International Bon Vivant and Raconteur (nick_kaufmann) wrote,
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur

The Harlequin Horizons Saga: New Moon

On Saturday, the Horror Writers Association (HWA) stepped into the fray and joined RWA, SFWA and MWA by releasing a public statement expressing their disappointment in Harlequin over the ridiculous Harlequin Horizons pay-to-be-published vanity program they plan to start including information about in their rejection letters (or maybe it's just called Horizons now, since Harlequin already backtracked approximately a millimeter by offering to remove their name from the program--but not stop the program itself).

I don't know if the following is HWA's statement in its entirety, it's just what was left in the comments of my previous post on the matter:

HWA asks that Harlequin acknowledge that the imprint does not represent a genuine opportunity for aspiring authors to hone their skills, because no editors will be vying for or editing the manuscripts. HWA supports the basic principal that writers should be paid for their work, not pay because they aspire to write.

The HWA does not believe that changing the name of the imprint in an attempt to disguise the relationship with Harlequin, changes the intent. We call on Harlequin to discontinue this imprint immediately. If this matter does not find a positive resolution, the HWA will take appropriate action, which may include removing Harlequin from the list of HWA approved publishers, declining future membership applications from authors published by Harlequin and declaring that books published by Harlequin will not be eligible for the Stoker Award.

Deborah LeBlanc
The Horror Writers Association

I'm glad to see HWA taking a stance, even if it's several days after everyone else. While HWA's relationship with Harlequin is nowhere near as strong as RWA's, or even SFWA's or MWA's, I reckon, the cumulative stance of these four major writers organizations against Harlequin's questionable business decision have a collective weight that makes it all the harder to ignore. Here's hoping the Horizons program gets dropped entirely in the next few weeks, or sooner.

On a side note, I didn't know HWA had a list of approved publishers! I'm told it's something they're currently working on, and I think it's a great idea. I also didn't know HWA is going to start disqualifying vanity press publications from Bram Stoker Award eligibility, but I think that's kind of a great idea too.
Tags: hwa, writing
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