Yesterday, the remaining board members of the Romance Writers of America resigned and announced a special election to fill the board seats for the remainder of their terms. The election will be held March 13-20 and those elected will serve until August 31. The RWA will hold another election to select an ongoing board sometime in August, per the organization's regular schedule.
The announcement comes in the wake of the recent upheaval stemming from the censure of author Courtney Milan that resulted in board president Damon Suede and RWA executive director Carol Ritter tendering resignations in early January and the cancellation of the annual RITA awards.
The board members who announced their resignation on Wednesday were treasurer Nan Dixon, and directors-at-large Hanna Rhys Barnes, Kate McMurray, Maria Powers, Mellanie Szereto, and Eliana West.
The members explained their decision in a mutual letter of resignation that read, in part: "We believe that stepping down to allow for new leadership chosen by the membership is in the best interests of the association. The Board has always wanted what is best for Romance Writers of America, and we still do. This desire has been the driving force behind every decision we have made to try to navigate RWA during this difficult time. We have tried hard to keep the best interests of RWA front and center as we have confronted the challenges of the last eight weeks.
We believe that the Board must have the trust of the membership and that this is the best way forward to achieve that. We believe RWA can and will be a place of inclusion and respect. We tender our resignations in support of the organization and its mission."
A note adds that the resignations will not disrupt an independent audit being conducted by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP of the organization. They underscored that the organization remains committed to releasing the results the audit to the membership "in unedited, non-redacted form.”