RWA Member Code of Ethics

Updated August 2020

The RWA Member Code of Ethics (“Code of Ethics”) serves as a code of professional conduct for RWA members. Its purpose is to encourage RWA members to exhibit integrity, honesty, and other sound industry practices, thereby elevating the professionalism of the RWA’s membership.

The principles of this Code of Ethics are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision-making. The RWA Code of Ethics is a framework and is not intended to dictate behavior in particular situations.

Any member found to be in violation of the RWA Code of Ethics may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the Code of Ethics.

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 through adherence to the RWA Antidiscrimination Policy and the RWA Antiharassment Policy.

RWA members observe and adhere to all of RWA's Bylaws, policies, and other rules.

In adhering to this Code of Ethics, RWA members shall avoid:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly copying 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.
  2. Unauthorized use of another member's intellectual property, including but not limited to such other member's name, logo, trademarks, service marks, or other marks, and/or copyrighted materials.
  3. Unauthorized use of RWA and/or RWA chapter property, including but not limited to funds or money, RWA's name, logo, other trademarks, service marks, or other marks, copyrighted materials, and membership listings.
  4. Intentionally or recklessly making false or misleading oral or written statements about RWA where such statements are injurious to RWA, its reputation, or its purposes.
  5. Intentional or reckless misrepresentation of RWA membership qualifications or credentials to RWA or to the public.
  6. Intentionally, recklessly, and/or repeatedly engaging in any acts of a violent, discriminatory, harassing (as defined in the RWA Antidiscrimination and Antiharassment Policy), or intimidating conduct that objectively threaten a member’s career, reputation, safety, or well-being. Specifically excluded from this prohibition are bona fide exchanges of business information, true statements, personal disagreements, honest discussions of books and similar writings, non-RWA-operated social media posts, and business marketing materials.
  7. Intentionally, recklessly, and/or repeatedly making a member’s personal and private identifying information public with the intent of harming the other member’s career, reputation, or well-being.
  8. 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.
  9. Any discussions, exchanges, or actions in material violation of federal or state antitrust laws.
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