Romance Report
August 26 – September 1, 2019

R

One day in Romancelandia lasts approximately 1.3 Earth years. Now imagine a week. To help you keep up, we’ve gone through the tweets about last week’s highs (and lows) of representation in romance to bring you our Weekly Romance Update.

These are tweets from or about BIPOC, LGBTQIAP+, and/or otherwise underrepresented writers, reviewers, and list curators. If you don’t already, please follow these accounts and be sure to always retweet the original post.

[Azalea] breaks down how publishers’ submission guidelines for historical romance are coded to exclude authors of color. It takes more than “we take all well written manuscripts” to diversify publishing.

That means many stories about people of color in historical settings misrepresent and exotify people of color and their cultures.

And do further harm by othering the already othered.

Or erase those with multiple underrepresented identities, which Adriana wrote about this week.

This is why making space for authors of color is so important, which means readers need to be intentional about diversifying their TBR lists. Fangirlish did this recently.

You should also look through this list of 52 recommendations Jazmen made to close out #BlackRomanceMatters week.

And #ReadLatinx with picks from this list of 90 upcoming releases by Latinx authors, including some of our most anticipated romances.

Or help Mina make this a reality because 10/10 Sparks would read.

Because when you begin to read diversely, we get moments like this.

But more than reading diversely, we need to work to dismantle “the white supremacist fantasy world [historical romance has] created and continued to perpetuate.”

As Seressia says, sometimes history lies, and we perpetuate those lies by silencing marginalized voices.

But if writers continue to write outside their own experience, they need to do more than just research (and, to be clear, they DO need to research). They need to hire sensitivity readers (hire as in pay for the emotional labor). Both are critical.

Of course, we have to talk about “that” article, but we won’t link to it. If you haven’t read it, Melissa Coy has provided screenshots. Instead, you can also read romance or save the world (or both) because we can care about more than one thing.

Do, however, read Nalini’s response, which proves why she is one of our queens.

And Pink Heart Society wants to know what you’ve been doing while the Amazon burns (and for you to donate to WWF).

And if any more too-clever-for-romance writers have another hot take, they can just use Tasha’s template for romance think pieces.

In the meantime, people around the world will continue to read romance.

And wait patiently for this as we are very intrigued.

Admin Jen 👻 tweeted this article about the bierasure experienced by queer people in straight relationships. What are some romances that get this right?

We posted an update earlier this week in response to questions people had about the Representation in Romance list we’re building.

Authors can submit their information at bit.ly/RSJAuthorEntry

We hope you have a week filled with books and joy and all the good things! And if we have missed anything important, please let us know. Our DMs are open. You can also submit anonymous feedback at bit.ly/RSJfeedback.

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