Hello dear friends and precious readers,
I’m sure most of you are aware of the recent and long overdue look at the culture of sexual harassment in the young adult and kid lit world. It’s been difficult to hear the stories of other authors, illustrators, and fans who have faced this, and it’s equally disturbing to see specific names repeatedly come up as offenders are finally disclosed. For my part, I have never faced any sexual harassment in the book world, and, because I’m more of an introvert and need to be alone after signings and panels, I haven’t seen it either. But that’s not the point.
The point is, it’s been happening. The point is, for those who come forward, I believe you. The point is, I have no intention of being a part of anything that allows known predators to participate.
From this point forward, I am refusing to be at events, conventions, and festivals where known offenders will be present. I am also making sure that anything I participate in has a solid anti-harassment policy with clear lines of what’s unacceptable and outlets for helping anyone in need of assistance. On a personal note, if you should find yourself in an uncomfortable situation at an event where I’m present, I am here for you and will always be your ally. If you just need someone to stand near so you aren’t alone, I’ve got you.
I want to note that everyone on my team at Laura Dail Lit and HarperTeen fully supports me in this decision and are helping me along the way to be wise about event participation in the future. I’m hoping this will help others follow suit in doing what we can to make our amazing community secure for everyone.
Sending you all love,