Writer Anne Ursu ran a survey about sexual harassment on the Children's Book Industry. She's recently posted the results, and they're as damning as you'd think. From NYT bestselling authors grabbing knees under the table, verbal and sexual assault happening in editorial offices and considered a "rite of passage", illustrators being inappropriate to students... you name it. Many cases were reported to conference management, and although they said they'd take steps, the authors were invited to speak in following conferences anyway.
I recommend reading the entire article for the full scope of the situation.
A second article, by the School Library Journal, also mentions cases relating to David Diaz and Guiseppe Castellano. After an outcry on twitter about whisper networks, and younger writers being afraid for themselves, some victims have taken to the SLJ article to name names. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of NYT Bestsellers on it.( Collapse )
SCBWI, RWA, and other conference organizers have said they're taking measures to crack down on sexual assault. I hope they do, and don't just brush concerns aside like they've done before.
I've met some of these guys. Jay Asher was known for being a notable creep for YEARS (who had no business writing 13 Reasons Why), and Dashner was a bit too friendly. He creeped around me for a while at a conference, but I left early and didn't experience/witness anything (this is not to clear him, as my lack of experience doesn't mean he couldn't have harassed someone else). My heart broke when I heard of Sherman Alexie, because TADOAPI is an amazing book I will never read again.
To the victims coming forward: I hear you. Thank you for speaking.
Edited to add more names x2.