SFWA Responds to Anti-Censorship Petition

SFWA President Steven Gould has responded to Dave Truesdale’s recently circulated petition opposing proposed changes to the Bulletin’s editorial structure, “SFWA President Endorses PC Bulletin Censorship”, subsequently signed by several prominent authors. Truesdale is a former editor of the Bulletin, though he is not currently a SFWA member.

The editorial structure of the Bulletin is being revamped after some members expressed concern about problematic material in the publication last year. A task force was assigned to consider changes to the Bulletin. After surveying the membership about what they wanted from the organization’s official publication, SFWA put out a call for a new editor which mentions taking part in the “proofing and review process with select volunteer and board members,” along with some other points that Truesdale and others have construed as having the potential for censorship, including choosing cover art “in line with SFWA standards” and choosing “topics and columnists that fit within vision of the Bulletin.”

SFWA President Steven Gould posted an official response, which reads in part: 

While this petition has not been formally presented to SFWA, I have seen versions and they express concerns for something that does not and will not exist:

Specifically, the editor of the Bulletin will not have to go to any selection or editorial review board to approve material.

In compliance with the by-laws and the will of our members, there will be regular oversight of the Bulletin to ensure that it is inclusive of and reflects the diversity of all our members, and that it continues to address the changing needs of professional writers.

With all of our publications, SFWA will continue to stand strong for the rights of writers. This includes opposition to censorship.