Fireside Staff Changes

Fireside interim editorial director Brian J. White has announced several changes to the magazine’s management and policies. White will no longer be editorial director, and Pablo Defendini has stepped down from all duties at Fireside Fiction Company.

LeKesha Lewis will take over as publisher, and Chelle Parker will be managing editor. These changes stem from Defendini’s “publication of a racist audio recording” last year.

In order to avoid anything like the publication of that racist recording happening again, Fireside has a new, simple rule: nothing will be published — on our site, our newsletter, our official social media accounts, etc. — without at least two members of Fireside staff reviewing it and affirmatively signing off on its publication. When making choices about materials associated with stories (art, audio, etc.) we will additionally consult with guest editors and authors as appropriate during the process and give them the chance to review the materials before publication.

In the wake of the publication of that racist audio, Chelle took on the major task of reviewing all the narration Fireside has published since it began offering audio in January 2019. We’re still in the process of that review, but should have news to announce in the coming months about the results and next steps. In the meantime, we are continuing our moratorium on new audio recordings.

White also announced that he has secured enough funding to keep Fireside running for 12 more months. For more information, see the Fireside website.

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