July Board Meeting Highlights

The RWA Board of Directors had a productive meeting in New York, July 19–20. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

  • The Board of Directors plans to vote to approve a dues increase effective January 1, 2016.
  • The Board revised the qualifications for membership in the Published Authors Network, which will become effective September 1. Any General of Honorary member who has earned at least $1,000 on a single published Eligible Novel or Novella shall be eligible for membership in PAN (works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify). The Board also revised the qualifications for Provisional PAN membership: Any General or Honorary member who has contracted for the publication of an Eligible Novel or Eligible Novella for an advance of at least $1,000, but said work is not yet commercially available; or (2) published an Eligible Novel or Eligible Novella, but not yet earned $1,000, shall be eligible for provisional membership in PAN (works offered through Predatory Publishing companies shall not qualify).
  • The 2016 RITA and Golden Heart contest rules were approved. Preliminary round judges will still be required to answer two questions in addition to assigning an overall score; the questions mirror language in RWA’s definition of Romance Fiction: “Does the entry contain a central love story?” and “Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?”
  • The RITA Paranormal Romance category description was changed to: Novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot. And the word “love” was added to the category description for Erotic Romance: Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).
  • The Board amended the policy definition of “Subsidy” or “Vanity” Publishers. The terms “Subsidy” or “Vanity” Publishers have been replaced with “Predatory Publishing,” which means a business model based on selling products or services to authors rather than selling books to readers. Services or publishing packages offered by the entity are usually priced higher than similar services found in the open marketplace. Promises of mass-distribution, marketing services, or expertise in editorial, design and delivery of quality works made by Predatory Publishing companies are rarely fulfilled and often result in unsuccessful distribution or sales. This definition includes, but is not limited to, publishing programs that withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties.
  • The Board approved policy and funding for milestone recognition pins (5, 10, 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100 commercially available romance novels/novellas).
  • The Board approved funds to implement RWA website user interface improvements.
  • Golden Heart and RITA finalists and winners shall receive digital medallions for use on their website and finalist/winner book.
  • The Board formed a task force to investigate the feasibility of the formation of a charitable 501(c)3 foundation to be affiliated with RWA.
  • The Board established a diversity ad hoc committee.
  • The Board created a task force to evaluate PAN and PRO’s function and benefits.


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