In a unanimous vote this week, the Board of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) voted to cut Harlequin and all of its imprints from the organization’s influential Approved Publishers list.
Harlequin had drawn criticism for its recently launched self-publishing arm. The MWA rules state that the “publishing entity” must “be wholly separate and isolated” from “an entity that provides self-publishing, for-pay editorial services, or for-pay promotional services.” The MWA’s executive VP, Frankie Y. Bailey, declined to offer a more detailed statement. “We hope to continue discussions with Harlequin,” she wrote in an email to GalleyCat.
Novelist Lee Goldberg published details from the group’s bulletin on the matter: “Any author who signs with Harlequin or any of its imprints from this date onward may not use their Harlequin books as the basis for active status membership nor will such books be eligible for Edgar Award consideration. However books published by Harlequin under contracts signed before December 2, 2009 may still be the basis for Active Status membership and will still be eligible for Edgar Award consideration.” (Via Sarah Weinman) (NOTE: An earlier version of this post included name confusion).