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Pitch Wars is against Bullying …

Thursday, 30 March 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake



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 () 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.


Filed: Misc

  • Meghan Molin says:

    Thank you for your words, Brenda.

  • Catherine says:

    So sorry this happened. I didn’t know her or the situation, but it’s still so sad.

  • storywrtr says:

    Hoping something as tragic as this can be turned into something productive and positive. Thank you, Brenda, for speaking out and putting this out there. Condolences to her family and friends.

  • mrscolacchio says:

    I am so saddened by this. I remember Julie the Wolf from her supportive and insightful Twitter posts. Truly a loss.

  • That the writing community I know and love has this dark side is sickening and sad. Me and @writevent will always do our best to support PoC, disabled, LGBTQIA+, and any other diverse voices. The fact is that I am none of these things, and I will sometimes make mistakes and need to be humbled and pointed in the right direction – but my heart goes out to people like Julie and if ever I can do something to help, or fix a way I’m inadvertently hurting the situation, I want to know. Thank you for posting and opening my eyes just that much more.

  • mdl1958 says:

    Brenda, Thanks for having the courage to speak out. Acts of bullying in this community are unconscionable and should be vigorously denounced. I’m glad you included the link to the FBI, as law enforcement is the proper remedy for this kind of egregious behavior. Ostracism by the community is a close second. It is the celebration and embracing of the vast diversity of human culture and experience which has been central to the progress of civilization. It periodically runs up against these countercurrents and retrenchments. We must remain steadfast in opposing them. The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. My heart goes out to Julie’ family, and any who are experiencing what she did.

  • Trish Macro says:

    I’m not aware of the circumstances and history, but I’m disgusted that this poor girl took her own life due to online bullying and harrassment. What is the world coming to?

  • Kate Brown says:

    SO sorry to hear of this. Bullying is a cowardly way to do ANYTHING. NO one should do this. It only makes the person doing it look like a bad child. It is a person with a very poor image of THEMSELVES that tries to make themselves look/feel better than they are. I HATE BULLIES!

  • Laura Fineberg Cooper says:

    My heart goes out to Julie’s family and friends. Bullying in any form is the worst kind of hate crime; it gives me shivers to think that members of the online writing community harassed her so viciously. Thank you, Brenda, for speaking out about this terrible tragedy. I’m so glad that PitchWars has a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying and harassment.

  • Tracy Cretelle says:

    Thank you for taking a stand and making it public. This IS the way to force those who participate in bullying to stand down. For the person being bullied, standing in their own power is only partially effective. It takes the rest of us to rally around them to make it clear that they it’s not going to happen on our watch.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    The comments to this post are not for debate, argument, or blame. In order to be sensitive to Julie’s family, such comments will be removed from this post. The message in this post is just to inform those participating in Pitch Wars and our other contests our stance on bullying and harassment. Please be mindful when commenting. Thank you!

  • I had no idea this happened. I wish I could have done something.

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We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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