On the Committee 2019: RWA U

Volunteers help our organization thrive! In this month's "On the Committee" feature, we're spotlighting our RWA U committee, which curates educational programming. Committee Chair Tracey Livesay details all the amazing features the committee has rolled out and what's still to come for members this year. 

Tell us a little about you:

My name is Tracey Livesay and I’m chair of the RWA University (RWA U) committee. I’m the past President and Secretary of Virginia Romance Writers and I was also the Contest Coordinator for our unpublished manuscript contest, Fool for Love. 

Why did you want to be on this committee?

Honestly? I was asked! LOL Several years ago, when it was called the Education committee, I was approached to participate. I didn’t know much about the committee but I was happy to volunteer for the national organization. There’s a lot going on in RWA now, (it’s not without its issues and faults) but I know, without a shadow of the doubt, that I wouldn’t be where I am without all the resources RWA makes available to its members or the wonderful and inspiring people I’ve met along the way.

What does the RWA U committee do?

The RWA U Committee coordinates, plans, and oversees educational programs for the RWA membership. I like to think of it as planning a yearlong schedule of continuing education for our members. I’m an attorney, so I immediately thought of CLEs—Continuing Legal Education courses—something attorneys have to complete every year. 

What is the committee working on and can members help? 

Oh my God, grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair! Where to begin? 

I’ve been so proud to be a part of this committee. I’ve worked with the most dedicated and creative group of people. We came into this year with the stated goal of making RWA U the primary educational resource for the RWA membership. We’ve created and curated a breadth of information, dispersed in new and exciting formats:

We offer Two-Minute Tips, which are short video segments featuring topics ranging from writing synopses to preparing for conference, to a recent four part series on brand marketing; 

We’ve released monthly Productivity Podcasts, (which can now be found on all the platforms where you get podcasts) featuring a diverse group of authors discussing their advice on being more efficient; 

We have Author Survival Guides, that offer 1-2 page at-your-fingertips resources on topics such as creating a business plan and planning a book launch;

We’ve offered several 101 Webinars, that are basic introductions to topics, such as Category Romance, Using Your Backlist and Audiobooks; 

We’ll be releasing a series on Writing Tools, where we’ll give the members  pros and cons on different tools authors use in their career, like desks, back up (saving) options and tools that help with focus and attention; and finally,

We’ll be releasing a series of webinars specifically for Libraries and Bookstores that would improve our relationship with them and offer them resources to help promote and sell our work. Examples include Cataloging and How to Make Books Discoverable and Building Your Indie Bookstore Romance Collection.  

We’ve worked very hard to create a resource to answer all of our members’ questions and to respond to their needs, but the true strength of this organization lies in its members. If there’s anything you’d like to see, or any educational services you’d like to offer, please feel free to contact me at tracey@traceylivesay.com.