By Kathy Carpenter
Forty years ago, February of 1982, Romance Writers of America was introduced to San Diego. With five founding members, local chapter RWA San Diego was established. Through championing the romance genre, the national organization brought romance to the forefront, legitimizing romance writing throughout the writing industry.
Today is a different era. At the national level, Romance Writers of America has experienced several rough years, as many other organizations have suffered, losing nearly sixty percent of its membership. Between the attrition at the national level, the pandemic, and a myriad of other reasons, our local membership levels have also dropped.
In order to return RWA San Diego to a strong and thriving organization, members voted to disaffiliate from the parent organization. Although RWASD was once a chapter of RWA, we are independently incorporated in the state of California as a not-for-profit 501c(6) organization and elected to change our name to Southern California Romance Writers (SoCalRW).
A fresh start while still maintaining many of the RWASD traditions and standards. In January of 2022, Southern California Romance Writers came into existence. With the start of this new era we have a new name, a new meeting place, and a new meeting date. The second Saturday of each month you can find SoCalRW at the Marina Village Convention Center.The format is the same with quality high caliber speakers, support and encouragement, the exchange of writing tips and information, with our focus on what we need as writers to learn, thrive, and grow.
As always, all writers are welcome at SoCalRW meetings. Although our focal point is romance writing, we welcome all genres. We feel good fiction is good fiction, and good technique is good technique. Plot, characterization, dialogue, etc., is relevant to all fiction writers. The support of this group is unmatched.
Over the years, we have welcomed members from many areas of Southern California. Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, in addition to San Diego, are a few of the areas our members are from. Currently, our board of directors includes members residing in San Diego, Las Vegas, Lake Arrowhead, and Canyon Lake. As with all genres, all locations are encouraged to check us out. Our commuting members have always found the trip worth the effort.
Southern California Romance Writers opens our doors to all writers no matter what stage they are at in their writing. Beginner or multi-published author, we serve everyone. Like many organizations struggling over the last few years, Southern California Romance Writers are regrouping and rebuilding. We come from a strong foundation, and look at this new era as an opportunity to thrive.
Our February meeting, Celebrating 40 Years of Romance in San Diego, is 2/12/2022 and will concentrate on Sprints and Shares. A time for you to get words on the page, share news, and find support for your writing.
For more information on the Southern California Romance Writers, check out https://socalrw.com/ and come join us for a meeting soon.