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Putting Love On The Line.

African American romance writers convene and confer virtually

LaShaunda Hoffman lives for romance, but loves the power of the Internet. Unable to attend a Romance Writers of America conference, this Missouri native put her love on the line, established the Aspiring African American Romance WritersForum(www.delphi.com/ aaaromwriters), and sponsored an online conference complete with virtual workshops, book signings, writing contests, message boards and live chats frequented by seasoned authors (http:// members.xoom.com/aaaromwriter/. The overwhelming success of this cyberspace conference has sparked a live multicultural romance writer's conference scheduled for October 26-28, 2000. With a second virtual conference set to hit an online audience in 2001, romance is alive and well--especially on the Internet.

"The romance field is growing, particularly the multicultural genre," says Hoffman. The Internet has played a major role in this expansion. People can read about different books, meet their favorite authors in chat rooms, and buy books without leaving their homes. It's a blessing for romance writers."

Blessings aside, Hoffman discovered a lack of diversity in cyberspace. "I joined several online forums but was unable to find one that pushed romance writing for African Americans. I saw the need and set up this forum as a place for African American romance writers to meet." Because of the "blackout" on other online writing forums, Hoffman maintains, "I didn't choose the Internet. The Internet chose itself. My goal is for aspiring writers to learn the craft of romance writing and see that they are not alone in their quest for publication. We are blessed with the presence of published writers who venture online to answer questions, offer advice and share the ups and downs of the writing business."

Love lessons offered by established authors make this forum a haven for the aspiring writer, but a growing number of romance readers ably assist these writers in transition. "We truly benefit from them as well," beams Hoffman. "They provide feedback, tell us what they're looking for when buying and reading books, and we learn from them in order to make us better writers." As a growing number of romance writers put their love on the line, craft within this budding community is at an online high, membership is booming, and the Internet is responsible for the explosion.
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Title Annotation:romance novels
Author:Houser, Pat
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2000
Words:380
Previous Article:Mother-Daughter Reading Clubs.
Next Article:Links to Romance.
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