Newest letter-two in one day

Just when you think shit can’t get any weirder within the so-called leadership at RWA.

Guess what? The president who would be king shouldn’t even be in his position.

Read on for the details.

Screenshot of my letter to the RWA board of directors detailing why Damon Suede's presidency is in violation of our bylaws/P&P


Here we go.

To the members of the board

Yet more interesting information coming from twitter.  Damon Suede never should have been allowed to run for president-elect, much less now be president. Per his own website, he has only published four novels and several are actually under RWA’s length to be defined as such.

Per the bylaws, the works published must be novels, not novellas. Below is Damon’s backlist. I’ve bolded the works that are qualifying per RWA’s defintion of romance novel.

Horn Gate (2013. 24k)

Grown Men (30k)

Hot Head. (2011. 112021 words) 

Bad Idea (2013. No word count given)

Pent Up (2015. No wordcount given.)

Lickety Split (2017. 100585 words)

Therefore, I demand he removed immediately as having him ensconced as president is a violation of the bylaws, as clearly stated below.

Per the P&P manual, we have our definition on what constitutes a romance novel, by length. I bolded the needed text.

1.25. “Eligible Novel” means a work of Romance Fiction of more than 40,000 words (as determined by computer word count) that is or has been commercially available.    


Per the bylaws: (I bolded the relevant text)

Section 11.2. Qualifications. In order to be eligible for a Board or Advisor position (whether elected or appointed), a candidate must: (1) have been a General member for a minimum of five years, with lapses in membership of less than 6 cumulative months; (2) not have a material conflict of interest that would disqualify the person from holding the intended office; (3) not have been found guilty of a Code of Ethics violation; (4) not be a publisher, acquiring editor, or agent who actively acquires romance fiction or actively offers representation to writers of romance fiction, as further described in RWA policy. An individual who has served a full trm as President is no longer eligible to run for or hold any Board or Advisor positions. Candidates for specific positions must also have the following qualifications:


11.2.1. President-Elect. Candidates for President-Elect must: (1) have been General members for a minimum of five consecutive years immediately preceding filing for office; (2) be the author or co-author of at least five published romance novels as defined in RWA policy; (3) have published or contracted to publish at least one romance novel, as defined in RWA policy, within the two years immediately preceding filing for office; and (4) must have completed one full year of Board service but cannot have more than six years of accumulated Board and Advisor service.


And yet, per Damon Suede’s website, he has only published four novels. There are a four short stories, but they do not count, nor do the novellas.
Damon Suede was not eligible to run for president-elect at the time he chose to do so, whether through his own ignorance or willful intent to deceive, therefore, he must be removed from office. Attempts to retroactively change the P&P or belaws, of course, will not change this fact.

As always, in the name of transparency, so both my readers and fellow authors know where I stand, I will be posting this letter, in its entirety, to my blog and the RWA forums and the letter has also been bcc’d to a lawyer friend.

My complaints and letters to RWA will not disappear quietly into the night.

SO. There we have it.

Yet more bullshit.

For those wanting more on this disgusting mess, make sure you read Claire Ryan’s blog, because she is keeping the details up to date on all the bullshit.


So, I went to twitter to grab a link for the passage above and FOUND THIS BULLSHIT!

text from screenshot of M Szereto: In addition, it's my understanding that if the President's Office is vacant, along with the Executive Director, RWA would cease to function.

SO, naturally. I had to send another. fricking. letter.

This is a screenshot from twitter.

I have no idea who supplied it.

But this is pure, outright bullshit.A group of 9000 dues-paying members does not exist on the backs of two people, nor their staff.

Yes, the staff at RWA works hard.  However, they also work for the membership and if they fail to carry their duties and work FOR the membership and not their own agendas, then we do not want them.

WE CAN HIRE NEW STAFF. Would it be easy? No. But it can be done.

Nor do we need a president or board members who share or spread false information.

I DEMAND this information corrected.AND YES, it’s going on my damn blog. I was just putting the finishing touches on my last post when I found this, so it’s going to be a two-fer.

Also, I’ve taken the liberty of finding one of the attorneys who handles non-profits at Pillsbury’s Houston office and bcc’ing as well. If the attorney reading this is by chance the attorney who will be handling RWA’s audit, I feel they should be aware of the false narratives being spread by the board of directors. If the attorney isn’t the one involved, perhaps they could be kind enough to share the word if they know who is taking the case. There are a great many concerns from the members of RWA that are going unaddressed by anybody and we’re tired of it.

RWA belongs to THE ROMANCE WRITERS who form it.

M Szerseto.png Screen, same as above.

— ​​
Shiloh Walker