I'm an RWA member (and a PAN member of RWA based on my advances paid by legit book publishers) and I have no intention at this point of renewing my dues after this year. I have been thoroughly unimpressed by how the organization treats its published members (the vast majority of RWA members are unpublished and always will be), and after attending only one local chapter meeting I was horrified by how mean, nasty, and condescending the membership was towards new members----even though I was a published author and PAN-eligible from the beginning. My literary agent has also commented how bitchy so much of the membership is when she has attended RWA conferences, so I know it's not just me. I was treated like a leper by my local chapter because I a) write erotica; and b) needed to breastfeed my infant son during a meeting---something which is protected by law in my state. I was pretty much told never to come back to a meeting, and I never have, and never will.

You don't need RWA to be a successful, published author in this genre. If anything, it won't help you much at all. I have found it's an organization populated by mean, nasty, self-important, UNPUBLISHED authors. Others may have other, better experiences, but I don't personally know anybody who does.

RWA is also extremely conservative. They are openly hostile to erotica writers as well as writers of gay and lesbian romance, and even tried to pass organizational provisions that defined the romance genre as books with romantic storylines between "ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN." Smacks of the anti-gay-marriage right wing.