Australian Science Fiction Foundation President Juliette Cavendish and Vice-President Geoff Allshorn resigned as officers on October 14, a little more than two months following a controversy over their proposal to create a youth fiction award and name it after the late Bill Wright.
Cavendish and Allshorn had debuted a rebranded and redesigned Australian Science Fiction Foundation website on August 1. On the new website they also revealed plans for the award to be named after Wright, who died in January, a choice that a number of Australians immediately spoke against because of allegations that he was a pedophile.
Cavendish and Allshorn not only responded with disbelief, they threatened one of those who spoke out with legal action.
However, by the next day the award title on the website had been redacted to Short Story Writing Competition without any reference to Wright. Since then the page has been completely removed.
Cavendish’s announcement — “ASFF President Juliette Cavendish Steps Down to Pursue International Photographic Career” – briefly mentions her idea for the award:
…My dream had been to launch a writing competition for Primary and Secondary students in Australia – to promote creative writing and encourage our younger generation of writers. Unfortunately this won’t be done during my time as President, but maybe in the future the ASFF will continue to plan this….
Allshorn’s announcement – “ASFF Vice-President Geoff Allshorn Steps Down” – does not refer to it at all.
Neither post named who will succeed them in office.