Highlighting RWA chapters
by Anita Learned
Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA) had their first official meeting August 22, 1987, with Denise Little presiding. Their first meeting took place at the Crystal Palace Pizza Restaurant on Inwood Road in Dallas. Charter member Pepper Durcholz presented a workshop titled “How to Enter and Win Contests.” The first newsletter was titled The Rogue. Yep, you guessed it, a lot of members were writing historical at that time.
The chapter moved around to various restaurants, women’s centers, Holiday Inn, and civic centers and was meeting at Collin County Community College Plano when the pandemic forced them into Zoom meetings.
On the fourth Saturday of every month since that first meeting, DARA provides a workshop for their authors on everything from branding, writing series, police procedures, poisons, GMC, POV, high concept, plotting, fast drafts, character development, sex scenes, advertising, etc. We strive to cover a variety of topics that will appeal to all of our writers at every level of their writing career.
DARA combines the November and December meetings and hosts an in-person holiday breakfast on the first Monday in December.
For multiple years, DARA hosted the Dreamin’ in Dallas conference, which was always successful. DARA has been home to many best-selling authors over the years. They have always been willing to assist and mentor the pre-published authors.
Any DARA member who publishes a book or short story through a publisher or via self-publishing channels is presented with a flower at our meeting to be kept in the vase until the December meeting, when all the flowers are returned to their authors. For a first sale, the author is gifted a white rose. For any subsequent sales, the author receives a pink rose. For romance anthologies/short stories or non-romance books, a carnation or suitable replacement flower is given.
Our monthly newsletter, now called DARA News, is filled with articles, member book releases, and member news. Each month, we have an Ask the Expert section on our private Facebook page, which showcases various author’s areas of expertise outside of writing.
We have a public Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DallasAreaRomanceAuthors, and our website is www.dallasarearomanceauthors.com.
We invite everyone to attend a meeting. If you’re a non-member, you can visit once per year for free, after that, it’s only $5.
If you’re interested in attending, please contact [email protected]