Saturday, May 2, 2015


by Chapter President Ursula Renée

Chantal glanced across the room at Ahmal. His eyes did not sparkle with humor; the corners of his mouth did not twitch; and the lines in his face remained smooth. There was no hint as to whether or not he had been joking. But, surely he could not be serious.

Yes, he was fearless and craved adventure like an infant carved its mother’s breast. But, no one was foolish enough to go after the least, not single-handedly, with nothing more than his wit and charm. To do so would be suicidal. For, if the beast did not kill him, she would.

To ensure they were keeping to their mission of advancing the professional interests of career focused romance authors, Romance Writers of America (RWA) revised the rules for General Members. To prove serious intent, a member should either be in PAN or PRO; have published a work of romance fiction of at least 20,000 words or multiple works of romance fiction that have a combine for a total of at least 20,000 words; or complete a work of romantic fiction of at least 20,000 words or complete multiple works of romantic fiction of that have a combine total of at least 20,000.

Since changing their requirements, RWA set out to help members reach their goals by creating The End. The goal of the challenge is to write at least 2,000 words every month from February to December. Individuals who complete the challenge each month will have at least 22,000 words written by the end of the year. This is 2,000 more words that are needed to prove serious intent.

With jobs, family and life obligations getting in the way if our writing, 2000 words may seem like a lot. However, it works out to approximately 67 words a day. A more adventurous person could round this number up to the 100 words.

So, what exactly does 100 words look like? The total word count for the first two paragraphs is 102 words. They were typed on a cell phone while waiting for my breakfast to be prepared at a diner. It is not the most riveting piece of literature written, but it is something. And, as people will continue to say, over and over and over again…you can’t edit a blank page.

Participants can join a loop, where they are cheered in by other members. They can also sign up to receive daily motivational emails from established authors. Finally, each month, everyone who completes the challenge is entered into a raffle.

RWA/NYC not only encourages members to participate in the challenge, they hosts monthly write-ins and bi-monthly critique meetings to help individuals reach their goals. We also cheer members who participate in NaNoWriMo, which takes place in November, and the CampNaNoWriMo events held during the spring.

While RWA is there to help advance the professional interests of its members, they cannot write the works for the authors. It is up to the individual to determine her goals then make the commitment to achieve them.

Thanks to the support and encouragement of the members of RWA/NYC, Ursula signed her first publishing contract in 2013 for her historical romance, SWEET JAZZ. As President of RWA/NYC, Ursula wants to offer the same encouragement and guidance to other RWA members.  Visit her at 

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