Publisher Oversight and Grievances

Publisher Oversight and Grievances

Mystery Writers of America takes seriously its responsibility to vet publishers and ensure that they treat our members fairly. If you believe your publisher is violating the terms of your contract, has added terms that are unfair to you, or is doing something that violates the standards MWA has established, we want to hear from you, using the form below. Please be as detailed as possible. MWA will contact you within the week. Your report will be kept confidential, and your information or name will never be revealed without your permission.

Publisher Grievance Process

Once a complaint is received, the Executive Director — remaining mindful of requests for anonymity — will promptly inform the EVP, Membership Committee Chair, and Contracts and Grievances Committee chair. If it is determined that the basis for the complaint could plausibly call into question the publisher’s MWA eligibility, a review of the publisher will be launched.

If the decision is made that the complaint could not affect the publisher’s eligibility, the complainant will be given the opportunity to communicate with Contracts & Grievances to determine whether MWA might be able to lend assistance.

If, however, the decision is made to proceed with a review, the complainant will be contacted by the Executive Director with an acknowledgement of the complaint, a request for further information (if necessary), and a clear explanation of the next steps of the process and the timeline. The Membership Committee will then proceed with a comprehensive review of the publisher’s eligibility, and the list of MWA Approved Publishers will be updated accordingly.

Once the review is complete, this list will be updated again to reflect the board’s decision.

It should be emphasized that MWA’s goal will always be to find ways to bring publishers back into compliance with MWA guidelines. Delisting is a last but, regrettably, sometimes necessary resort.

Note on Active Status and Edgar Eligibility

If a publisher is delisted, any author who signed their contract before the date of official delisting is still eligible to apply for active status membership assuming other guidelines have been met. They may also still submit their contracted work for Edgar consideration. An author who signs a contract with a publisher in good standing will not be penalized for that publisher’s subsequent actions.