Friday, January 01, 2021

Hoping 2021 is better than 2020

Romance is, after all, a genre of hope and

To cope with all the feelings of uncertainty that 2020 has brought, many have been turning to one place guaranteed to bring a happy ending and sense of optimism: romance novels.

Sarah Wendell, an author, podcaster, and co-creator of the romance community blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, has seen a 75% surge in traffic on her website since the pandemic began in March. Her site was so overwhelmed, in fact, that she had to upgrade to a new server. (Copeland)

Carolyn Copeland's article at Prism also offers a roundup of some of the romance activism that took place in 2020, most notably "Romancing the Runoff" which I haven't mentioned on the blog so far, I think, but which ought to be recorded here for posterity. It got a lot of coverage (including in the New York Times, but I couldn't read that because it was behind a paywall), and I've collected some of the items written about it below:

Bustle, Lily Herman, 24 November 2020

Entertainment Weekly, Maureen Lee Lenker, 25 November 2020

Jezebel, Kelly Faircloth, 25 November 2020

Newsweek, Katherine Fung, 25 November 2020

The Guardian, Lois Beckett, 25 November 2020

Kirkus Reviews, Michael Schaub, 27 November 2020

Slate, Rachelle Hampton, 7 December 2020

Vogue, Elena Sheppard, 8 December 2020

Just for the record, the last reference I saw to the total amount raised was (as of 17 December) $475k

Another thing I forgot to mention earlier in the year (but which maybe someone would like to contribute to as part of a New Year's Resolution) is that the Journal of Popular Romance Studies now has a new section.

This section will be a Notes and Queries section. It is meant to create a more immediate dialogue on issues and trends in the field. Moreover, it offers the opportunity for our community of scholars to share insights on aspects of popular romance that would not fit the scope and requirements of a more traditionally published academic article, but nevertheless, cultivates our shared knowledge and furthers our research.

You can find out more about it here. So if you have insights to share with romance scholars, please consider submitting to JPRS. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes up in the new section in 2021.