The International Thriller Writers (ITW) Board of Directors have resigned their positions.
Over the last few weeks the International Thriller Writers (ITW) Organization has been plagued with social media posts that have backfired on them in the eyes of their members and others.
A female writer who volunteered for the organization reported to ITW administration that she had been sexually assaulted at Bouchercon by a fellow writer. She sent the formal complaint and had a witness cooperate her story. The incident is still under investigation by law enforcement.
The victim shared ITW’s response which included-
#1- That the complaint wasn’t valid because it didn’t happen at an ITW event.
#2- Since ThrillerFest, which is ITW’s premiere convention, was taking place online this year the victim wouldn’t have to see the accused assailant until the 2021 ThrillerFest.
When the victim shared the reply there was immediate support for her and anger at ITW. ITW then responded via Twitter.
Note: We have removed the victim’s name from any screen captures or other notes.
ITW wanted to clarify with members and the public that the incident of the assault did not happen at an ITW event.
In responding to the victim officially, ITW allegedly told her that the complaint was invalid due to it not having happened at an ITW event. They also informed her that she’d not have to see the accused assailant until the following year.
The victim resigned her volunteer position with ITW and canceled her membership.
In a later statement released by ITW it specifically named the victim eight times in the statement while keeping the accused assailant’s name confidential. Later, it edited the statement to remove her name.
Social media exploded with outrage toward ITW regarding the breach of confidentiality for the victim who had not given them permission to release her name.
Many authors who were up for the ITW thriller award have requested their book be pulled in protest to the treatment of the victim.
Members who were scheduled to participate in ITW events have canceled their participating in support of the victim and in protest of the actions of the ITW board.
Board Members include Heather Graham, John Lescroart, David Dun, Liz Berry as well as several others not named. It was not immediately known who had written the statement, who approved it or who was responsible for putting it up on the ITW social media. Liz Berry has stepped down, but it’s not known who else of the board would be leaving. It was also not know whether or not the victim received a separate apology.
The list of who is on the Board was immediately taken down by ITW, but a look at the www.waybackmachine.com showed in April the members were-
Heather Graham, John Lescroart, Kathleen Antrim, Steve Berry, Anthony Franze, Peter James, Barry Lancet, William Nikkel and Liz Berry. Lee Child and RL Stine are listed as “Director at Large” but it wasn’t clear as to whether or not that title was honorary.
This article is will update as more information becomes available.