I’m in a pensive mood tonight.

The RITAs are the annual awards given out by the RWA (Romance Writers of America). That’s kind of a big deal, all around; there’s a lot of prestige attached to winning a Golden Heart. Romance being the genre that it is, I have just as much of a chance as a self-published writer as any other traditionally published writer.

I’m aware that this is not really usual, in other genres. Consider the Hugos, or the Nebulas; the corresponding awards of the SFWA (Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). I’ve never actually heard of any self-published author winning either, and the SFWA only started accepting self-published writers as members in 2015. It’s all very… political, I guess, is the best word.

I question whether I would even want to win an award for my writing, sometimes. I wonder whether I want to take part in that kind of competition. I’ve never desired any approval from my peers; I accepted, as a consequence of taking up this pen name, that I would always be divided and distant from them. I accept that the price of unfettered narrative is true anonymity.

Knowledge of the author makes things complicated. It changes how a piece of writing is read. Knowledge that a work has won awards changes how it’s read as well. I would rather my work be read as it is, with no bias or assumptions. I want it to be read freely, for pleasure.

I’d also prefer if people liked it and wanted to read more, but I don’t mind if it’s not liked.


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