Saturday, March 28, 2009

The RITA Drinking Game

Yes, it's that time of year again, ladies. Time to play the RITA Drinking Game.

To play this game you need only three things: some romance writer or reader buddies, a computer (to visit some romance blogs) and something to drink. Here at PBW we usually take sips of Maalox or Mylanta, but Crystal Light, Diet Dr. Pepper or designer bottled water also work (If you want to get tanked, we recommend you wait for the Stoker Drinking Game, which starts next month.)

Don't be shy about shrieking DRINK! if everyone else is busy bitching at each other. Whoever yells DRINK! first does not have to take a sip (unless they're thirsty or their tummy is starting to turn.)

One Sip:

The word mediocre is used at least once in the blog post (two sips if mediocre and boring are used in the same sentence.

Someone asks in comments what RITA stands for.

Someone in comments explains what RITA stands for.

Any commenter, including the author of the post, says something nasty but ends it with lol to remove the sting.

A member of RWA defends the awards.

Reference is made to how none of the nominees are bestsellers.

The scoring is questioned.

The scoring is explained.

The RITA judges are defamed.

The RITA judges are defended.

A nominee makes a sweet, semi-gushy comment on what an honor it is to be nominated (two sips if she says she doesn't expect to win.)

The name of the Golden Heart award is invoked.

The name of a popular author who is a member of RWA but didn't enter the contest is mentioned.

Two sips:

A list of authors who got "robbed" is offered up.

Someone mentions that e-book authors aren't permitted to enter because they don't meet the criteria.

A commenter theorizes that all of the erotica authors are now boycotting the contest.

A commenter theorizes that all of the Harlequin Blaze authors are now boycotting the contest.

What is and what isn't a romance is hotly contested.

The HEA ending is mentioned as a determining factor.

A member of RWA defends the judges while explaining the scoring and how important the award is for up and coming authors.

A non-member of RWA points out how useless the award is.

A reader states the RITA award does not influence their purchasing choices in the slightest.

Reviews of nominated books are mentioned or linked to.

The name of a former Miss America contestant/historical romance writer is invoked.

The name of a a Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology/historical romance writer is invoked.

The writing skills of past RITA winners are derided.

Three sips:

Someone offers up a realistic-sounding conspiracy theory involving writer org politics.

M/M romances are mentioned.

The words "popularity contest" are used in the post or in comments.

A fangirl makes a tearful protest over her object of affection, who entered the contest but was not chosen for the nom list.

The fangirl's author shows up to tearfully thank her for her words, which will inspire her to keep going on.

A reviewer states how meaningless RITA is to them (four sips if they've run at least two to four posts on their blog about the award.)

A nominee for the 2009 RITA shows up to defend the awards (four sips if she appears on more than one blog.)

Someone who actually judged the RITA books comments on the experience and how fair she tried to be.

Someone mentions how everyone's tastes differ.

One Big Gulp:

The names PBW or Lynn Viehl are referenced.

Please feel free to add your sip-taking requirements in comments.


  1. I take it from this post and other comments, you're not too fond of the RWA? :-P

  2. Guzzle:

    If 10 or more of the above are included in any one comment. (you know it will happen).

  3. Knew you were a big fan.

  4. Theo wrote: I take it from this post and other comments, you're not too fond of the RWA?

    Other than the three years of my life and thousands of dollars I wasted on membership, the idiot conferences, the decent writers they've irreparably harmed or ruined, and the endless bickering and bitching and narrow-minded crap they perptually produce and shovel onto the genre, I'm really quite fond of them.

  5. Di wrote: If 10 or more of the above are included in any one comment. (you know it will happen).

    Five sips. :)

  6. Lynne wrote: Knew you were a big fan.

    Yep (hands Lynne the spare bottle of Mylanta.)

  7. That's what I'm talking about and today I need it.
    I decided this year not to enter anything. I just felt uncomfortable competing against people whose work I enjoy. So far it's working out great.

  8. Well, this is the first year I joined and so far, I've gotten a monthly magazine (which admittedly has some good articles in it) and an opportunity to enter the GH, which I did. Other than that, I haven't seen any other 'benefits' to being a member. My local chapter is an hour away so that does me no good. And it wasn't until the finalists were named that I started hearing the real sentiments of many regarding the contests, practices, etc.

    Live and learn, huh?


  9. Lynne wrote: So far it's working out great.

    Good for you. I hope you don't get any flack for it, either.

  10. Theo wrote: Other than that, I haven't seen any other 'benefits' to being a member.

    Wait, you get to pay them lots of money for stuff, like attending conferences and advertising in their rag and getting in that romance sells thing. And of course you must buy books at their charity booksignings and have them signed by the big names (after you wait in line a couple hours) and attend workshops taught by the pubbed authors and buy the tapes to take home with you and join those member loops where no one is allowed to mention their latest release under penalty of death . . .

    The benefits are really endless, as long as the contents of your wallet are, too.

  11. LOL. You had me laughing out loud. Will you be showing the Stoker drinking game too?

  12. It's a good thing the drinks are non-alcoholic because I'd be three sheets to the wind by now.

  13. Hahahaha. . . . Burp!

  14. Karen W.4:49 PM

    That was too funny, Lynn! And unfortunately, all too true. I've seen almost all of those things in the past few years. :)

  15. *That's* why I'm not getting much out of it! I have a rather bare wallet these days when it comes to peripherals. ;)

    I'm not much of a convention goer anyway. I just...I don't know, thought there would be...more somehow. Though more what, I have no idea. I did hear from several sources that being able to put RWA member on your query was a good thing. After months of learning what took me years to get to, I know now it's the strength of your query and credentials have little to do with it.

    I have about eight months left on my membership. Then I'll decide if I want to renew. I'm not so sure I'm impressed enough to do that yet.

  16. *snort* one trip to Dear Author would have given me water intoxication if I'd played this game.

  17. Get ready to take three sips. I judged in the Rita awards and did my best to be fair.

    I think it's darned fair that I read an entire book that I would never have finished if I was reading for pleasure. It was, in my opinion, that bad. In cases like that, I'm glad that we're limited to giving a number score.

    I also read a book that I doubt I would ever have purchased on my own and found it excellent -- very entertaining and well written with interesting characters who totally drew me in. Now I'll read more of this author's books.

    The Rita -- always a reading adventure for me.

  18. I think some civic-minded volunteer should organize and run the RUTA. It's too brilliant to remain a Twitter joke. (RUTA: erotic alternative to RITA. Romance Up The...)

    And just imagine the drinking game we could have for that!

  19. RUTA... Thanks, Charlene. I almost snorted a Whoppers Robins Egg Easter candy out my nose.

    I should admit, though, I like RWA.

  20. Anonymous12:22 PM


    Is it okay if I just drink throughout the game? I mean, I'd like to get a head start on this. I mean, it's a competition, right? I mean...

    I have a stash for bad reads, bad reviews, bad book covers, and just plain bad days.

    Great post.


  21. The best blog on RITAs. If only you'd done a drinking game for GH too!

  22. Ahem: I believe I see a certain Lynn Viehl mentioned. On a post about RITA's. Cheers, Lynn. :)

  23. so the RWA is not so very different from SFWA then. Interesting. I let my membership in the latter lapse and it's been enthralling to watch most of my livejournal friends joining recently. When I finally asked what they think they'll get from it...well, the answer is pretty much they join the org to be able to say they're members of the org.

    The Hugo nominations were scarcely out before people were leaping up, making rousing statements about why the awards matter. Mostly they themselves are nominees or past winners.

    I can't decide if it's funny or tragic on how similar writers are no matter which genre they write but I do know you just entertained me very much with this post of yours. thanks for that:)

  24. Did I? Wow, well there you go. Mainly because I've been thinking about the validity of awards. I mean, you don't just buy one author's books, you buy several, if you read as voraciously as I do, so they're not actually in competition. And Lynn is one of the few people who announces the fact that she doesn't take part in awards.
    What annoys me are the constant "vote for me!" posts you get. It's not a popularity contest, just a leisure activity. It means a lot to me, but it always did, even before I sent anything out to publishers. It will be even if nobody sees what I write, but that doesn't mean it has to mean anything to anyone else.
    I am, however, a member of the RNA, and I love it.


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