Women's Fiction Writers Association Inclusion Statement and Code of Conduct

Click here for a message from the WFWA President issued on June 1, 2020

May 4, 2018

The Women's Fiction Writers Association is a special community. We are a virtual group, but we talk and share intimately on our Facebook pages. In the five years since WFWA was born, we've grown substantially, and the Board of Directors feels the need for a clear policy regarding those spaces and discussions.

Recently, there were some conversations on our closed, members-only Facebook page where members questioned the validity of the #DVPit event on Twitter. #DVPit was created expressly to showcase pitches by marginalized voices that have been historically underrepresented in publishing. Marginalized groups include the LGBTQ+ community, native people and people of color, people with disabilities, people living with chronic illness, refugees, immigrants, and religious minorities. 

WFWA honors their stories. They need to be told, and we want them in the marketplace. Inclusion in the publishing industry is critically needed if we, as writers and members of society, want to ensure our stories accurately reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. 

To attack the validity of the event, the integrity of the agents who are seeking these stories, belittle the writers who garnered likes and requests for their work, or invent a marginalized status because a writer feels they are being ignored by agents is arrogant, hurtful and, above all, a very privileged thing to say. Such behaviors and sentiments are offensive and will not be tolerated. They are not who we are. 

The Board of Directors condemns the statements that were made on our page. We are saddened and disappointed that these discussion spaces were used to propagate sentiments of bigotry and racism. We apologize to our members for not mounting an immediate defense of the affected individuals or reacting in a timely manner. WFWA has a zero-tolerance policy for prejudice based on, but not limited to, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, or political affiliation.

This code of conduct is being implemented to prevent future abuse or harassment within the Facebook groups and all official and unofficial WFWA social media platforms, including but not limited to, satellite Facebook groups such as the WFWA Peer Accountability Forum, the Sub Support Group, and other groups that are member-generated rather than leadership-created:

  • Any member who belittles a marginalized person’s experience, in word or spirit, will receive one warning and their post will be removed. On the second offense, they will be suspended from the group for six months. 
  • Any member who continues to demonstrate racist or harmful views toward others will have their membership revoked.

In addition, the Board is committed to developing programs and implementing outreach efforts intended to diversify our membership and foster inclusion so that all members have opportunities to succeed and build their careers. We invite diverse perspectives and are dedicated to building an inclusive and accessible community. 

As a leader in the publishing industry, WFWA supports all writers of women's fiction and will intentionally strive to build a climate and culture of empathy and compassion. We welcome and invite dialogue and suggestions of how we can best serve our members in this and other endeavors. I can be reached via email at [email protected] or via the contact form on our home page.

I am proud to lead such an incredible community of writers and look forward to making it better and stronger for all of our members.

Christine Adler

President, WFWA