About Communities of Practice

RWA welcomes writers at all stages of their careers from the unpublished, to the "almost" published, to the published and the multipublished. In an effort to meet the needs of all its members, RWA has several Communities of Practice (CoP) which are communities of people who come together with a common interest to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.

Things to know about PAN and PRO:

  • The PAN and PRO communities of practice are a benefit of RWA membership. No additional dues are required.
  • PAN and PRO applications may be submitted through the RWA website and are typically approved within one to two weeks.
  • Belonging to PAN or PRO means no more proof of pursuit to maintain general membership, unless RWA membership lapses.
  • Both communities have forums for their members to network, ask questions, share information, etc.
  • Each community of practice has a retreat during the RWA National Conference. These are currently not recorded.
  • All members published (except with predatory publishers) in romance and whose book(s) are available for commercial sale are eligible for PAN.
  • Eligibility for PAN means the member is no longer eligible to be part of the PRO community.

About PRO

The purpose of the PRO Community of Practice is to establish within RWA a network of communication and support to effectively promote and protect the interests of romance writers in the areas between manuscript completion and PAN eligibility.

PRO focuses on the business side of writing rather than craft. To be eligible to join the PRO community, RWA members must sumbit an application and a digital copy of the qualifying work(s) to the RWA Office.

How to Join PRO

This program is available to any active General or Honorary member who: (1) is not PAN-eligible and (2) has one complete original work of romance fiction of at least 20,000 words, or multiple complete original works of romance fiction which combine for a total of at least 20,000 words.

To apply:

Active RWA members retain PRO status until PAN-eligibility is met. Lapsed RWA members seeking reinstatement must requalify for PRO under current standards.

E-mail Donna Mathoslah at donna.mathoslah@rwa.org with questions.

About PAN

Updated September 2015

The purpose of PAN (Published Authors Network) is to establish within the RWA framework a network of communication and support to effectively promote and protect the interests of published romance authors; to open channels of communication between those romance authors and other publishing industry professionals; and to encourage professionalism on all levels and in all relationships within the publishing industry.

Membership in the PAN Community of Practice is available only for active RWA members.

How to Join PAN

General PAN Membership: Any RWA General or Honorary member in good standing who has earned at least $1,000 on a single published Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella** shall be eligible for membership in PAN, provided however that works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify.

Provisional PAN Membership: Any RWA General or Honorary member who has (1) contracted for the publication of an Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella** for an advance of at least $1,000, but said work is not yet commercially available ("Option One"); or (2) published an Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella**, but not yet earned $1,000 ("Option Two") shall be eligible for provisional membership in PAN, provided however that works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify.

Proof of Publication

General PAN: To prove eligibility for PAN, the member must submit a copy of the qualifying work’s copyright page or a verifiable ASIN, ISBN, or other unique vendor product identification number to the Office, along with proof of earnings. Proof of earnings must reflect a single novel or novella. In the case of multiple-book contracts, or in the event royalty statement(s) show earnings on multiple books, the earnings on the qualifying novel or novella must be shown separately. Any percentage of earnings deducted by an agent shall still be considered earnings to the author; however, the pre-deduction figure must be reflected in the documentation. In the case of an advance, a copy of the contract page showing an advance of at least $1,000.

Provisional PAN Option One: A copy of the signature page of the contract shall be sent to the Office, along with either of the following: (1) copy of the contract page showing an advance of at least $1,000; or (2) letter from an acquiring editor stating that the author has earned at least $1,000 in the form of an advance.

Provisional PAN Option Two: A copy of the qualifying work’s copyright page, or a verifiable ASIN, ISBN, or other unique vendor product identification number. 

Provisional PAN Membership

Provisional PAN members may attend the PAN Retreat and subscribe to the PAN forum but may not hold a PAN office, chair a PAN subcommittee, nor vote in PAN elections. Upon providing proof to the Office that the all General PAN requirements have been met, the Provisional PAN member shall become a General PAN member.

PAN column in the Romance Writers Report

New PAN members will be listed in the New PAN column in the Romance Writers Report with the novel/novella that gained them PAN status.

If you are a debut romance author and would like to be listed in the Debut Author column in the Romance Writers Report, please complete the online submission form at https://www.rwa.org/debutauthor.

Terms

*Eligible Novel: a work of Romance Fiction of more than 40,000 words (as determined by computer word count) that is or has been commercially available.

**Eligible Novella: a work of Romance Fiction of 20,000-40,000 words (as determined by computer word count) that is or has been commercially available.

Romance Fiction or Romance means the work contains a central love story and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic. RWA staff reserves the right to challenge or contest where a book is Romance Fiction. In the event the classification of a novel as Romance Fiction is challenged or contested, it will be subject to a peer review panel. For purposes other than the RITA contest, a five-member peer review panel will be randomly chosen by the staff among members of PRO and PAN. The peer review panel will read the novel and make the final decision via majority vote as to whether it qualifies as Romance Fiction.

Predatory Publishing means a business based on selling products or services to authors rather than selling books to readers. Services or publishing packages offered by the entity are usually priced higher than similar services found in the open marketplace. Promises of mass-distribution, marketing services, or expertise in editorial, design and delivery of quality works made by Predatory Publishing companies are rarely fulfilled and often result in unsuccessful distribution or sales. This definition includes but is not limited to, publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties.

Addendum: The Board of Directors wishes to note that $1,000 in earnings reflects an extremely low number of sales (for example, at a cover price of $5.99 and with a 6% royalty rate, an author would earn $1,000 after selling only 2,782 copies). Therefore, the Board of Directors does not wish to suggest that $1,000 is a reasonable advance or, in fact, adequate for any purpose other than establishing a minimum standard of membership in PAN. Members must consider each offer they receive for their work and determine for themselves whether the offer and contract terms meet their career goals.