie Murphy, Tracy M. Kalvin (@KissyBooks; someone who *was* planning on seeking membership to RWA in 2020.), Erika Lee (@ErikaReadsHEAs on Twitter), Jen Twimom (That’s What I’m Talking About book reviews), Jayne Hendry (Associate RWA member), Katy Rawdon (Romance reader and librarian), Geri Reads (Geri Reads (blog, twitter, IG)), Karen Feldman, Eliza Stefaniw, Jenn Stanhagen, Arlo De la Martyniere, Jami Atwood (lifelong romance reader), Elizabeth Conner (Montgomery, AL), Lisa Kazi (@LisaKaziReads; lisareadsbooks.com), Elaine Brennan, Elizabeth Bonesteel, Kate Kehrel (@kate_reads_), Liz Blue, Diana Di Giacomo, Nina Toro (@latinasoccermom), Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, M.A. / M.L.S. (thefeministlibrarian.com; bookseller on hiatus), Anne Hills Holland (Cofounder, What Cheer Writers Club), Kathy Prothro (@TAFFYKATHYREADS), Patricia Bullington-McGuire (@tostita), Katie Tower, Joan Ilacqua, Harmony Williams, Danielle Ruby, Ekaterine Xia (@katjexia), Susan Casey, Dee Moses, Lauren Reichel, Alex K (@alextweetsbooks; reviewer), Scott Clarkson (romance reader, Government of Canada), Marisa Gettas (@BooksMarisa; Marisa Gettas;), Susan Lewis (Reader of romance since 1980 something), Jessica Hannan (Reviewer for Deconstructing Damsels), A.W. Beichner, Angela Peachey, Tricia Butland, Dido Lambert, Patricia Lambert, Rebecca Grenville, Brona Little, Victoria Martin (@victoriakmartin), Rebecca C, Karena Fagan (theunread.net), Amy Jarvis, Ezrah (@zerisse;; I Heart Romance; @mynameisezrah), Vicki L. Haddix, Christina Campbell, Margaret Hanson, Kate Villette, Amber Marie Ham, J. S. Lenore (@p1013), Lesley Friedell, Shoshanna Green, Charlotte G, Jane Rowe, Mary Scott (@RebelMur), Nancy Matuszak, Lisa Beaudry, Paula Pergament, Emily M. Schulz, PhD, Jennifer James, Alison Ward, Jessica Luther (@jessicawluther, journalist, avid romance reader), Elizabeth Inglee, Sandy Bennett, Whitney Ware (dedicated buyer of books), Anita Kelly (@daffodilly; current Pitch Wars adult romance mentee;), Anaïs Frayne, Liza Reed, Rachel Chalmers, Amanda Watson, Caitlin Compton, Marcela Macias (@MarcelaMacias27), Gillian Webster, Emily Tafaro, Tom Smith (@tomlovespaula), Sandy Athey, Andie Arthur, Sarah Anderson, Chessa Grasso Hickox, Sarah Johnson (RomBkPod; Lust & Found), Kara Wolfe (Karmba), Jeanne Gervais, Julie Clarenbach, Kate Towner (@katepreach), Ursula Jean, Ali Hanneman, Ishita Kent (@ishiekent), Louise Halvorsen, Eden Ehrmann, Renee Elizabeths (@ReneeElizabeths), Wren Vale, Lloyd Meeker (Author and Reader), Emmalee Miller, Genesee Rickel (@GMRickelreader;reviewer;librarian), Katie Wilkins (@DoingDewey), Melanie C. Duncan (@MelanieCDuncan; Librarian; reviewer; reader), Jennifer Porter (Reviewer for Romance Novel News), Kimberly A. Shay (@branfeather), Alie Sloan, Kristin Heyder, Maya Kesh (@mayak46 twitter), Suzanne Krohn (Editor, Love in Panels), Winnie Lee, Brenda Gayle Massey, Brie Clementine (@racblog), Helene Joseph, Jaclyn M, Karen Luck, Melissa Carrier (Reader), Bridget -I-am-so-disappointed- B, Chanpreet Singh (Blogger & Reader), Ruth Warkentin (Romance reader for over 40 years), Dalia King, Jo Lacey-Wood (@kindlejo_jo), Heather Snaman, Cassandra Carr (@cassandra_carr; Retired author), Jessica Morris, Nicole Crean, Loredena Frisealach (Romance reader), Jenna Grinstead (Jennagrinstead.com), L. Allred, Nichole Stark, Helen Kord, Kimberly V. Nelson (@missberlyreads), Nicole Lapierre, Courtney Reese, Stacy Castle, Fran Brouwer, Octavia Atlas, Meli Wong, Michelle Irwin (Long time reader), Heather Elo, Kim Barton, Nada Tijanic (Romance reader since 1975), Adena Bailey, Denise Melonas, Pam Leffler, Dorsie Brooks, Katharine Russell, Tracy DeNeal (@tlmoore11; Tracy Moore), Nicole Snyder, KT Gilbert, Leigh Watson, Rachel Garcia (30 year romance reader), Melissa Ward (Bookseller), Erika, Michaelene M (The Librarian’s Corner), Shelley Phillips, Bobbie J. Baynard, Diane Ward, mamaboo7907, Mia Tsai (@itsamia), Amy Jo Cousins, Carly Keller, Lisa Wells, Louise Auty (Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings), Michelle Harlan (@mimireadsromance; Reader), Gail G (Romance addict), Leanna Renee Hieber (Author; former RWA member & local board member), Sarah Hawley (The Wicked Wallflowers Club), Deanna Shumaker, Fiona Modrak, Lesley Turner (@Ceeleelemt), Ash M (long time reader), Shelby Daniel-Wayman (Reader and bookseller), A. Golden (@Annie1Will), Sarah, Leslie Phillips, Kelly Kobiela, Joanna Loves Reading (avid reader of romance), Amalie Berlin, Ellie Reads (@e_savova), Karen Herkes (@dawnrigger; reader, bookseller & indie author;), Danielle Sewell, Jacqueline Sewell (Jacqueline Sewell), Mary Hinson (Mary Had a Little Book Blog), Jaime O’Brien (@jaimewrites), Charlotte Grandy, Jordan Trapp, Johanna Durling, Kelli Callahan, Sarah Christena, Hilary B., Cheryl Lackman, Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook, Karen Metcalf, Rebecca D, Sadie Esperanto (Queer Books Unbound), Sarah C. Palmer (Former mass market buyer for an indy bookstore), Sam (AMNReader) (Avid reader and GR reviewer), Danielle Calderon, Shirin Samiljan, Heather Hawley, Dawn Strickland (@dcstrick76; Southern Chics Lit Blog), Kay McInnis, Kaitlin Weiler, Wendy Smith (@wendlesnz), Jamie Patton, Julie Fedolak, Robin St. Clare (@clarewrites), Emilie Castro, Ali Wade, Erin McRae, Kat Culbertson, Celia Lewis, MA, Ali Williams (@claficionado), Kate Reading (@KateReadingVO; Narrator), Melissa Steinman (TeaStitchRead on BookLikes), Suzanna Hobbs (@suscintilla), Carla Herbert, Jessica Lyn Van Slooten (@dharmagirl1974; Reader; scholar; aspiring author), Morgan Swim, Morgan Swim (@marschildwells), Cathy Pegau, Betsie Dash, Ella Portman (Reviewer PA and latina forced back into the shadow), Elizabeth Krentz-Wee (Reader; Mainline pastor; mother of avid readers), Jamie Morgan, Heather Carrillo, Megan Rosol (Librarian and romance reader), Whitney Mello, Amal K. Ahmed, S.R. Davis, Janet Brewer (Iamltr), Alexis Smith, Kate Jakubas, Valentine Wheeler (@ghostalservice), Elizabeth R. McClellan (@popelizbet), Diana Platt, Casey Harris-Parks (Founder & Editor at Heart Full of Ink), Asmaa Qayyum, Kat Schroeder, KCW, Sarah, AlexSeanchai, Christy Brockwell, Aisha E, Jade Webb (Authorjadewebb), Jo Lee (@thedivinegoat), Emily Moore, Maria Young, Alexandria Tristram, Siobhan Henderson, Beth Zot (@RomBookQuotes), Tammara Webber (@tammarawebber; author), Liza Brown (@mslizalou; Blogging by Liza), Anne Glover (Regency Reader), Jenny Mondor, Bonnie Donaghy, Stacey Fontes, Courtney Tonokawa, Genevieve Ball, Jojo, Rhonda S. Garcia, Jori, Merei Milbee (@Formerlymmm; Goodreads: Merei.), Olivia Andrews (@oliviaandrewsbks), Cassandra Duncil, Megan Gadd, Marit TRH, Frances West, TS Murphy (@tsmurphyauthor), Hillary Meyer, Erika Strandjord, Laura Watkis (Reader), Megan Burton (IG: romancedbythebook), Shoshana Frank, Lana Bilbo, T.L. Waite, Kat from TBQ’s Book Palace, Wesley Clifton (Romance reader, listener), Leisl Leighton (www.leislleighton.com), Traci Hooper, Victoria Fater, S. Lahiri, Rachel Foote, Christine Nellums, Jenn Stevens, Rhonda Merwarth (recently resigned RWA member), Missy, Renee Owens Warren, Shannon V Mummey, Amy Reads, Dani St Clair (Blogger at Romancing the Social Sciences), Stacie Chapman, Heather Thayer (Avid reader), Cee Germaine, Nikki Walters (Blogger at The Bibliophibian), Tamara Harris, Mary Cairns, Joanna Mann, Nicola Armstrong (@Nicola_1202; Independent reviewer), Leslie Clements, MK Elliot (@moonklutz), Sarah Walsh (@brazenbookworm), Gabrielle Halko, Laura Chung, Maribeth Butters, Erin Morrow, Genevieve Dempre (@Genevieve_Marie), Carmela Constable, Cindy Tait, Courtnie R. (@Book_cupidity), Amanda Durfee-Spencer, S Stevens, Jeanna Louise Skinner (@UKRomChat; Romance Writer and creator of), Carole-Ann (Bookshop Owner), Heather Harris, Amelia Manlove, Anne Maree Curran, Cara Seeley-Johnson, Laurie Peterson, Franci Neill (Franci’s Fabulous Reads), Mila Nicks, Erica Nofi, Ashley Clark, Marilyn Porter (@callistawolf), Jenny Redford, Sharron Harrington, Anna Harries, Stephanie Troisi (Romance reader), Julie Block, Susan Chase, Darynda Jones, Casey Blair, David Devier, Kimberlé D. Fields, Rivka Aarons-Hughes (@rivkawrites; Reader and author), Heather Self, Amie Schaumberg, Emily Hartman, Elizabeth Davidson, Naomi T., Sharon Hanscom, Elizabeth Dietrich, Heather Beck, Holly Soboroff, R. Hart, Ann Tekatch, Deborah Banton, Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Megan Peck, Kimberly C., Meka White, D. S. Dane, Shanna Vaughn (Romance reader), Morgan K, Carolyn M. Ray (Daughter of NYT & USA Today author Francis Ray), A.S. Caroli, Angela Fristoe (romance reader and writer), Julie Lindstrom, Lisa Morgan (lamorgan7), Christine Esposito (@EspoLearns), Jeanine M. Denzer, Tamara Yollick, Kimberly Billups, Lisa Hall (@naturallyfabu), Sheyla Costa, Angela Sullivan, Tqwana Brown (@80booksblog; Romance reader), Zannah Merrill (Lifelong reader and now author), Bethany Truex, Nicole Roames, Ryann Moran (@RyannKMoran), J. Hooligan (@ Platypire Reviews), Pam Faste (@Peejakers), Amanda Webb Putz, Shelley (Librarian), Pamela Gonzalez, Hannah Coleman-Jennings, Olivia Batto, Rachel A, Marcia Grippen (Romance reader), Camille Feygrove, Melisa Safchinsky (@booksonmymind; Somewhere Lost in Books;), Allison O’Grady (@AlleyOGrady), Jessica Horvath Williams, Paige Helling, Jillian Wood, Kristen Kranz, Jo Hen (Avid reader and reviwer), Shannon Webber, Sara Helmers, Stacy Snyder, Tonya Cannariato (@tmycann; www.tmycann.com), Fiona Vlasblom, Molly Westerman, Jessica Werner (Readers advisory librarian in Seattle, WA), M. Robinson (@legallyhea -), Zoe Wernick (Tea & Strumpets Podcast), Cali De Vries (Romance reviewer; bookstagramer), Olivia Edmunds-Diez (Boulder Book Store), Nathanael Nerode (Reader), Blair Ellsworth, Mechelle kist (Avid romance reader), Deborah Young Parker, Sam Levine (PhD), Pamela Diaz, Jennifer Day, Tamara Bashi (@authortamarab), E_Bookpushers (@e_bookpushers; The Bookpushers), Nic Farrell (Flirty and Dirty Book Blog), Els Kemper, Amber Trottier, Lucy Sheerman, Sarah Altmann (Blogger at Reviews and Readathons), Aimee Raymond, John jackson, Birte Lilienthal, Lauren Yeh, Karen Meeus, Jivana W (J_today.i.read), Ann Gavaghan, Eve Pendle, Katrina Holloway (Lifelong reader of romance), Linda Tiliagren (Reader and blogger), Hel Thomson, Csilin, Carly P, Nancy McPhillips, Jaimie Campbell, Meg Faller (@novelnaturae), Natalie Martin (Host of the Ask-A-Badass segment on Heaving Bosoms), Paulina P., Emily Connelly, Ione Anthony, Robyn Potts, Cassandra Logan, Dot & Needle, Sarah Ramsey, Carole V. Bell, Laura Fidorowicz, Kelly Harrington, Julie Barr, Karen Benevelli, Melanie, Wendy Erickson, Sonia Esperanza, Stephanie Lee, Karen Babine, Roxane Fenton, S. McFarland, Annie Blanch, Samara Cahill (Romance reader), Judy Collander, Danielle Dresser, Tyler Alexander, Laura Kristie, Dontana McPherson-Joseph, Stephanie Hart, corey jo lloyd, Susan Kim, Creath Pollak (Voracious Reader), Melike Erkan, Melike Erkan (@the_me_like; IG:izmirlireads), Autumn Latimore (Now former RWA member; aspiring author), Kate Proctor, Jennifer Stremel, Barbara James, Ceri Sell, Emily Travis, Leah Braemel (@LeahBraemel), Cory Ida Ross, Nena Chandler, AC Oberg, Celeste C. (Librarian and avid romance reader), Michelle Badillo, Christine Roehrich, Charlotte (@romansdegare), Hannah Morse, Lisa Maxwell, Traci Douglass, Courtney (Avid lifelong romance reader), Elle Bjorlie (@lbjorlie), Laura Roberts (@buttontapper), Linda Watson (@theLindashow), Joy Bowling, Mi Tei, Brittany Borshell (@wenchlychumz), Johna Cravens, Colleen H (colleenisbooked), C. L. Polk, Gwen Jones (@twielyeght), Joan Sherwood, Ann Brown (@_anngeewhiz_), Lidia Smith, Chantal Ruel, Ava Jarvis (aka Arachne Jericho), Laura Orman, Erin Cushing (@readingg8r), Catherine Stein, Jasmine Guillory, Maribeth Karns, Shelby Ford, J. Sandstedt, Bridgett Taylor, E Weaver, Julie Suchard (Book buyer and reader), Tasha Turner (@turner_tasha), Janis Thrailkill (So_caffeinated), Rebecca Paula, Bobbi N Smith, Tracy Shields (@tcshields), Jessica Scott (@jeda121; Reader), Sarah Poulsen, Kate Arsenault, Heather Shin, Leah C., Anna Crennell, Anne Schmid, Kimberley Nash (@cayenne9T1; 40 years reading & buying romance books), Meghann Ord, S Dennis, Debbie Rose, Tabitha Burns (Outraged Romance reader), Jami Nord (@JamiNord, editor), Sanna Ilander, Jen Feldpausch, Kait Scalisi (Reader; romance book club member; RWA NYC speaker), Kate Wilhite, Rebecca Dyer, Shawna Leonard (@endemictoearth), Anne Bornschein (@anne_bornschein), Pherooz Karani, Claire Dingle (Reader; former bookseller), Kristine Shore (Romance reader; buyer), Tracy willoughby, Mikaela Lind, A. Stone, Allison Hickman, Linda Larsson (@Fr_larsson; Fr_larsson), Georgia Milionis, Candace Fix, Virginia Rounds, Amanda Porter (@bookstagrambandwagon), Katie Martin, Dr. Sharon Emmerichs, Dawn B (@thedevelish1), Rowena Wilson (Book Binge), Chelsea Outlaw (@anoutlawlife; Not Now I’m Reading podcast), Verity Wilde, Molli Struebing, Holly Mercer (@bookbinge;www.bookbinge.com), Marin Brouwer, Joy Rothke, Has (The Book Pushers), Isabella Blank (@Mikkuchan07), Kat Lively, KT Grant (@katiebabs), Shirley Anne Edwards (@ShirlAwriter), Kim Roberts, Tyler R., Kathleen Neuman, Annie (Blogger at Queer Books Unbound), Julia Escalante, Larri Servin (@javagirlgp; Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews), Janine Ballard (@janine_ballard , Dear Author), Chloe Riley, Regina Wade (@BetweenPages), Becky Gotthardt (@fibrobabe), Miranda Dubner (@writingmiranda; reader and reviewer), Pamela Farias Barriga (Lifelong and avid reader of romance), Amy Swartz, Maggie Barten (@MaggieReadsRom), Michelle Ward, Brianne Rodgers, Kathleen Folger, Melissa Swenson (@MJSwenson71), Ann Marie F., Kristin Dwyer, Dylan St. Jaymes (Reader and reviewer for @loveinpanels), KristieJ (@1KristieJ), Karen Buys, Angela Hanson (The Alliterates Book Blog), Carrie Trimble, Sarah Borgwardt, Kim Hogeland, Cassandra Cook, Jessica Holman, Rob Kavanaugh, Susan Day, Sarah G, Angela Rhodes (@jaymzangel on Twitter), Christine Palmer, Lady Wesley (@ladywesley), Chikyung Park, M Harris, Lori Sherden (@mctclover; longtime romance reader; blogger), Krista Gigone, Rashida Scholz, Amber McMichael (Buriedbybooks), Leilani Ricardo, Melissa Cohen, Glynis Irwin; reader, Jonathan Hollander, Lisa A. Keogh, Katrina Soli, Jade Brown, Michelle Wassenaar, Breanna Stephens, Andrew Barton, HEA Apologist (@heaapologist), Rachel Haimowitz, Kate Barton, Agata Weronika (@Aqueda_Veronica), Jennifer L (@mamabean30), Mandi Perrett, Tamara Ford (Shelf Addiction Podcast & Blog), Winonah LaGrande, C C Cedras (CCCedrasAuthor.com; StilettosStoliandScribbles.com), Ellen Park (@heagivemelife), Susan Ehlbeck, Mirjana Mirkovic, Lauren Teffeau (Author), Abbie Michaels, Kaetrin Allen (@Kaetrin67; Dear Author, Kaetrin’s Musings, AudioGals)), Lisa W, Mary Early (@maryearlydc), JC Hall, Jennifer Blois, Alyssa Mooney, Stephanie Mummert, Bethany Adams (Author), Gillian Twining, Denise Leton, Marcella Spence Burnard, Courtney Ostaff, Misty Evans, K. B. Rainwater (@kalirainh2o), Molly Haselhorst, Thien-Kim Lam (Founder of Bawdy Bookworms), Jen Whitton, Laura Cochran, Lynda M. Ryba (@FishWithSticks; FWS Media), Allie Watson (RWA member #30745), Sailaja Darisipudi, Michele Hall, Leigh Walton, Colleen Fleming, Laurie McNair, Rebecca Finley, Kelly Marie Houlihan, Brooke Creek (@bec0721), Elissabeth Legendre, Elisabeth C, Cathryn Holt, Emily H, Michelle Hoffman, Sarah L., Andrea Walker, Heather Johnson (Avid Reader), Jena Nemo (@jenanemo; High volume reader), Claudia DeSaulnier, Laura Doty, Taryn Kincaid (Reader, author, RWA member (cancellation pending)), Julie Winningham, Emily Hickey, Lorene Tolleson (Romance reader), Karen Lyons-McGann (Karen Lyons-McGann), Kelsey Matters, Morgan Sasser, Toni Linenberger, Meredith Elliott, Sarah Wethern (@whtabtpineapple), Bethany Morin, Gia Vickers Edwards, Rohini Gandhi (Rohini Gandhi), Eve Mardis, Mariel Rodriguez, Carol Hale (Voracious reader and librarian), Jennifer Seay (@whatsnextj), Rachel Cressin, Trishna Kini (@t_kini on twitter), Christine Colburn, Julie Skinner Sutton, Kimberley Barrois, Indira Mitchell, Kathleen Jones, Kristina Lescinsky, Megan Williams (Reader), Suzanne Vanderham (@SuziVanderham), Amanda Shofner, Athena Hubbard, Robyn Enlund (Romance reader and writer), Yolanda Odom, Iris Young, Karen May (Been annoyed since I learned white models used for cov), Denise Jeffries (@hotmail; Kepi2), Keisha Bell, Nadia Hyppolite, Tina Cha (@chattycha), Alicia Ahlvers, Lorrie Irby Jackson (Columnist, Blogger & Reader), Sara Horney, Arlene A Watson, Marielena Browne, Shannan Harper (@courtharpers;; Harperscourt77.blogspot.com; @msshannan77), K. Purdie (@ekpurdie), Michelle Myers, Quiana Glide (@quiana2001), Readers of Romance, Robyn Burse, Angela Fisher, Arlesia Dawson, Caroline Grubbs, Constance Milton (librarian and romance reader), Karen Carlyle, Maryn L. Formley, Amanda Hunt, Carolyn Newsome, Roshida Downey, Theresa L. Davis, Limecello (A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet), Marissa Backlin (Bookseller), Paula Roe (former RWA member), Roseann Backlin (Bookseller), Jessica E (Reader), Kandice Eberhardt (Reader; journalist), Karen Spencer, Anita Roseboro-Wade, Debbie Bauerle, Jessica Vallejos (@Santasprout), Josephine Hawkins, Aleksandra Sandstrom (@aleksandrasews; Copy editor & romance reader. Twitter), Leona Robinson, Susanna Craig, Christine McKen, Erin, Ingrid, and Holly (The Smut Report), Jana Fleming (Literary Savants), Jenna Crawford, Lisa D. DeNeal, Simon A. Crow (@SACrow1022), Dania Jones (Avid Reader of Romance Novels), Melanna O’Neal (Reader), Denise K., Loretta Murray, Elizabeth Kerri Mahon (@scandalwomen), Keida Randle, Kenny Shipley, LaKesha Seegars, Robyn Carlin, Deidre Young (Cilla’s Book Manias), Gail Diamond (Reviewer and avid reader), Kimberly Williams (Kimmie Garnett), Mona Wiley (@thiscurlyarab; Romance reader and reviewer), Morgan Schott, Sharon J McCalop, Sy Young, Erica Vinnett (Mrs. Vinnette), Pamela Piskoti, Wanda Jamerson (African American Romance reader), Julie Hayes (Reader of Romance and Historical Novels), NL Gassert, Cory Eckert (Founder, Storytime Underground; LJ Mover & Shaker), Darnell M. Davis, Edwina Putney (Reader; Cillas Bookmaniacs member), Emily Baillieul (@E_Baillieul), Alicia Berger, Terry Brannon, Alyssa Bones, Autumn R. Rekus, Jaime Shetrone, Deborah Dortch, Kathryn Crowley, Kelly Bee, Rele Read, Kelly Bee (Twitter: @BestFriendKelly), Ellen Bowen, Fran Sun, Linda M Dillon, Sophie Brookover (@sophiebiblio; co-founder of Two Bossy Dames), Toni Goldberg, Aimee Steininger (Life long romance reader), Ches Hardley, Kim Reliford (Kim Reliford), Jaclyn Bedoya, Julie Ramsey (@themightyjulie), Andrea Palmer, D Lawrence, Harrietta, Kim Collins, Sequanda Watts, Tamatia Stewart, Jules Crisare (@julescrisare), Sarah Eggleston, Stephanie N. Perkins, Tonya L Russell, B Slipka, Natalie Blakeney (Lifelong reader. Advocate for diversity and inclusion), Kelly Struble (@wildceltnv), Meg Notaro, Christine Peele, Susan Terrell, Traci Witherspoon, Ka’Lu Carter Underwood, Jessica Peter (@jessicapeter1; previous RWA member – FFP, TRW chapters), Joyce French (Romance reader 40+ years), Joycelyn Gay, Nykisha Jackson, Priscilla C. Johnson (Cilla’s Book Maniacs), Valerie J Collier, Natara S, PC Johnson (PCJ Consultant Group, LLC), Sharon E.Luckett (Romance reader and supporter of Romance Authors), Andrea King Collier (@andreacollier), Ann Marie Gamble, Kathleen L.Jones (@yahoo.com; Avid reader kittkatt9497), Marguerite Lemons, Sameerah Shareef, Sarah Thomas, Barbara Vahey, Keisha Kennemore, Melanin Monroe, Monica, Beverly Ward, Dyanne Grant, Jhen (@JhenelleJ), LaToya Kimbrough, Taura Cheatham (Romance reader), Amelia Vance (@ameliaivance), Holly J, Monay Henry, Elizabeth Moore, Lisa Oatts, Marla Mechelle, Daria Young Neal, Dorene (Reader), Natalia Sulca, Christina Alexander, Michele Crissinger (Bookgeekgrrl), Dana Fenwick, Denise Yvonne Wilson, Michelle Fenison, Delia Lamb, Marsha Kroeger, Arleatha Bryant, Cassandra Hunt, Kimberlee Stevenson (Blogger at Literary Courier), Kimberly Brewington, KM Cooper, Marilyn (@nefariousnautil), Monica A Johnson (Sistahfriends Book Club VP), Ruby D. Page (@pageruby), Karen Walker (#BlackWomenRead), Sarah O’Donnell, Linda M Amie, Karen B Walker (Reader of Romance), Linda Hill Chaney, Rita Smith, Toni Bonita Robinson (Public Relations for PWOC Book Club), Val L. (@vklfutura), Wanda Humphreys, Danielle Slaughter (@mamademics; Blog: Mamademics; IG: mamademics), Laura Schaefer (Reader), Toni Bonita (Avid reader, Reviewer), Gwendolyn E. Osborne, Margaret Webber, Evangeline Begay, Peggy Frank, Sonia Mines Lowry, Pamela Davenport, Jenn Winfrey (A devoted romance reader), Natalie Geist Iscoe (@natgeist), Rachael Howlett, Raimey Gallant (reader and Associate Member in good standing with RWA), Anabel García (Romance reader), Tasha Woodus, LaWanda Metcalfe, Lucy Christie, Stacy C, Dina Harding, Meshelle Howard, Valencia Abbott, A. Forney (@aol.com; lookatkali), Kameelah Waheed Wilkerson, Lena P. Neely, Valerie Moore, Nanette K, M Armstrong, Ditra Comer, Jennifer Copeland, Megan Straughan, Cathy Roberts, Liz Lynch, Heather L. Johnson, MJ Heather, Ursula Thomas, Angela Perry, Janie Duffy, Laura Lewis, LaJill Hunt (Reader and writer of romance), Shauna Wilson, Helen Jones, Chundy Wright, Gudrun Willett, Lynn Calvin (Romsfuulynn), Monica Kelley (BuyTheCoverBlog; Intrepid_bookstar), Lillian Douglas, Kyrene Femiani, Susan Hall Comrie (Reader of Romance), Allison Comrie (Reader of Romance), Annie Bonds, Caitlin Boon, Iris Bolling (Siri Austin Entertainment LLC), Aisha Wynter-Horton (Aisha Wynter-Horton), Lareeta Robinson (Reader of romance), Maggie Breese, Madeline Caldwell (WORD Brooklyn Romance Book Club Leader), Angelica Hope, Darlene Andrew, Maggie Foster, Sharon Roland (Concerned reader), Denise Williams Cherry, Dirdre Spruell, La Sheera Lee (Readyoulater), TClay, Sharon Robinson, Rachel Bray, Bridgette Grant, Jessica McFarland (@jlwmcfarland), Pam Smith, Tracy H, Alyson Marsalis, Kathy Schreier (@katies), Alta J Cannaday, Jennifer Kyles, Denise Anderson (Romance reader), Lisa May, Terri Stembridge, Cynta Outterbridge, Jacki Kelly (Reader; Author), Litaria P. McGowan, Patricia Jones, Monyca B, Nita Banks (@The__Book__Chick), Willie Lawrence, Nikki McCoy, Phyllis Crudup, Tina Gregory, Barbara A. Williams, Jamie Levine- Jordan, Mariana Fonseca, Rochelle Murray (Elley the Book Otter), Schreba Haynes, Julia S. (Romance reader for 25+ years), Denise Gizer, LaShon Hawkes, Rowena Winfrey, Sarah (@auroraline), Margaret Von Dolteren, Carla Drake, Ashley Drake, S. L. Chapman, Velicia Tillman Johnson, Concerned Reader, EJ Brock, Judy Ashley (Former writer, avid reader), Kinitra D Brooks, PhD (@k8dee16), Johnnetta C. Godbee (Romance reader), Sylvia Wolfe, Felicia Fowler, Rhonda Taylor (Reader), Johnathan William Royal, Linda Buckley, Velva Seay, L D Johnson, Kathy Hardy Jones (Avid reader and book purchaser), Caroline Jones, Kim Paynes, Marsha Ahlander, Jaime Bowen, Tamara Johnson, Shalan Shields (@magiromance; Magi Romance Blog and Podcast), Breanna Smith (Reader of Romance), Rachael Rothman-Kerr, Deborah Fortner, Jennifer Kendrick (@Currer813 on Twitter), Cassandra Durham, Danielle Johnson, Geraldine Harris-Hearn, Debra A Ross (Romance reader), Melanie V., Amber Nichole, Amber Nichole Nickens, Karen McDowell, Patsy Nelson (Avid Romance reader), Nicole, Shakir Rashaan, Tonya ‘Diva Shay’ Seals (Avid reader and poet), Pri, Brenda Mutcherson, Beth Medley (Beth Medley), Nikita Isaac, Natalie Mendoza, Toni Glasscoe, M. Francis Lamont, Lorraine McCall, Long Time Romance Reader, Ciji McBride, Yaz Quan (Prolific romance reader, purchase ~100 books), Brandyn Briley (Read and buy a LOT of books), Jay Howard, Monique Harris, Julaine Stone, C Cunningham, EC Sandifer (My mom showed me this. I’m apalled at RWA actions.), Severine Bryan (Avid reader who purchases over 100 books per year), Linda Rogers, Andrea B, Beverly Dummett, Raina Sanders (Cilla Bookmaniac), Victoria Kennedy, Kelly Gallucci, Rahab Amsterdam-Rich, Janis Clayborne, Honor R. Smith, Edwin Johnson, Lacey (@laceybooklovers; Booklovers For Life,), Christi Winters (@yahoo.com; Christiwinters), Shonique Greene, Celeste T. Williams, M.B.A., Triin, Tanya Johnson, Anna Lewis, Jenn, Lynne Bradley, Becca von Zweck, C.Gardner, Jeannette Amariles, Jo Werner, Denise Farmer (@so_many_books), Brandi Barens, Kai Leakes (@kaileakes; kaileakes.com; Author & avid reader), Martha Spearman Ruff a (Avid reader), Trenessa Williams, Angela, Angela Thomas Graves, J.G. Graves, Louise Thomas, Lissa Elhindi, Amanda T., DJ, Sharon A LeGrande, Nadja Trawick (Devoted, life long reader), Tomiko Womack aka Bella Rosa, Shirley Jones, Lakeia Henderson, and Gemma Morrison
Some parenthetical information has been edited for brevity, clarity, and consistency. A timestamped spreadsheet of each signature as entered can be found at http://bit.ly/ReadersRWAlettersignatures.