I haven’t been an RWA (Romance Writers of America) member for about a decade. I haven’t entered the Rita for ages and ages. I don’t enter any contests. I don’t have a problem with them; I just don’t enter them.
The Rita is kinda/sorta odd in that anyone can enter, even non-RWA members. You plunk your $40.00 down (or however much it is now) and you are entered. If you’re a published author, however, you’re expected to judge, too, so you get a box of books and have to read and score them.
Then they tabulate all the scores and the resultant “winners” are called Rita finalists. Everyone who gets this far in the process gets a phone call. I actually got a phone call once, for Heaven Forbids. It still amuses me that a book featuring adultery was an RWA Rita finalist.
The day of the phone calls there is much flurry in the Force. Twitter goes nutso. Who got the call? Who got the call? Who got the call? Author boards go nuts.
This year, I was completely unaware that today was the day of the CALL. (That’s the bliss part.) Here is the list, if you’re interested.
Where the ignorance comes in is here: I’m a little shocked to realize I haven’t read one of these books.
How about y’all?