This past fall RWA announced its new RITA / Golden Heart eligibility rules. I actually blogged about it when it was announced but apparently authors did not pay attention/read the rules/understand what they were reading.
The new rules are thus:
Contest Rules Specific to the RITA
Books entered in the 2009 RITA contest must:
· Have an original copyright date (printed on the copyright page) or a first printing date or a first North American printing date of 2008.
· Not have been previously entered.
· Be mass-produced by a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher in print book format.
· Meet the requirements for the category in which it was entered.
· Be a work of original fictional narrative prose.
This means that books that are print on demand are not eligible nor are books that are published by what RWA considers to be a Subsidy or Vanity Publisher. So some authors who are members of PAN submitted their books and now are out the contest fee and cost of the copies of the books (around $250+ for some) because the books submitted are not “mass produced.”
This has led to some hard feelings and authors pulling out of the contest as judges and generally stirring up a lot of controversy. I guess my feeling is that if an author is PAN member then she should be able to submit books to the RITA contest. An online petition can be found here in support of changing the rules.