December 10 – December 17, 2009 Edition Mystery Writers Reject Harlequin Over Self-Publishing Move

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/December 9, 2009—Despite Harlequin Publisher Donna Hayes’ letter to the Mystery Writers of America, the MWA voted unanimously to remove all Harlequin imprints from its list of approved publishers, effective immediately.

The controversy arose when Harlequin launched a new self-publishing imprint with Author Solutions.

Word of the kick-out came December 7 from MWA executive v-p Frankie Y. Bailey, who explained on MWA’s  web site. “We did not take this action lightly. We did it because Harlequin remains in violation of our rules regarding the relationship between a traditional publisher and its various for-pay services.”

The fact that Harlequin immediately changed the name of its self published imprint from Horizon to Dellarte Press last month, did not satisfy the MWA, whose actions followed  a similar decision by Romance Writers of America only days earlier.

The move means that no author published by Harlequin will be eligible for membership, nor will that person be considered for the Edgar Awards, though authors who signed Harlequin publishing contracts before December 23, 2009 will still be eligible for both.