Recently I stepped above my permitted level in the literary world and requested to join the CWA. The Crime Writers Association is an association for people who write about crime. I figured it would be useful to share thoughts with my fellow genre writers. A £50 membership fee was requested for which I was prepared to pay to place myself in the world of fellow crime writers, given that I had now a properly published a novel with crime written into the genre.
I made a polite enquiry for which a polite rejection was quickly received. They had checked up on me and decided in their wisdom, that as I had contributed to the cost of my own publishing, I was not worthy of membership. I thought about swearing at this point. To be honest I thought about swearing a lot. What a bunch of elitist…fill in the blanks.
Are they really that scared of small publishers or even self publishers who can’t make their way in the mainstream market because God forbid, it’s more competition. There are millions of new writers in the market place, to be fair some are better than others, but the level of competition for a decent story to tell is impossible without a previous history within the closed shop of the literary clique.
Now I clearly might be burning my bridges with said CWA for the future, but what the fuck, they have already declared their colours. New talent is the way of the world, it’s what makes things fresh and challenges each of us to do better at what we do. If these closed shops insist on existing, they will die out like the dinosaurs they are. Books may decrease in value, the reward for writing may be less and less as production increases, but surely more books in the world is a good thing. More people reading and expressing their thoughts in literature. The music industry is learning from it, time for the writing industry to do the same.
Revenge will be mine, that’s what I keep telling myself.