Thursday, October 7, 2021

REMEMBERING IRENE WEISSMAN

Irene Weissman
If you knew Irene Weissman as I did, you couldn’t help but love her. She had an irrepressible laugh, a great sense of humor, a warmth, and a quick wit which she maintained long into her later years. 

Born into a family of Russian immigrants, Irene was named for Irene Dunne. She told me that there were many doctors in her family including a great aunt who challenged the anti-Jewish and anti-women regulations for women doctors at that time in Russia. The story which she relayed would have made a good movie, and I wish that she would have written it.

However, Irene’s heart was set on becoming a teacher. She was devastated when she learned that it wasn’t possible due to her hearing disability. That was truly a shame, because Irene would have been a fine teacher. 

As one of the charter members of the New York City chapter of RWA, Irene Weissman contributed her time and talent to working for the chapter in a myriad of ways, from helping to distribute flyers at a national conference, to offering to read and critique in writers’ groups, attending and helping to set up several writers’ conferences, and being supportive of her fellow members. She brought a bubbly personality and enthusiasm to the group, and I felt fortunate to have known her as a member.

We attended writers’ conferences in New York City and New Jersey, and we went to the New York City RWA chapter’s first writers’ retreat in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. The weekend provided both a respite, a social time, and a chance to work or at least plan our writing.

While I worked on a woman’s fiction about a young Irish immigrant, Irene worked on her historical romance set in the Edwardian era in New York City. As many writers do, we bounced story ideas with one another. She often gave me suggestions on the writing, but her most sage advice seemed to be on life. You need to find the joy in life, and to be able to laugh is important. I had been going through a rough patch at the time, and that really lifted my spirits.

Age seemed irrelevant with Irene. In fact, I never knew how old Irene was, so when she told me I was truly impressed and inspired because she had so much youthfulness despite being in her nineties at that time. She came to the writers’ conferences, the after conference parties, and had everybody at her table laughing with her funny lines. She seemed to have a smile for everyone, and her fancy haberdashery seemed to garner attention, particularly from young men. I loved her wide brimmed sailor hat and her vintage style hats which all looked good on Irene.

It meant a lot to me when she came to my first book signing for my first published book, Angels Among Us, at the Nutley Public Library in New Jersey, and to a reading from my book Sacred Fires, which I did at one of our chapter meetings. She also helped me to set up a book fair at the New Jersey RWA conference sometime ago. Always offering words of encouragement and suggestions for getting publicity, Irene was one of my favorite fans and a good friend. 

For a time, I would meet Irene for luncheons at restaurants in Manhattan, but when she grew too frail for such outings, I along with fellow chapter member, Carolyn Gibbs, would visit her at her apartment. We would bring sandwiches, soups, and dessert. It meant so much to her and to us. Unfortunately, when COVID struck last year, it became impossible to meet in person, though we stayed in touch by phone. We were to celebrate her 100th birthday in 2020, but couldn’t because of the pandemic, and then we hoped that she’d make it the next year and we could celebrate in April 2021, but she passed just two days shy of her 101st birthday.

According to her obituary, “Irene led a full and active life, embracing many interests, including singing, writing, Tai Chi, and OATS, as well as the New York Amateur Computer Club, on which she served as a member of the Board of Directors. 

I imagine that there must have been a big celebration for Irene Weissman in heaven, and that her beloved husband, brother, and parents who passed long before she did, were there to celebrate with her. I also think that our friend Michael J. Powazinik, chapter president in 2000  - 2004, who passed away in 2008, would be giving our Irene a big hug. Kathryn Hayes, a founding mother and first chapter secretary, would be there, too, to exchange stories and laughter.

There was no one quite like Irene Weissman with her stylish hats and fashionable accessories, keen wit, storytelling, and fun-loving nature. She will be missed. God bless Irene. 

Submitted by: Cathy Greenfeder

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

SEPTEMBER 11 -- CHAPTER MEETING & HISTORICAL ROMANCE PANEL (via zoom)


AGENDA

 

12:00pm – RWANYC Chapter Business Meeting

 

12:30pm – Author of the Month 

 

1:00pm –  HISTORICAL ROMANCE PANEL  


SPEAKERS: Ruth Casie and Piper Huguley

MODERATOR: Ursula Renée


 

RUTH A. CASIE
is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages and have earned her several coveted Crowned Heart Awards. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. Visit her at https://ruthacasie.com/.




Named in 2015 as a top ten historical romance novelist in Publisher's Weekly, PIPER HUGULEY is the author of the Reconstruction era "Home to Milford College" series. She is a 2013 & 2014 Golden Heart finalist for two novels in the "Migrations of the Heart" series about the Bledsoe sisters and set in the early twentieth century. Visit her at https://piperhuguley.com.





URSULA RENEE
crafts stories with diverse characters who must question their beliefs to find their happily-ever-after. She prefers the early to mid-twentieth century, when people began challenging society's conventions and expressing their individuality. Lacking the funds necessary to build a time machine to explore the past, Ursula utilizes her grandmother's stories of growing up in North Carolina and moving to New York as a young wife and mother. She also refers to the papers her great-aunt hoarded for years. Ursula loves to travel and hopes to visit every state in the union. After each adventure she returns to New York where she lives with her son, two cats, a betta and an indoor garden that allows her to enjoy foliage all year around. Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.


#WRITEROMANCE 

#READROMANCE






Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BIG APPLE CONTEST CLOSES AUGUST 31, 2021

 RWA/NYC's Big Apple Contest closes Tuesday, August 31.


Contest is open to writers with unpublished manuscripts in all romance genres.  

The contest is diverse and inclusive.

Digital entries only.   Submissions are First Chapters (up to 25 pages).

First round judges are published members of RWA.


Final judge is Heather Howland, Co-Founder of Entangled Publishing.  

For full guidelines and entry fees, click here.

Or visit RWA/NYC at www.rwanyc.com.






WRITE ROMANCE
READ ROMANCE

Monday, June 7, 2021

JUNE 16 -- Q&A SESSION WITH ADORES / CARINA PRESS

 

JUNE Q&A SESSION

Wednesday, June 16

6pm  EST

 

  


Q&A WITH ADORES / CARINA PRESS

Associate Editor Stephanie Doig

 


Carina Press launched its new line Adores in January 2020 for contemporary LGBTQ+ romances. It’s publishing one new book per month, although they launched with two. They will be promoting the Adores line differently than they do the other Carina Press lines.  They are creating brand awareness and are looking for diverse voices and own voices for the line.  For more information, visit Adores here.  

 To submit your story to Adores, visit here.  

 #READROMANCE

 

Friday, June 4, 2021

JUNE 5 -- CHAPTER MEETING & LGBTQ ROMANCE PANEL

 

JUNE CHAPTER MEETING

Saturday, June 5, 2021

 

 

12:00pm – RWANYC Chapter Business Meeting

 

12:30pm – Author of the Month… Jean Joachim

 

1:00pm – Speakers Panel:   How to Write LGBTQ Romance

 

Speakers:  V.L. Locey, Catherine Maiorisi and Jodi Payne

Event Moderator: Maria Cox

 



V.L. Locey is a USA Today Bestselling Author penning LGBTQ hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures. She loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who/Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and one Jersey steer. When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. Visit her at http://vllocey.com/

 



Catherine Maiorisi is an accidental romance writer. Until she wrote a short story to create the backstory for the love interest in her NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli mysteries, Catherine had never read any romance and hadn't considered writing it. To her surprise, "The Fan Club" turned out to be a romance and was included in the Best Lesbian Romance of 2014 edited by Radclyffe. Since then Catherine has published four lesbian romance novels--Matters of the HeartNo One But YouReady for Love and Taking a Chance on Love-and four romance short stories. The Disappearance of Lindy James, a family drama coming November 2021, takes the characters in Taking a Chance on Love beyond the HEA. Catherine is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and The Golden Crown Literary Society. Visit Catherine on Facebook as Catherine Maiorisi, on Twitter at @CathMaiorisi and on her website www.catherinemaiorisi.com.


  

Jodi Payne takes herself way too seriously and has been known to randomly break out in song. Her men are imperfect but genuine, stubborn but likable, often kinky, and frequently their own worst enemies. They are characters you can't help but fall in love with while they stumble along the path to their happily ever after. For those looking to get on her good side, Jodi's addictions include nonfat lattes, Malbec and tequila any way you pour it. Visit her at https://jodipayne.net/



#READROMANCE



Monday, May 10, 2021

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 – Q&A WITH WOMAN’S WORLD MAGAZINE



Q&A SERIES

Wednesday, May 19
7pm EST via zoom




 
Our May guest is 
Alexandra Pollock
Senior Features Editor at Woman’s World magazine. 

Alex is a senior features editor at Woman’s World magazine and FIRST for Women magazine, specializing in real life stories, celebrity features and fiction. Before joining the team at Bauer Media, she received her MFA in Poetry and Translation from Drew University and published her own poetry in several anthologies. Combining her technical skills and her love of contemporary fiction, she is currently working to curate fictional romance stories for an upcoming special interest publication (set to be released by Bauer Media Group later in the year) and recently spearheaded the creation of a digest-sized puzzle book featuring fictional mystery stories previously published in Woman’s World. She currently resides in Englewood, New Jersey and is an avid reader, interior decorator and dog lover. 


#WriteRomance
#WomansWorld



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

APR 21 (Wed) -- Q&A with Sourcebooks' Editorial Director Deb Werksman

 

RWANYC is excited to host Deb Werksman, Editorial Director for Sourcebooks Casablance on Wednesday, April 21, at 7pm EST via zoom. It’s a one-hour Q&A with no holds barred.  


Deb previously ran her own publishing company, and is the country's foremost editor of Jane Austen sequels, and acquires single title romance in all subgenres, as well as historical and women's fiction. Sourcebooks is the country's largest woman-owned independent publishing house, and they are known for their sales and marketing, as well as our focus on building authors' careers.

 Learn more about Deb here:  https://www.sourcebooks.com/deb-werksman.html

 Visit Sourcebooks here:  https://www.sourcebooks.com/


#WriteRomance

#ReadRomance