RWA Member Code of Ethics

Updated August 2019

The RWA Member Code of Ethics (“Member Code”) serves as a code of professional conduct for RWA members. It is designed to cause RWA members to exhibit integrity, honesty, and other good professional practices, thereby enhancing the romance writing profession. 

The principles of this Member Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations. 

  • RWA members support the preservation of authorial and intellectual property rights.
  • RWA members strive for excellence and integrity in the profession of romance writing.
  • RWA members strive to treat fellow members, RWA staff, and others with respect.
  • RWA members observe and adhere to all of RWA's Bylaws, policies and other rules.

An RWA member shall be subject to disciplinary action if the actions of such member are not specifically reserved for review under the Chapter Code of Conduct and are determined to constitute one or more of the following: 

  1. Intentionally making false or misleading oral or written statements about RWA where such statements are injurious to RWA, its reputation, or its purposes.
  2. Intentional copying of the written works of others (including but not limited to books, articles and/or manuscripts) with an intention to claim such work(s) as the member's own.
  3. Unauthorized use of another member's intellectual property, including but not limited to such other member's name, logo, trademarks or service marks, and/or copyrighted information.
  4. Intentional misrepresentation of RWA membership qualifications or credentials to RWA or to the public.
  5. Unauthorized use of RWA and/or RWA Chapter property, including but not limited to funds or money, RWA's name, logo, other trademarks or service marks, copyrighted information, and membership listings.
  6. Repeatedly or intentionally engaging in conduct injurious to RWA or its purposes.
  7. Repeatedly or intentionally engaging in any other acts of a violent, harassing (as defined in Section or intimidating conduct that objectively threaten a member's career, reputation, safety or wellbeing. Specifically excluded from this section are exchanges of business information, true statements, personal disagreements, honest discussions of books, non-RWA operated social media posts, and marketing materials.
  8. Repeatedly or intentionally making a member's personal, private identifying information public with the intent of harming the other member's career, reputation, or wellbeing.
  9. Recommending author services on RWA forums, through RWA chapters or through any other RWA resource while failing to disclose commissions or finder's fees that have been offered specifically to the member by the provider of said services in exchange for finding future business.
  10. A violation of the Harassment Policy for All Conference Attendees addendum.
  11. Those specific actions reserved for Code of Ethics review under the Chapter Code of Conduct.
  12. A violation of the anti-discrimination policy as set out in Section 6.1.
  13. A violation of the RWA forum rules.
  14. A violation of RWA's social media policy.
  15. Repeatedly or intentionally acting in violation of antitrust laws pertaining to RWA.