Thursday, January 22, 2009

RWA Petition--veinglory

January is the month for reneging on resolutions. As I have already had a little slip on self-banned topic #1 (Ravenous Romance), I may as well also slip a little on self-banned topic #2, RWA.

There is a petition online, open to members and non-members, suggesting some categories changes at Romance Writer of America. Specifically:

1. A move for total inclusion in PAN for those who qualify based on the current $1000 earnings, non-vanity, non-subsidy guidelines, meaning that all PAN members are eligible for every PAN benefit, including entrance in the RITA competition. (But not asking for the RITA to be PAN exclusive.)
2. The removal of the exclusion of those who don't qualify for PAN, but are epubbed or small press pubbed, from the Golden Hearts.
3. The refund of entrance fees to every PAN member who entered but was disqualified from the RITAs due to the addition of the phrase "mass-produced."
(Feel free to add your RWA member # in the comments if you're a member!)


Kris Eton said...

I'm not an RWA member, but number three really floors could they possibly keep entrance fees for books that don't qualify for the contest?? That, to me, is stealing. And makes the RWA look really bad regardless of the problems epubbed authors are having with recognition of their work.

Anonymous said...

@Kris - if you enter a contest and confirm that you have read all the rules and understand all the rules. Then you can't really ask for your money back when your entry is rejected because it does not conform to the rules. It will have cost the RWA money to process the application.


veinglory said...

If the submitter misreads the rules I would agree. But in the case of genuine ambiguity or misonformation I think a refund would be called for.

Athena Grayson said...

It may be in the bylaws or policy & procedure that prohibits refund of the money. If that's the case and their hands are truly tied, then RWA could marshal some goodwill by providing DQ'd authors with credit towards entry in another year. They might not be legally out of line, but it would be the right thing to do.

Kris Eton said...

just wondering how much the fees are...'cause I just don't buy it costs tons of money to basically reject an application the minute they see the publisher info.

Emma Ray Garrett said...

OMG, I didn't know they kept the fees either. Oh, that would so burn my nuggets - regardless of whether I read the rules or not.

And now I'm going to have to look into that, since regardless of whether one reads the rules or not, ones monies are sent in anticipation of acceptance into the RITA's. If one doesn't qualify, for whatever reason, said money should be refunded. If not in full, then partially to cover 'monetary loss' suffered by RWA through rejection/reimbursement processing.

So if it's fifty bucks and one's book is kicked, one may get forty back with a ten dollar 'processing' fee retained by RWA. Otherwise, I bet it could be argued that the rules aren't clear, or whatever, and then RWA would have to explain why they refuse to reimburse DQ's.

And I only think of this because last year my hometown was flooded badly (all those midwest floods). Anyway, the town hosts a music festival every year but last year the whole shooting match - concerts and the carnival - were canceled due to high water. Well, the town/music board refused to reimburse anyone any monies, stating that the disclaimer printed on tickets to both concerts and the carnival clearly stated no refund.

So about a thousand people took the city/music board to court and the city/music board lost. The judge ruled that while the city did not have to reimburse for used grounds passes (for the music) since two shows had been played (that pissed a lot of people off), they were required to reimburse for all unused tickets because unused tickets meant those persons had paid for a service they never received. The judge also said a nominal fee could be attached to the refunds, but that it couldn't exceed 20% of the original cost for said tickets.

So in my mind, RWA keeping monies for entries they kick out should be reimbursed. Those monies were paid for a service, which the payees are no longer going to receive. Otherwise, the argument might be made that the rules are intentionally fuzzy and/or easy to misinterpret and RWA is profiting off others confusion.

Of course, I don't know how many people don't get money back each year, and that would play a major role in arguing the aforementioned.