Hot Sheet: March 17-18, 2012 Board Meeting



March 17-18, 2012

Gaylord Texan, Dallas, TX


The RWA Board of Directors had a very productive meeting, which included discussion and motions on the following items:


1. The Board approved the following 2012 Award recipients:

• RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award: Brenda Jackson

• RWA Emma Merritt Award: Laura Hayden

• RWA Service Award(s): Dorien Kelly, Diane Pershing, Natalie Damschroder

• RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award: Barbara Vey, Publishers Weekly

• RWA Librarian of the Year Award: Mary Moore, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, AL

• RWA Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year Award: Janeen Solberg, Turn the Page Books, Boonsboro, MD

• RWA Veritas Award: Denise Schipani for “7 Life Lessons from Romance Novels,” Woman’s Day


2. To writers, plagiarism is a particularly heinous type of theft. Plagiarism is illegal, and as an organization whose mission is to support the professional interests of career-focused romance writers, RWA stands firmly against all unauthorized uses of intellectual property. Members who admit to or are found guilty of plagiarism are in violation of RWA’s Code of Ethics and are subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion from membership.

Following discussion in Executive Session regarding a member’s admission of plagiarism, the Board approved permanently suspending the individual from RWA membership and permanently banning the member from participating in or attending any RWA-sponsored events including conferences, workshops, classes, and any chapter activities. The Membership Committee followed Section 16.3.8. of the Policies and Procedures Manual in bringing this Code of Ethics violation to the Board.


3. The Board approved funding for an academic grant to Stacey E. Holden to assist with her expenses as she completes her work, “Not Deserted after the Storm: Images of Arab Political Systems in Romance Novels Published after 9/11.”


4. The Board approved adding anti-discrimination language to the Policies and Procedures Manual as follows: Membership shall not be denied to adults because of race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual preference, disability, or political affiliation.


5. The Board urges our chapters to make every effort to ensure that their contests and other services are inclusive. While RWA chapters are affiliated as individual corporations, and RWA Staff and Board are not involved in overseeing chapter contests and other programs, both Staff and Board are available to support and advise chapters on best practices.


6. The Board amended social media policy to include chapter leaders. Details will be sent to chapter leaders by March 31, 2012.


7. The Board approved presenting the Bylaws amendments to the Membership. Details will appear in the June RWR.


8. The Board approved funds for editing and disseminating video recorded highlights from the RWA Awards Ceremony to the RWA website and other social media sources.


9. The Board approved the formation of a task force to review the recommendations made by OPIS Consultants regarding the RITA contest.


10. The Board approved a survey to collect data on RWA members’ self-publishing activities.


11. The Board approved the formation of a task force to examine membership designations based on a career continuum.


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