Dissent temporary cover for the romance anthology. Image: Brighton Walsh, Nicole French, and Brooke Cumberland.

150+ Romance Authors Come Together to Raise Money for Reproductive Rights

Authors Brighton Walsh, Nicole French, Brooke Cumberland, and a small army of even more volunteers are in the process of organizing a limited-time romance anthology to help fund access to reproductive healthcare in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (the case whose outcome overturned Roe v. Wade). Each of the 150 contributing authors from across the romance genre are providing never before seen stories just for this charity event. Readers will find novelettes with all new characters and familiar faves in never-before-seen epilogues and chapters from different points of view.

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This project began when Walsh asked, on Facebook, if anyone was running a charity anthology to help fight the rolling back of rights that came from the court’s decision—most notably the right to access a safe abortion. From voting rights to disaster relief, the romance community (a.k.a. Romancelandia) has come together several times following the massive success and fundraising efforts of Romancing the Vote for the 2020 Georgie runoff election. These efforts often come in the form of an anthology and/or charity auction.

After Walsh found most people saying they, too, wanted to help, they joined up with French and Cumberland to organize. While they’ve participated in anthologies together before, this is their first go at running one. Between a video call and email correspondence with the trio, Walsh exclaimed, “I’m super grateful to have both of them to organize this with me because there’s no way one of us could take on a project this size alone.”

Brooke shared a similar sentiment with her co-organizers when she spoke about the feeling of empowerment when people unite in a collaborative effort against attacks on reproductive health.

So many of us want to take a stand but don’t know where to even start and this collection gives that opportunity not to feel so helpless. By purchasing, sharing, and bringing awareness to a nationwide concern.

They all emphasized that this operation is 100% volunteer-run, and the money raised will be split three ways between different in-need organizations. In addition to the authors donating their words and time promoting the anthology, there are several people working as secretaries and more. The cover design (which will be revealed later this week) services were donated by Opulent Swag and Design.

Who’s participating & how do you get a copy?

The list of authors is in flux a little bit and may grow, but right now, there are dozens and dozens of people who’ve signed up to contribute their words and stories. Some include:

Brighton Walsh, Nicole French, Kennedy Fox, A.M. Roark, A.R. Hall, Aarti V Raman, Aidy Award, Alexis Anne, Amanda Richardson, Amelia Wilde, Amie Knight, Amy Quinton, Anna Michael, Aria Wyatt, Ashley Lane, Autumn Jones Lake, B. Celeste, B.L. Olson, Blair Babylon, Brenda St John Brown, Brenna Aubrey, Bri Blackwood, Cara Dee, Carmen Jenner, C.L. Matthews, Cassie Graham, Celia Kyle, Charity Ferrell, Claire Wilder, Claudia Burgoa, Dakota Willink, Dani René, Daniela Romero, Dee Garcia, Dee Lagasse, Deidre-Ann Anderson, Donna Grant, Echo Grayce, Elena Aitken, Elle Thorpe, Ellis Leigh, Emily Colin, Emily Goodwin, Erica Alexander, Erin Parisien, Eva Charles, Eva Moore, Evelyn Adams, Glenna Maynard, H.D. Carlton, Haley Jenner, Heidi McLaughlin, Holly Mortimer, Hope Jones, Ines Johnson, Iris Morland, J. Saman, J. Sterling, J.H. Croix, J.L. Beck & C. Hallman, J.M. Walker, Jane Blythe, Janet Berry, Jasmin Miller, JD HOLLYFIELD, Jen Stevens, Jenika Snow, Jenna Hartley, Jenna Lynn, Jennifer Sucevic, Jessica Florence, Jillian Liota, Julia Kent, Kait Nolan, Kat Latham, Kat Savage, Kate Canterbary, Kate King and Jessa Wilder, Kate Meader, Kathy Coopmans, K.B. Cinder, K.D. Proctor, Kelly Maher, Kim Loraine, Kym Grosso, Lainey Davis, Laramie Briscoe, Laura Hall, Laura Lee, Lauren Stewart, Lea Coll, Len Webster, Lili Valente, Linnea May, Lisa Shelby, Lissanne Jones, Lucy Lennox, Mary Ann Marlowe, Max Henry, Megan Ryder, Melissa Andrea, Melissa Marino, Melonie Johnson, Mia Harlan, Mignon Mykel, Molly O’Hare, Monica Corwin, Morgan Jane Mitchell, N.A. Moore, Natasha Raulerson, Nicole Blanchard, Nina Levine, Pamela DuMond, Patricia D. Eddy, Persephone Autumn, R.L. Kenderson, Rachel Brookes, Raven James, Rebecca Paula, Rebecca Yarros, Regina Kyle, R. Castro, Roxie Noir, S. Cinders, Sade Rena, Saffron A. Kent, Samantha Lind, Sarah M. Cradit, Scarlett Cole, S.E. Rose, Shaw Hart, Sydney St. James, S.J. Sylvis, Skye Alder, Stephanie Anne, Suzanne Baltsar, Sylvie Stewart, T.K. Leigh, Tabatha Vargo, Tamara Lush, Taryn Quinn, Tawna Fenske, T. Gephart, Toni Aleo, Tracy Krimmer, Tricia Lynne, Trish Milburn, V.F. Mason, Vanessa Booke, Vivian Wood, Zoe Ashwood, and Zoe York

Like a majority of its readership (women and LGBTQ+ people), the romance genre is severely underestimated, and its core values are misunderstood. To that, French said,

If you think romance has nothing to do with reproductive rights, you’re missing the entire point. The story of a person choosing a lover and shaping their own future is the definition of body autonomy. And they want to shove that back into the realm of fiction? We’re not having it.

You can pre-order this book on Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, and AmazonDISSENT comes out September 6, 2022, on National Read a Book Day.

NOTE 7/20: Corrected date and updated author list.

(via Twitter, feature image: Brighton Walsh, Nicole French, and Brooke Cumberland)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.