Courtney Milan and RWA

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Sonya Heaney

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No other information is available yet, but they still have a section on the conference page about scheduling a pitch session and word has it they're working frantically to include more DEI programming.

Who will anyone even pitch to? My publisher has pulled out, and they run the two biggest romance imprints around (Harlequin and Avon). I've seen so many other publishers and agents announce they're also pulling out.

Who knows - maybe there'll be huge changes in the next few months, but with so many people resigning from the organisation I don't see how ...
 

BenPanced

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And with what little time is left until the conference, there's no way to judge whether or not anything's effective at fixing this mess. We could be well on our way to 2021 and beyond to gauge any sort of success or failure in the hopes of enticing pros and publishers to return.

Speaking of which, there's a rumor burning up the forums that people are wanting to run for the board just to kill RWA for good. Some think it's based on pure speculation or a side comment somebody made elsewhere; others have expressed the tiniest bit of worry this could happen.
 

veinglory

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I see more people wanted to join the board and 'fix' RWA. Many of the NWL. I am arguably a NWL myself, and this is not our moment.
 
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thethinker42

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Pretty sure the NWLs are the only ones who will step up because they're the only people who want the organization to recover. The general consensus among queer and POC members has been "LET IT BURN." Of course we'll be blamed by the NWLs, but whatever. If they didn't want the house to burn, they shouldn't have played with matches.
 

Marissa D

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My home chapter is about to vote to disaffiliate, and one of my on-line chapters has retained an attorney to help figure how to do so with the least loss of assets (not just our treasury, but our on-line discussions and membership lists and that sort of thing.) The only reason I'm going to re-up in March is because I'm a board member in that chapter, and want to help it go through disaffiliation. Otherwise, I'm in the "let it burn" camp. I know how hard Leslie Scantlebury is trying, but I just really doubt it can be transformed. There's too much of a dead weight of people who were fine with it as it was.
 

veinglory

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I have only given it a brief read but this issue of the second 'shadow' ethics committee being used (as reported by members of the existing committee) does not seem to be addressed/ That aspect makes it harder for me to see it as 'dun fucked up' versus 'did it in purpose'.
 

Maryn

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There are some good people in that list, including Amergina.
 

frimble3

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So, has anything new happened, or is anything new known about the new Board members?
 

Marissa D

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From what I understand, they're getting ready to meet shortly to start picking up the pieces. The biggest issues right now are whether or not the national conference will be able to happen in light of the pandemic (it's in San Francisco at the end of July) and internal issues like the fact that chapter affiliation documentation is due shortly...and a lot of the chapters are not willing to file that paperwork when there are so many unanswered questions, including legal ones, about the parent organization.
 

frimble3

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Aaah, so a ton of clean-up to be done, (and, hopefully, done well) before we can see what's under the mess! Thank you.
 

Introversion

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NWL said:
Under-representation of writers of color among RWA’s membership (80 percent of which is white) and RITA finalists created the perception that the organization had a problem, and this perception rapidly became an accepted fact from which all further conversation was expected to follow.

Gee, you think?
 

ElaineA

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I was particularly struck by the photos included: polished, professional headshots for the "good guys," Courtney looking like TMZ surprised her by trying to snap a "what celebs look like without makeup" photo as she stepped out of her hotel room.

I want to complain about becoming aware of that vile piece of propaganda, but I violated my cardinal rule and read the comments, so I have no one but myself to blame. The Quillette sure does cater to a predictably horrid crowd of readers, if that was anything to go by.
 

Marissa D

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https://www.rwa.org/Online/News/202...mbership_from_the_RWA_Board_of_Directors.aspx

Includes this: "On April 1, 2020, the new RWA Board of Directors voted by unanimous consent to expunge both of the ethics complaints against Courtney Milan, and their ensuing proceedings, from the record. In our estimation, this never should have happened. We've issued Ms. Milan a heartfelt apology for how the proceedings were handled and for the impact of this terrible situation on her.

Our next priority will be reviewing our policies and our Code of Ethics so we can ensure they provide a safe and equitable space for our members. The organization failed and disenfranchised some of our members because of deficiencies in some of these policies and procedures, and those deficiencies must be rectified."

It's a good first step. I'm glad they've apologized to Courtney.
 

BenPanced

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Yeah, as the kids are fond of saying, there were a lot of NWLs showing their entire asses in that article, and in the comments.

Especially the ones who are shocked and scandalized that the new board might actually do something about the accusations of racism.
 

Hopefully WLCT

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I guess all we can do is hope that they figure this out. I'm going to wait and see what happens, as far as renewing my RWA membership.I'll keep an old saying close by just in case," fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice , shame on me"
https://www.rwa.org/Online/News/202...mbership_from_the_RWA_Board_of_Directors.aspx

Includes this: "On April 1, 2020, the new RWA Board of Directors voted by unanimous consent to expunge both of the ethics complaints against Courtney Milan, and their ensuing proceedings, from the record. In our estimation, this never should have happened. We've issued Ms. Milan a heartfelt apology for how the proceedings were handled and for the impact of this terrible situation on her.

Our next priority will be reviewing our policies and our Code of Ethics so we can ensure they provide a safe and equitable space for our members. The organization failed and disenfranchised some of our members because of deficiencies in some of these policies and procedures, and those deficiencies must be rectified."

It's a good first step. I'm glad they've apologized to Courtney.
 

BenPanced

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According to a short update I'd received from the Rainbow Romance Writers chapter, the conference is still on. No further details.
 

Marissa D

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Gonna be really quiet in that conference center...

My on-line chapter had planned its first full conference outside of the RWA National conference for late June and just cancelled it...but we're going to do a virtual conference instead with the same speakers and workshops.
 

BenPanced

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The local I belonged to had just started to plan for its biennial one-day conference when everything blew up. There's no word if it's going to continue; they might have a better chance of attracting an audience since it's usually in October.
 

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