Posted on 01/07/2020 at 09:58 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
The Romance Writers of America announced yesterday that it would cancel its annual awards, the RITAs, given the “recent events in RWA.”
The trade group said that with so many entrants and judges withdrawing from the competition, the pool wouldn’t accurately reflect the “breadth and diversity of 2019 romance novels/novellas.”
Its statement acknowledged that these withdrawals came from a loss of faith in the organization; while it didn’t specify the causes for that, the romance world has been in turmoil since before Christmas.
That was when the RWA suspended author Courtney Milan for a year and banned her for life from holding a leadership position, based on an ethics complaint filed by two writers who called Milan a bully.
(Milan, for the record, had described one of their books as a "racist mess.")
The uproar following this move — including complaints that a secret ethics committee was formed just for this matter, mass resignations by board members, and public criticism by big-name authors — caused the RWA to backtrack, rescind its vote, and announce an “independent audit” of the matter.
That hasn’t eased the tensions; in addition to the resignations and withdrawals, a petition demanding the resignation of RWA President Damon Suede was just delivered to the group’s office.
Categories: Today in Books