In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) held online elections for a completely new board of directors, including a new president, after the chaotic winter avalanche of bad decisions that resulted in almost all its board members either resigning voluntarily or by force over issues of racism and poor management. The results were announced on March 24th.
Best-selling author Alyssa Day, a former trial lawyer and the author of 45 novels, was elected president unopposed. Addressing her new term and the controversy that had preceded her election, she told Romance Daily News, "I'm honored to serve with the new members of the interim board of directors of Romance Writers of America. My touchstone throughout this process will be this: We cannot change the past, but we can reinvent the future. We must make RWA the organization that members deserve—one that makes diversity, equity, inclusion, and access issues central to our core mission of education and advocacy for the success of our members and our industry."
The new RWA secretary is C. Chilove, who previously served as the president of the Cultural, Interracial and Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of the RWA. E.J. Russell ran unopposed for treasurer.
Twelve new directors-at-large were also elected: LaQuette, Siera London, Skye Warren, Anna Zabo, Veronica Forand, Lisa Kessler, Jessa Slade, Amy Quinton, Avery Flynn, Nikki Sloane, Elizabeth Schechter and Leslie Hachtel.
Annag MacCallum will be the new PRO Advisor, which is composed of RWA members who have written a manuscript but not yet been published.
One of the first issues the board will have to deal with is whether or not to have the annual RWA convention, which is slated for July in San Francisco. Right now, San Francisco is under lock down as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, as is much of the United States, with airlines and hotels out of commission, as well as most of the American population out of work, so we’ll have to see if that conference can happen at that time.