The Authors Guild Condemns Intimidation, Discrimination, and Harassment

We believe that empowering a multitude of voices is the way we can achieve the rich, diverse body of literature and stand firmly against the silencing of authors through sexual harassment or bias.

The Authors Guild condemns intimidation, discrimination, and harassment.

As the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers, we represent novelists, historians, journalists, and poets—traditionally and independently published—as well as literary agents and writers’ estates. Together, we are committed to supporting working writers and their ability to earn a living from authorship.

Sexual harassment is a direct attack on this mission. We affirm those who have chosen to keep their experiences private, and we stand with those who have brought their stories to light. Their bravery has demanded that we take a hard, honest look at the literary culture and, further, that we make strong and swift changes to that culture in order to guarantee the safety and dignity of all writers.

A writer’s workplace is not limited to the desk at which pages are written. It includes meetings with publishing professionals, as well as readings, literary festivals, writers’ conferences, workshops, and social events that are part the development of a strong and supportive literary network. But any of these events can put writers into a vulnerable position. In all these venues, authors must be treated as authors, not as objects of sexual attention. There is often a power differential at play: famous writers, as well as editors, publicists, and agents with an ability to help or hinder careers, mix with newer members of the community or unpublished writers. Power differentials can lead to harassment and abuse in our field as much as in the entertainment industry, politics, and business.

The Authors Guild stands firmly against censorship. We do not condone the banning of books, even by perpetrators or accused perpetrators of harassment. At the same time, we believe that empowering a multitude of voices is the way we can achieve the rich, diverse body of literature that is essential to our democracy—and this is one of many reasons we must make sure that no author is silenced by harassment or bias. Sexual harassment derails careers and censors vital voices.

The Authors Guild strives to protect authors’ constitutional and moral rights to benefit from their work. The Authors Guild wants writers who have been victims of any form of harassment, discrimination, or intimidation to know that we are here to support them. Support for those who have been victimized in any way as writers remains central to our mission, and our professional staff is here to help authors in need of redress.

We will not waver in this mission, maintaining our dedication to the empowerment of all writers across the nation through a fair and respectful literary community.