Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

388. RWA One Month Later: C. Chilove, Laurel Cremant, Diana Neal, The Officers of CIMRWA

Welcome to episode 388, and the first of a four-episode special event: RWA: One Month Later.

I recorded this episode on the 23 of January, one month to the date when a decision from Romance Writers of America was delivered to Courtney Milan informing her that due to an ethics complaint, she was being barred from leadership for her lifetime, and suspended from RWA for one year. If you were online, you might have seen some mention of it.

In that month, a LOT happened. And while some major changes have taken place, there’s also a lack of movement, and a lot to discuss. So I wanted to create a time capsule of sorts to capture where we are right now, and more importantly, feature the stories and perspectives of those who were most intimately involved.

Because of the timeliness of these episodes, I’m doing a special miniseries: I’m releasing this episode on 31 January. Tomorrow, February 1, I have an interview with past president HelenKay Dimon, and then, February 2, I have a conversation with Jessie Edwards, RWA’s Marketing and PR Manager. Finally, on February 3, I have an interview with Courtney Milan.

Today, I’m speaking with C Chilove, Laurel Cremant, and Diana Neal, the officers of CIMRWA, the Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America. They created a petition to recall the sitting president of RWA – twice – in the two weeks after the decision about Courtney Milan was made public by Alyssa Cole. Their petition was ultimately successful and led to the resignation of Damon Suede.

I am so excited for you to meet the officers of CIMRWA. We’re going to hear about what happened from their perspective, and hear what a great team they are. They are incredibly inspiring to listen to as they support one another. AND THEN we end with KDrama AND book recommendations because obviously.

Don’t forget, there are more episodes coming. Check your podcast feed on February 1, 2, and 3 for the next episodes in this special series on RWA: One Month Later.


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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

You can find CIMRWA at You can find out more about C Chilove and her books at, and you can find Laurel Cremant and her work at


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This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

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Add Your Comment →

  1. Barba Pomales says:

    Loved this podcast cant wait for the rest

  2. ReneeG says:

    These ladies are awesome and so much fun! Their dedication to writers, taking their personal and work time over the holiday to make shit happen, is admirable – they didn’t just talk about what needed to be done but went out and did it. These three are real leaders.

    This series is a great idea, Sarah. I tried to follow what was happening on twitter and on SBTB (thank heavens for all your links!) as it occurred, but getting an in-depth look at what went on behind the scenes by key actors is very cool and makes me geek out! I’m eagerly waiting for RWA to do something to make this right (starting off with apologies); hopefully this series will help kickstart the changes the association needs to make to become viable.

  3. Pamala says:

    Thank you for this!

  4. B says:

    I was listening to this episode and when you guys mentioned The Witcher, the reactions… I want a whole episode of discussing The Witcher please.

    Also the RWA mess has gotten such extensive coverage in the mainstream media, including podcasts like The Economist. Such a shame to have that kind of exposure and reputation for the whole community.

  5. Elise says:

    These ladies are fantastic, I love their relationship and the laughter, while making smart moves in all the soulsucking drama of RWA. I could listen to them every week.

  6. Stephanie Scott says:

    Thank you for this series! I have friends in CIMRWA who love the chapter and I’m glad the podcast gave them credit for the work being done to address systemic toxic attitudes in RWA. Too many times I’ve seen, especially on RWA’s own message forums, people saying we should stay to fix the organization and not leave it. Authors of color are actively doing this despite an organization that continually dismisses or harms them. Here is one more avenue members can’t ignore to show the direct work being done.

  7. This podcast brings me joy. I love these ladies. Thanks for all your amazing leadership and being an example how RWA is really supposed to be.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    While Colin Firth starred in an intoxicating version of “Pride and Prejudice”, I don’t remember him starring in any version of “Jane Eyre”. Did I miss something?

  9. CK says:

    Three really amazing ladies, they showed such leadership and performance under pressure. That’s incredible that they got all that done and still have day jobs and writing deadlines. Thank you for the interview!

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