Booksquare reports that The Romance Writers of America have passed a new rule barring the national and chapter websites from linking to authors with certain objectionable images or words on their bookcovers or on their sites/blogs.
… it’s pretty clear
the Board has never once, in their entire lives, taken a gander at the average
romance novel cover. If so, they’d realize they have just eliminated 99.9% of
With respect to all RWA programs and services, the following shall not be
depicted or represented: exposed male and female genitalia, exposed female
nipples, cunnilingus and fellatio, hands or mouth covering naked female breasts,
naked or g-string-clad buttocks, and beastiality. The following words: cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, will not be
The president of RWA has clarified this regulation, saying this means (and we
. . .if we wish to retain our charter with RWA, we will no longer be able to
show jacket covers that don’t meet the standard and we can’t even link to the
websites of those authors who might show their own covers, have excerpts that
include certain language, or lead to the publisher’s website.”
So if their rules say they can’t link to any site that has the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit and tit, then they can’t even publish this rule on their own site since, by definition, it means printing the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit.
That said, I’d like to belong to any writers organization progressive enough to have the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit in their rules for anything. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a rule in the Mystery Writers of America or the Writers Guild that includes the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, but I think there should be. Imagine what DEADWOOD would be like without the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit. Or Harry Potter. Or our National Anthem.
You can’t use the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, but it’s okay to use the following words and phrases instead:
his throbbing maleness, adoring his gargantuan manhood, heavenly cave
of feminine delight, give me some of that hot monkey love, butt hole pirate, poop,
and swelling bosom.
I guess they won’t be linking to my site. I don’t use the words cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, but I’ve got a big Dick on the cover of most of my books.
UPDATE : My brother Tod has some thoughts about this new rule, too, the one that forbids certain images and words like cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, though he doesn’t use cock,
cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit anywhere in his post (which is a word that, incidentally, is an acceptable alternative for cock)
25 thoughts on “Is that a new RWA rule in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”
Hee! Delightfully funny! A genre designed for sexual fantasy decides to censor sexual language and imagery!
Her heaving BLEEPS thrust outward against her bodice, BLEEPS hard with BLEEP, and even as he watched her his BLEEP grew rock hard with BLEEP.
“BLEEP me,” she gasped BLEEPINGLY.
“Only if it doesn’t lead to dancing,” he answered.
So I guess we won’t be seeing George Carlin MCing an RWA get-together anytime soon?
Great, you made me cry. 😉
Your whole post is incredibly funny, but I love the pun at the very end. *grins*
Such a laugh I am having. Great work. You know though that showing DICK’s on the covers are permissable according to them. HAHHA – very funny stuff. and how hypocritical of them.
Between PBW’s post on For The Good Of Love, and your take, I can hardly breathe for laughing. I’m proud to say, this was the icing on the cake for me. No more conferences, no more membership. I’ll be using any words I want on my site AND in my books, thanks much!
They didn’t include fucktard so the brothers Goldberg still have that to throw out.
I’m with Alison–I let my RWA membership lapse last fall and now I know why. This is the epitome of irony.
LOL! I think the humorous posts on this subject are better than the serious ones.
I love this line from the RWA. Shades of “Minority Report!”
“we can’t even link to the websites of those authors who might show their own covers …”
So you better be so clean that they don’t even *suspect& you of thinking those naughty naughty words.
And since when has *any* romance novel depicted beastiality? Do supernatural romances involving werewolves count? Dirty minds want to know.
I guess RWA can’t link to their own site either then since the forbidden words:cock, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit will be posted in their rules there. As a matter of fact any site that is within guidelines and puts up a link to RWA is therefore now ineligible because they are now linking to a site that has the words cock, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit in them, which virtually means that 100% of all sites have been can’t be linked to, unless of course the sites that do comply don’t link back to RWA in which case, why are they spending so much money to be a member?
Technically speaking, yes. The reference to ‘bestiality’ (I prefer to the correct spelling here, rather than RWA’s incorrect spelling of ‘beastiality’) does seem to be in reaction to published Erotic Romance books where the werewolf hero makes love to the human heroine while in his wolf shape.
As if real life isn’t bizaree enough.
Lee, a question, if I may: Do you get royalties for using those words here? Wow. I thought I was reading a twisted version of “Scarface” with Pacino.
I’ve gotta take a closer look at your book covers!
With respect to all RWA programs and services, the following shall not be depicted or represented: exposed male and female genitalia, exposed female nipples, cunnilingus and fellatio, hands or mouth covering naked female breasts, naked or g-string-clad buttocks, and beastiality. The following words: cock, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, shit, and tit, will not be displayed.
Note the use of “and” in this rule. The way this is written allows male genitalia in the absence of female genitalia and vice versa; cunnilingus in the absence of fellatio and vice versa; exposed nipples in the absence of a mouth or hand-covered mammary (and vice versa); a hand-covered female breast in the absence of either a naked or a g-string-clad buttock; “beastiality” in the absence of any one of the previously noted actions or body parts; and indeed any grouping of several of the above-noted body parts and actions in the absence of any one of them.
I also noticed the absence of any prohibition on necrophilia, pedophilia, anilingus, cockfighting and mullet haircuts–only the last of which I have ever seen on the cover of a book.
RWA can’t “ban” my site
where I have two Loose Id eroticas listed under the pen name Beatrice Brooks. One cover shows a woman having an orgasm, and I didn’t see the word “orgasm” listed as a no-no. The other cover depicts a man who looks like James Dean. That’s probably because the title of the book is “James Dean and the Moonlight Madness Sale.” Oh, shoot. Both books have the word “fuck” in their excerpts.
Hey what about male nipples? If we can’t show female nipples then it seems to me, we shouldn’t be showing male nipples either.
My head hurts from laughing so hard. Great post and too many great comments.
YEAH, I’M HERE
Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, Lee has a potty mouth! (tee hee hee)
Didn’t George Carlin write this bit 40 years ago?
Hmmmm, wonder if RWA has told Harlequin that they can’t link to their new SPICE line or Harlequin Blaze. . .
Having been the target of book banners before, this just blows my mind. (Can I use the word ‘blows’??? Or is that off limits? *koffs*). Love your post on it. And yeah, guess I’d better make sure my publisher keeps dead bodies off my covers…never know when the MWA will follow suit. ~grins~
That both sucks and blows. Maybe I *should* have titled my book The Stone Erection instead of Stone Prince. Damn! Missed the boat on that one.
“… Erotic Romance books where the werewolf hero makes love to the human heroine while in his wolf shape”
Adds a new dimension to “Beauty and the Beast.” Thanks Barbara K., you’ve clued me into a romance subculture I didn’t know existed. But, then, I just heard about Emma Holly’s books recently. I can’t wait to tell my wife about *this* development.
I can’t wait to see this leak over into the mystery field.
A little censorship is good for a writing organization. After losing half their membership, it’ll help similar organizations in clarifying their by-laws.
Coming up: the SFWA refuses to link to member authors’ websites if their cover has anything that looks like chicks in Chyna-esque (WWE) outfits. After these messages. *~)
Wait wait wait. What about something like “and the cock crowed three times”? So you can’t even, like, quote the Bible in a romance now? And there goes my idea of serializing HBO’s “Deadwood” as romance novels….