OCC has reached the quarter century mark, and now weâ€™re beginning our next climb to reach a half a century. That sounds so far off, but just look at what weâ€™ve accomplished over the past twenty-five years and how far weâ€™ve come. Before RWA was formed, there was no easy way to find reliable information about the craft of writing, or about editors, agents, publishing houses or fair treatment of authors. Or to even find other writers to share the joy, support, knowledge and passion of romance writing.
It took one hell of a strong lady to put the wheels in motion to change thatâ€”and her name is Rita Clay Estrada.
Last month, not only did we celebrate OCCâ€™s past presidents, we also honored Rita Clay Estrada with our chapterâ€™s Helping Hands industry award. Rita had a dream and followed through on it by starting Romance Writers of America. It was Ritaâ€™s vision that helped get this organization off the ground and soon led to the forming of the first local chapterâ€”our own Orange County Chapter twenty-five years ago. For that, she will always hold a special place in our hearts.
For any organization to exist for 25 years is a testament to its foundersâ€”the people who laid the base that OCC/RWA is built upon. But just as we value our long-time members and leaders with their experience and wisdom, we also value all of our newer members whose fresh energy and vision keep OCC young, healthy and strong. This energy is exemplified by our current board and committee members, all of whom devote so much time to OCC. Thank you!
Every board and every president that has served OCC has shared one common goalâ€”to help OCC members succeed. Obviously, no one person is responsible for OCCâ€™s past and continuing success. Rather, OCC is a chain of energy and generosity of spirit, passed on from one group to the next, year after year.
We have a slate of officers nominated to run for board positions for the coming year. We want to thank each of them for accepting the nominations. Not only do we have elected positions within our chapter, we also have many volunteer opportunities as well. Please think about stepping forward to volunteer your time and energy for our chapter. Whether youâ€™re a published author with lots of writing experience, or brand new to OCC, we value your input, your ideas, and your enthusiasm. Everyone take look around you and see if thereâ€™s a writing friend you can bring and encourage him or her to join so that they can reap the benefits of this wonderful organization.. We always have room to grow. We want to grow so that we can continue to bring you the outstanding programs youâ€™re accustomed to; so that we can capitalize on the media, advertising, Internet and myriad other opportunities available to promote our chapter and our published authors.
There is a reason each and every one of us has been drawn to OCC/RWA. Because, as Rita Clay Estrada said, we are all threads of the same beautifully woven tapestry. Because we are writers. Because we have something to say to the world. Because we have voices in our heads and need to be around others who are just as crazy and gifted and dynamic as we are! Writers understand other writers.
We have awesome plans for the future and growth of OCC. Your board members and volunteers are overflowing with innovative ideas for our chapter, our published authors, and our aspiring authors. Come each month and be an active part of OCC/RWA. Renew your membership and stay involved. Send us an email or call us on the phone and let us know what you like about the chapter, or any ideas you have to make things better. This is your chapter. Letâ€™s keep it alive and vibrant and growing for the next twenty-five years!