Florida Romance Writers, Inc. all began with a note and a phone call. When aspiring romance writer Sally Schoeneweiss (aka Sally Fairchild) moved to Miami in the early 1980s, she learned a newly published romance author also lived there–Heather Graham Pozzessere. Sally’s note to Heather resulted in a call, and before long, the two writers met for lunch.
One lunch led to regular meetings at a local restaurant as the two women discussed their new careers. And each time they met, a new writer seemed to discover them. The luncheon group expanded to include Vi Graham Sherman, Joan Johnston, Rita Nicole, Sharon Lee, Sandra Dewar, Tuni Coolidge, Sherry Woods, Diane Plasencia, Beverly Sommers, and Maureen Reynolds. This group soon began laying the foundation for a Southeast Florida chapter of Romance Writers of America® (RWA).
Florida Romance Writers, Inc. (FRW) came into official existence on September 4, 1986, and published its first newsletter by May 1987.
At the time of FRW’s formation, most members couldn’t afford to travel to the National Conference to meet other writers, editors, and agents. This small group of penny-conscious writers–with seventy-five dollars in the treasury–planned the first FRW conference. The idea was daring. Instead of Mohammed going to the mountain, FRW’s concept was to bring the mountain to Mohammed: to stage an intimate conference with networking as its centerpiece. The primary goals were to nurture talent and to help women to achieve a new identity. Thus, the first FRW conference was launched with a great deal of hope and hard work. Through word of mouth, the Fun In The Sun Conference has grown to become one of the premier chapter conferences in the country.
Likewise, the chapter membership has grown and now encompasses a three-county area. Its ranks have seen many contest winners, first book sales, and New York Times Bestsellers. The chapter is dedicated to RWA’s principles: to promote excellence in romance writing, to help writers become published and establish careers in their writing field, and to provide continuing support for writers within the publishing industry.