Saturday, August 01, 2015

August President's Message

Greetings OCC!

I’m told that the meeting in July was fantastic! I wish I could have been there but family obligations kept me from it. I know that Annette Macias and Elizabeth Scott did a wonderful job of leading the meeting. This month we will have Collette Cameron in the Morning and Afternoon. The morning session will consist of: Regencies-The Importance of Historical Accuracy. The afternoon session she will speak on: Published/Unpublished: Not Your Traditional Regency.

The RWA 2015 Conference was a blast. There was a lot of information to take in but so worth it. It was wonderful to tell people what chapter I’m from and to hear them give praises about OCC. They know us and had nothing but nice things to say, means that we are a chapter to be proud of. The points of interest for me to bring back to you all were the following items, summarized by Nikki Enlow Chapter Liaison from RWA:

The RWA Board of Directors had a productive meeting in New York, July 19–20. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

• The Board of Directors plans to vote to approve a dues increase effective January 1, 2016.

• The Board revised the qualifications for membership in the Published Authors Network, which will become effective September 1. Any General or Honorary member who has earned at least $1,000 on a single published Eligible Novel or Novella shall be eligible for membership in PAN (works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify). The Board also revised the qualifications for Provisional PAN membership: Any General or Honorary member who has contracted for the publication of an Eligible Novel or Eligible Novella for an advance of at least $1,000, but said work is not yet commercially available; or (2) published an Eligible Novel or Eligible Novella, but not yet earned $1,000, shall be eligible for provisional membership in PAN (works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify).

• The 2016 RITA and Golden Heart contest rules were approved. Preliminary round judges will still be required to answer two questions in addition to assigning an overall score; the questions mirror language in RWA’s definition of Romance Fiction: “Does the entry contain a central love story?” and “Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?”

• The RITA Paranormal Romance category description was changed to: Novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot. And the word “love” was added to the category description for Erotic Romance: Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).

• The Board amended the policy definition of “Subsidy” or “Vanity” Publishers. The terms “Subsidy” or “Vanity” Publishers have been replaced with “Predatory Publishing,” which means a business model based on selling products or services to authors rather than selling books to readers. Services or publishing packages offered by the entity are usually priced higher than similar services found in the open marketplace. Promises of mass-distribution, marketing services, or expertise in editorial, design and delivery of quality works made by Predatory Publishing companies are rarely fulfilled and often result in unsuccessful distribution or sales. This definition includes, but is not limited to, publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties.

• The Board approved policy and funding for milestone recognition pins (5, 10, 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100 commercially available romance novels/novellas).

• The Board approved funds to implement RWA website user interface improvements.

• Golden Heart and RITA finalists and winners shall receive digital medallions for use on their website and finalist/winner book.

• The Board formed a task force to investigate the feasibility of the formation of a charitable 501(c)3 foundation to be affiliated with RWA.

• The Board established a diversity ad hoc committee.

• The Board created a task force to evaluate PAN and PRO’s function and benefits.

If you need more in depth information it can be found at the website.

This year’s October Birthday Bash! The theme will be Once Upon a Time. We’re hoping everyone will join us in costume with his or her favorite fairytale character. More information will be shared later.

OCC needs volunteers! We can’t function without you, so please…please volunteer. It is rewarding, believe you me. The job as president and programs is a volunteer position and I have loved every bit of it. There are plenty more positions that need to be filled and can be made into committees so that one person isn’t doing it alone.

Mary Kozlowski has decided to step down as coordinator of the online classes. Please if you’d like to takeover get in touch with Mary and let her know.

Decorating Committee (Programs), Ways and Means (Programs), Welcoming Committee (Secretary and Membership), and online class moderators contact Mary Kozlowski @

Bash info:

If you’d like to help Marie Loggia-Kee (Louisa Bacio) with the pajama parties please contact her. Also Tari Porter Jewett is head of the decorating for the Bash if you can help her with decorating I’m sure she’d love it.

We’re also looking for fresh new articles on craft and the business of writing for the blog and the newsletter. In addition, we’d like to celebrate special days with you such as your birthday or anniversaries. If you’d care to submit those items please send them to Annette Macias. You can contact Annette Macias ( ) for articles for the newsletter and Marianne Donley ( ). If interested please get hold of anyone on the board and we will steer you in the right direction.

Once again, my fellow authors thank you for all that you do and your commitment to OCC RWA where our motto is: “One hand reaching forward, one hand reaching back, in a continuing chain.”


Nichelle Scott-Williams

Aka Nikki Prince