, 19 tweets, 15 min read Read on Twitter
Dear Romancelandia,

I have scraped the data, done the math, and made the pretties. 20 years of RITA winners, plus two of finalists. BIPOC and white.

It's as bad or worse than you think.

Follow #RITAdata! #weneeddiverseromance #ritagh #amwritingromance #ritassowhite Cover: 20 Years of RITA Data, 1999-2019, Initial Findings Mar 24, 2019
I'm not gonna lie, this data made me nauseous. The numbers are damning. But someone needed to do it and I'd rather it be me doing the labor than a marginalized person.

Captions are on for screen readers.

Let's go.

First, an introduction to what this is, why it exists, and some of the limitations of the output.

The full report, raw data, and this slideshow are available here: docs.google.com/document/d/1jc…

#RITAdata What is it? I't's 20 years of RITA ward winners plus two years of finalists.Limitations: This report only examines racial data, which has been determined on a best-guess basis. It's not perfect. Full details in the written report. Also, you can use my data to build on!Why do we need this? Because #RitasSoWhite. Hopefully hard data will help change some minds and spur others to action.The data includes 397 points, including 241 winners and 156 finalists.
The RITAs average a 4% representation of BIPOC. 4%. The US population is nearing 40% everybody-who's-not-white.

#RITAdata #RitaSoWhite #weneeddiverseromance #ritagh #amwritingromance Average of winners: 3.75%, Average of finalists: 4.5%. There a bunch of other slices that also result in an approximately 4% rate.A pie chart showing that 4% looks like.In 2020 the US population will likely be a 60/40 split between non-Hispanic Whites & everyone else. BIPOC deserve to be represented at more than 4%.
Some facts pulled from the data.

Susans are just as likely to win as BIPOC.

Winners are more likely to be a white author with multiple awards than a BIPOC.

In 20 years, BIPOC won in only 7 of them.

Among finalists, BIPOC rep is 3.75%-5.23%

#RITAdata 9 BIPOC have won RITA awards. So have 9 women named Susan or a variation thereof. Bonus: 7 Barbaras.A chart tracking the total number of winners each year vs. BIPOC winners. On average there are 12 winners each year. On average 3.6% of those are BIPOC, only 1-2 per year.A bar chart illustrating the vast difference between the number of total finalists (in 2016: 77 and 2019: 88), with the number of BIPOC who finaled (In 2016: 4, in 2019: 3). That's a 5.2% rep in 2016 and only 3.75% in 2019.If you are a winner you are TEN TIMES more likely to be a white multiple-winner than a BIPOC who has won once.
In 2019 only 3 BIPOC finaled. If all of them won, it would be the highest representation in 20+ years.

In 4 years only 1 BIPOC won. In 2 (2017 and 2018) two won. The other 13 years had NO BIPOC winners.

#RITAdata #weneeddiverseromance #ritagh #amwritingromance #ritassowhite The yearly win percentages and raw numbers for BIPOC over 20 years. In 4 years only 1 BIPOC won. In 2 (2017 and 2018) two won.If ALL BIPOC nominated in 2019 (3) won the rate would be 23%, an all-time HIGH.
Let's talk categories. These change every few years, but there's enough consistency to get some data.

Only 7 out of 20 categories have had a BIPOC winner in 20 years, most of them only once. The next best have two each.

#RITAdata #RITAGH Categories with most BIPOC winners: Best First Book and Young Adult. Only YA has a BIPOC finalist in 2019.Categories with One BIPOC Winner in 20 years: Contemp Single Title, Historical (general), Mainstream Fiction w/Central Rom, Novella, Suspense. Only Novella has a BIPOC finalist in 2019.Categories with NO BIPOC Winners: Almost all the Contemporaries, Erotic, Historical Long and Short, Inspiration/Religious Paranormal, Regency, and Traditional.
Some more stark facts.

Male-identified writers have more RITA wins than Black women.

Thank you to @AuthorCharish for pointing out that RWA was founded by a Black woman!!

And a list of major BIPOC names who have never won a RITA, often because they refused to enter.

#RITAdata In 2016 an author using he/him pronouns won the Erotica RITA. No Black woman has ever won a RITA.A list of BIPOC authors not appearing on the winners lists: Alyssa Cole, Sonali Dev, Helen Hoang, Beverly Jenkins, Alisha Rai and Nalini Singh. Includes some fast facts about their accomplishments, like Ms. Bev's 2017 Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.Thank you to Charish Reid for pointing out that RWA was founded by a Black woman!
And finally, a call to action.

It doesn't have to be this way. But change will not be easy, nor will it come without growing pains. Those are not excuses not to try.

#RITAdata #weneeddiverseromance #ritagh #amwritingromance #ritassowhite RWA can do better than 4% representation. If the will is there to fix it.Read the full report. Join the conversation. #RITAdata Take action.Make 2020 the year of change! And if that means the award goes on hiatus to fix this, so be it.
Again, the full report, raw data, and this slideshow are available here: docs.google.com/document/d/1jc…

I'll be updating via #RITAdata as new data comes in.

If you'd like to use the data, do! If you'd like to help expand the data, let me know!
So please, SHARE THE #RITADATA!!!! It's in handy snippets and pretty graphics so you can! Spread it far and wide!
I'm going to go make dinner now, and I'm in a non-US time zone, so I won't be around to handle any massive tide of response that may happen.

Go forth and do battle, Romancelandia. The stakes are high, the road is long, but you have a LOT of good people on your side.
Addendum: I'm thinking a survey is the next step, plus a team of volunteers digging up past years' info. If you'd like to get involved just let me know! #RITAdata
CORRECTION: Sherry Thomas has won TWICE, once in 2010 and once in 2011. I had mislabeled one of them.

That means there are SEVENTEEN total BIPOC wins (notably, no B or I wins though). with two authors with two wins each.

Thank you to @alexisdaria for spotting!

Several people have pointed out that lumping everyone who isn't white into one category is... not ideal. I didn't want to mislabel anybody so I left that out.

Currently drafting a survey where ALL AOC can have their experiences counted with more nuance.

Also looking for a reliable source of more past finalist lists. I have some leads but every bit helps! If you want to volunteer to help in some way, do let me know!

CORRECTION TO THE CORRECTION IN LINKED TWEET: 17 is the total number of AOC/BIPOC across both winners and finalists. There are 10 wins.

It's 11pm here so I'm signing off for the night. Thank you so much to everyone who has spread the word, kindly offered feedback and data, and all around been awesome.

I haven't seen any trolls yet but if they come for you and not me? Let me at 'em. 😤😒

#RITAdata ♥️
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