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“Romancing The Vote” Auction Returns to Rally Romancelandia in Support of Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight

Show this charity auction some l-o-v-e.

Romancing the Vote logo in a browser window above 2022. Various auction items in open windows. (Image: Romancing The Vote & Alyssa Shotwell.)

On the eve of the 2020 Georgia run-offs, authors Alyssa Cole, Courtney Milan, and Kit Rocha pulled together a charity auction plan within 12 hours to raise funds for the Georgia voter engagement organization Fair Fight. Fellow romance author and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams created this organization to combat voter suppression and educate citizens on their voting rights.

Known as Romancing The Vote, the group initially raised a total of $498,000 in 2020. Donations came from across the reading community. Stacey Abrams even donated a copy of her book Rules of Engagement, written under the pseudonym Selena Mongomery, when she found out about the auction.

Many returned to raise money once again now that there are hundreds of new voter suppression laws, and it is the first significant election (a midterm) in which these tactics will be out in full force. Now back with Courtney Milan, Kit Rocha, many of the same volunteers, and with the additional help of author Tessa Dare, they are raising money once again for Fair Fight. I reached out to Romance The Vote via email and corresponded with Bree Bridges (half of the duo who writes under the name Kit Rocha.) Bridges told me:

When it was over, we said we’d rally again on the day Stacey Abrams announced her next run for office. So Romancing the Vote got the band back together in 2022 for the second time to support her for Governor of Georgia, but also to support her organization which is fighting voter suppression everywhere.

How does this auction work?

Like Romance for Haiti and Romance for Afghan Women, this charity auction uses the website 32 Auctions to host the fundraiser. When we wrote to the organizers of Romance for Afghan Women, N.S. Perkins and Mazey Eddings, back in August 2021, both said Romancing the Run Off (now just Romancing the Vote) inspired them. It just goes to show the rippling effects Romancing the Vote has had on the romance reading community (Romancelandia).

The auction runs from February 14 to February 18 at 9 p.m. EST and features almost 700 items and services. Romancing the Vote chose to extend bidding so if you have an item you really want, bid and have those notifications turned on!

Many of the “Buy Now” items are already gone. However, an overwhelming majority of the donations are still up for grabs. Romancing the Vote met its goal of raising $100,000 yesterday.

U.S. citizens can bid for any item, but there are some limitations for international bidders. The organizers ask that international participants note whether the items will ship internationally. Many donations do ship internationally, but not all. There are also lots of service-based prizes like editing, digital talks, and consultations.

Due to the money going to a U.S. PAC, international winners will use a specific payment link to let Fair Fight know which funds go to political causes. Fair Fight also helps people pay off medical debt, so the money will still do good.

Some of the many items available

From personalized, first editions of Beverly Jenkins’ novel to 10-Book bundles of Gina L. Maxwell’s Seriously Sexxxy, the options are almost limitless for romance readers. Even better, the book and geeky prizes aren’t just limited to one genre or published books! Some of the ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) include N.E. Davenport’s The Blood Trials (sci-fi adventure) and Maya Rodale’s The Mad Girls of New York (Gilded Age mystery).

SFF readers will want to watch the signed copy of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #1 (The Eye of the World.) Bridges told TMS, “We have an absolutely brutal bidding war over a rare illustrated collector’s edition of Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries.” Wells’ Murderbot Diaries series won “Best Series” at the 2021 Hugo Awards.

“We have 22 screenwriting consults or script critiques from some amazing Hollywood folks, including Marc Guggenheim (a Showrunner on C.W.’s’s Arrow & Legends of Tomorrow), Daphne Miles (writer on C.W.’sW.’s Batwoman), and Sarah Tarkoff (currently writing C.W.’sC.W.’s Roswell, formerly Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) among many others, like Jeffrey Lieber, who co-created LOST.”

In addition to the consultants and critiques (the category totals over 100), Romancing the Vote introduced a new category, “Ask A Consultant.” From world-building to food history and astronomers, the expertise in this category runs the gamut. Bridgers pointed to the three auctions of custom handmade resin dice for gamers.

Romancing the Vote runs today until Friday, February 18, at 9 p.m. EST. (Pending extending bidding on items.)

(via @RomacingVote on Twitter, image: Romancing The Vote and Alyssa Shotwell.)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. Starting as an Online Editor for her college paper in October 2017, Alyssa began writing for the first time within two months of working in the newsroom. 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. Still trying to beat Saxon Farm on RCT 3 (so I can 100% the game.)