NAMESAKE OF ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA – THE RITA AWARD
  
Hi, there, glad you dropped by. If you’re wondering who I am and what I do, you can read below. Otherwise, you must be a friend, because all my friends read me like an open book…. Thank’s for visiting!
 
Rita Clay Estrada is creator, co-founder and first president of Romance Writers of America (RWA), the largest genre writing organization in the world. In 1980 she sold her first book to Simon & Schuster. Since then, she’s sold 42 books to Silhouette, Harlequin, Dell Publishing, Kensington, Pageant and Writers Digest.
  
Rita and four friends, Parris Afton Bonds, Peggy Cleaves, Sondra Stanford and her mother, Rita Gallagher, began the formation of the group. We then asked Dell editor, Vivian Stephens to help, and organized and held the first RWA conference in June 1981 in The Woodlands, TX .
  
For more than four years, Rita Clay Estrada acted as RWA spokeswoman on such programs as CBS National News with Steve Croft, CBS News, The Today Show, King TV and PBS National as well as many local television and radio shows. TV, radio and newspaper interviews can be found in Houston Chronicle, New York Times, Dallas Morning News, as well as Boston, MA., Washington DC, Seattle WA., Tucson, AZ.
  
She has given workshops and keynote speeches at national conferences, universities and library systems throughout the country.
  
Along with her writing, Rita is also a Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster schooled and specializing in Environmental Disasters. She goes across the country talking to people involved in gas well blowouts, oil disasters to chemical fires. Those jobs can last from two months to two years, depending on the amount of people and damages involved.
 
During the last four years, when she wasn’t working as an adjuster, she sailed the Caribbean, up the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico on a 38 foot sailboat.
 
Once again, Rita makes her home in Spring, TX. where she began RWA and raised her four children; Rebecca Holt, Rita Lou Heine, Marissa Allen and Clay Estrada. She has seven grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She is now working on a manuscript.