From their Hot Sheet:
RWA’s strategic plan, as amended in March 2009, identifies the need to incorporate a uniform, objective application method to be used for conference space allocation. Many of you are aware that RWA’s Board of Directors and staff participated in a special-issue board meeting in Houston this past weekend. The agenda encompassed the findings and recommendations of a task force that was charged with reviewing the publisher evaluation system and recommending changes to RWA’s policy. Taking into account emerging trends in publishing that may offer opportunities to writers, the task force recommended that RWA adopt methods used by other trade shows and conventions and to shift its method of evaluating publishers as a whole to evaluating publishers by divisions, imprints, or lines.
Under this revised method, RWA will extend invitations to a wide pool of publishers. Invitees may only represent their non-subsidy/non-vanity publishing programs (imprints, divisions, or lines) at RWA’s conference. Space for spotlights, workshops, and booksignings will be allocated to lines, imprints, or divisions that best meet the requirements for “Qualifying Markets.” This new process of evaluation will likely increase opportunities for small presses and e-presses that previously have been excluded.
The potentially broader array of publishing companies present at RWA’s national conference in no way signals a change in our mission or core values. RWA has no intent to tell publishers how to conduct their business, but as a professional writers’ association, RWA stands firmly against any attempts to directly solicit RWA members to pursue vanity/subsidy publishing or other author-financed forms of publication. Members can be assured that publishers and agents allowed to participate at our national conference will have met this criterion.
Translation: Oh, Harly-booboo--I just can't stay mad at you (?)