This is an open letter to my school librarian friends. I post it here also, so that readers of Kiss the Book are better informed about what has been done, said, and written.
DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN HEARING ABOUT THE CURRENT CONTROVERSY WITH RICHARD PAUL EVANS
(Some of the links may not work while you are at schools because of firewall issues, but they will all work at home)
I am not emailing this to offend anyone or to ask you to make any changes or judgments. I just want you to have access to the full chronology of the circumstances
I think many of you have by now heard about what is going with Richard Paul Evans (RPE) right now. If this is the first that you have heard of it, then you have come in in the middle of the conversation. If you’d like to know more about what has been happening in the KidLitverse, then here are some articles, twitterfeeds, and blogposts you might read.
1. In response to what was happening with Harvey Weinstein, Anne Ursu decided to send out a survey to see if there were similar stories lurking in KidLit. This is the blogpost that she wrote. You might want to read the comments (there are A LOT of them), because there is where some Utah authors get involved.
2. Here is a summary, with updates of the actual named individuals who came out in the comments of Anne’s blogpost.
3. Here is a summary of the fallout or responses from some of the named people on School Library Journal.
4. This is how Dan Wells reacted after he was accused and then the accuser recanted.
5. Dan’s post was in February. For a little bit after that, things were kind of quiet, unless you are on Twitter, where things were still brewing. If you follow Ally Condie, Shannon, Hale, Bree Despain, Sara Zarr, Linsey Leavitt, then you probably know all of this already. These women, rightfully so, were stewing about what they were hearing from their fellow authors about RPE.
6. Robison Wells was hearing from women telling him specifically about women being harassed by RPE at conferences and ComicCon (FanX now). He posted on Facebook, with updates about what he was hearing.
7. On May 1st, a group of female authors decided to start a pledge that they would not attend events without clear anti-harassment policies with confidentiality and consequences. In the comments you can see the names of the people who have signed it so far. You can also see that on May 14th Bryan Brandenberg from FanX specifically asked for feedback about their harassment policy.
8. On May 8th Sean Means of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote an articleabout RPE being uninvited to Fanx.
9. On May 10 Robison Wells made a video about the events to date.
10. On May 13th Bob Evans from Fox 13 sat down with RPE for his 3 Questions segment.
11. In reaction, twitter lit up in the Utah KidLit community in dismay. See the twitter feeds I mentioned above.
12. At some point Shannon Hale started communicating with FanX about this harassment policy and what they were specifically going to do and say about RPE. In response, On May 21st they doxxed her (posted her personal email online for everyone to see) and dismissed her concerns as trivial and called the #metoo movement trendy. Shannon has deleted the post that shows her email and the response she received. Here is an inadequate summary.
13. On May 22nd, RPE voluntarily talked to KUTV reporter Chris Jones.
14. May 23rd Shannon Hale explains why she is adamant about RPE’s behavior being confronted.
Do with this information what you will, but now you know what has happened and what is being said. We each have to decide for ourselves and for our libraries what we should/would/could do. I am not telling you to do anything.
I just want you, my friends, to be informed.
Summer is so close, I can taste it! I hope you all have a great time recharging your batteries and I’ll see you in August!