I’m back from traveling, and while I was out of town, I was saddened to learn of the recent suicide of Julie Lonewolf (@juliethewolf). Julie took her life in February after being targeted, stalked, and harassed by members of the online writing community. Julie was a queer, autistic, Black, and Native woman of color. Here is a Twitter thread by Some of Our Voices (@SomeOfOurVoices) that explains the details: https://twitter.com/SomeOfOurVoices/status/844337959881101312 And more details here: https://twitter.com/SomeOfOurVoices/status/844327935419076609
There was an incident on our Pitch Wars hashtag where she was targeted by other mentee hopefuls. I spoke extensively to Julie about it in DMs to make sure she was okay. We took a community-agreed action against the persons we believe violated the zero-tolerance standards for harassment/bullying in PitchWars. When the FicFest attacks happened, I checked on Julie again in DMs. But I did not make a public statement at the time, which I should have. Not speaking out publicly about the harassment and bullying supports the bullier and not the bullied. We can do better. I can do better.
Pitch Wars has a zero-tolerance for harassment and bullying. Should you participate in such actions on our hashtag or on your social media sites, we will remove you from our contest and will make a public statement denouncing you. If you are being harassed or bullied during our contests, please contact me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I will support you!
To Julie’s family and friends, I and the Pitch Wars mentors are truly sorry for your loss. Julie was always kind to me and was an amazing voice for marginalized people. She was fearless when it came to speaking out against hate. She will be missed.
To our community, please join me in supporting those who are victimized. Don’t stay silent. Speak up against harassment and bullying.
If you are being harassed/bullied, here are some resources to seek further help.
In terms of resources, a few of our mentors and mentees recommend https://victimconnect.org and the Stalking Resource Center, http://victimsofcrime.org/our…/stalking-resource-center. They can probably give some general advice about the options available, as well as referrals to attorneys who can assist with the particular legal issues being raised. Those with knowledge of the incidents may also want to consider filing a complaint with the FBI. That can be done here: https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx/. Filing a complaint is not a big deal; FBI makes a determination about whether and how to proceed, you are just letting them know about the incidents.