Long Island Romance Writers Inc., aka LIRW, is an educational, tax-exempt 501(c)(6) Non-Profit, volunteer-driven organization created by romance writers for romance writers. LIRW serves its membership by providing educational programming, enhancing awareness of the realities of the business, developing access and opportunity through alliances with industry professionals, and furthering the cause and quality of romance writing.
Our mission is to foster the professional development of romance writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which romance can be appreciated by the widest possible public.
The Long Island Romance Writers began in the fall of 1995 when founding member, Pamela Burford, sent a letter, snail-mail, to the 30 fellow romance writers that she knew of who lived on Long Island. The first meeting, if you can call it that, consisted of four of them, including Pam, sitting in her living room, deciding their next steps. LIRW got its official start on January 1, 1996, with 15 members.
We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2021.
The organization has grown in size and scope since 1996; however, at the core, we are still dedicated to supporting romance authors along every step of the writing journey, from publishing the 1st book to the 20th and beyond. We are lucky to count both Pamela Burford and Meara Platt—one of the original four who met in Pam's living room—among our current members.
On November 7th 2021, LIRW members decided by vote that it would be in the organization's best interest to sever ties with a national romance writers' association. As of December 7th 2021, LIRW is the captain of its own ship.
LIRW promotes the following:
Accessibility: LIRW welcomes all people who want to learn more about romance writing, no matter their age, location, experience, background, or education. We keep our offerings affordable and our facilities safe and convenient for all community members. Most programs are offered virtually, and will continue to be so alongside in-person events in the future.
Collaboration: Writing is often seen as a solitary art; however, all writers need the inspiration and support of others. Our workshops cultivate collaborative relationships.
Creativity: LIRW believes in the innate creativity of all people by encouraging and fostering experimentation and innovation.
Community: LIRW provides space and spirit for fellowship.
Discovery: We believe that writing empowers greater understanding of self and others and thereby encourages compassion and empathy.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: LIRW upholds a commitment to a diverse community where all participants, whatever their gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, or disability, feel valued and respected.
Excellence: LIRW is dedicated to the supporting the highest potential of each writer, whatever their goals and talents. We are committed to increasing awareness of our authors.