JordanCon Issues Statement Regarding Faith Hunter and Richard Fife

The official “JordanCon Statement Regarding Faith Hunter and Richard Fife” posted to the convention’s website on June 17 gives a limited report about the committee’s response to Richard Fife’s allegation of unwanted touching by author Faith Hunter at this year’s event. (See “Assault Allegation Leads Faith Hunter to Apologize and Pull Out of Conventions For 2022”.)

They go no farther than to affirm that what the parties have been saying publicly is the same information that the two reported to JordanCon at the time.

The Incident:

JordanCon will not comment on the merits of Richard’s allegations against Faith except as follows:

      • Richard’s statements in his post are consistent with a report he made to JordanCon authorities.
      • Faith Hunter self-reported certain conduct to JordanCon authorities and her public comments to date are consistent with what she self-reported. JordanCon has no further comment on the degree to which, if at all, Faith’s self-report aligns with Richard’s version of events.
      • JordanCon spoke with every known witness to / person involved in the incident. JordanCon will not comment on the identities or statements of the persons JordanCon spoke to, and JordanCon will not comment on any ultimate findings of fact.
      • Faith and JordanCon mutually agreed that she would not attend in the future.

Most of the statement is devoted to JordanCon’s incident response procedures and the philosophy behind them.

JordanCon’s procedures, which are publicly available at this link, are guided by several principles:

      • All staff take a harassment training session and pass a test each year before they are allowed to pick up their badge.  
      • Investigations are conducted by experienced HR professionals.
      • Anyone who makes an allegation deserves to be taken seriously and protected with whatever level of confidentiality they are comfortable with.
      • Protective and corrective measures are not binary and can be tailored to fit the circumstances of a particular situation, including the desires of the complainant(s).

It is true that JordanCon does not make public statements on allegations, findings of fact, or determinations of culpability….

File 770’s original article would have covered whether the interactions with the convention described by Fife and Hunter were consistent with the con’s published procedures if they could have been located. Despite other JordanCon convention documents referencing the “JordanCon Code of conduct”, that is not what the convention calls their policy, which is why use of the site’s search engine does not return a link to it. They call it “Anti-harassment” – also a common phrase for the topic. The link in the latest statement reveals that the Anti-Harassment policy is indexed in the “Newbies Survival Guide to JordanCon” under “Policies”. It is not directly accessible from the JordanCon website’s drop-down menu.

Assault Allegation Leads Faith Hunter to Apologize and Pull Out of Conventions For 2022

Following Richard Fife’s publication today that “Faith Hunter Assaulted Me” at JordanCon 2022 in April, fantasy author Faith Hunter issued an apology on Facebook, and announced that she has removed herself from JordanCon permanently and cancelled all her con appearances for the year.

JordanCon 2022 was held April 22-24 in Atlanta. Hunter, whose fantasy works include the Rogue Mage series, the Jane Yellowrock series, and the Soulwood series, apparently decided to pull out of cons after the developments of JordanCon weekend, however, the reasons had not been made known.

Richard Fife’s blog post “Faith Hunter Assaulted Me” relates what happened. (The text is also posted on Facebook, where there are many comments.)

…I have known Faith for many years, moderated her on panels and advocated for her to be a guest at JordanCon when I was still the director of the Writing Track. I had several long discussions with her about the divide in the world that had resulted in my public resignation from DragonCon as the Assistant Director of the Fantasy Literature Track. I had encouraged her to come to Multiverse, the new convention of which I am the Vice-Chair and that is dedicated to providing a safe place for marginalized and vulnerable fans.

On Saturday evening of JordanCon 2022, I saw Faith at a table with several of our mutual friends, and I opted to go up and join the conversation. As I sat down next to her, I could tell she was inebriated. It wasn’t just the multiple empty martini glasses in front of her, but that her general demeanor was one of lowered inhibition. Even then, in retrospect, there was something off about her behavior from the person I’ve known. At the time, I think I was rationalizing that this was her first public appearance since 2020.

She immediately grabbed my hand and leaned in, starting a conversation with me. The conversation touched on the growing divisions in convention fandoms, and at one point, I had mentioned I wouldn’t be welcome nor even belonged in certain spaces.

She then reached out and touched my hat, hair, beard, and coat and said, “Yes you do. And I didn’t touch anywhere that was wrong, so nobody can’t say anything.”

Those words made me feel uneasy in the moment. I didn’t address it, though, and looking back, I’m not even sure what I could have or would have done. As I sat at the table, Faith had several other off-putting moments with people whose story it is not mine to publicly share. After she left, I then learned of even more she had done, and the next few hours were spent processing and comforting those she had hurt.

I also came to look at her interaction with me in a very new light, of one where she felt entitled to touch me regardless of my consent and had decided she needed to make that clear, especially since I was not the only person that evening where she had ignored explicit pleas for her to not touch them….

The next day Fife reported the incident to the convention chair.

Sunday morning, with the permission of the other victims I knew of at the time, I reported directly as a witness and victim to the Convention Chair, Jennifer Liang. Her empathy and disgust at what happened was comforting, and during my report, she received communication from Jenna Sellers, the Operations Officer at JordanCon, that another witness, who was also a long-time member of JordanCon staff, had likewise reported the incident.

I was informed on May 16th that in addition to other reports from witnesses, Faith had self-reported and voluntarily would never return to JordanCon. Additionally, she had pulled out as the Guest of Honor from ConGregate and as a guest at DragonCon. The Convention further informed me that she was permanently banned from JordanCon.

(The con’s procedures for handling reports could not be immediately determined. There are references to a JordanCon Code of Conduct on the website, however, its text is not available from the drop-down menu.)

After Fife’s post appeared, Faith Hunter published this apology on Facebook:

First, I want to say that I’m very sorry to the people I offended and hurt at JordanCon 2022. I have a black hole in my memory for that night, but what little I recalled was indeed unacceptable. When one of the people at my table finally got through to me, I left the table and went to find my doctor, who was also attending the con. Dr. Leann Rettell sat with me for over two hours. She stated at the time that she believed I had a reaction with my meds after a drink, and I am still under her care. Regardless of contributing factors, *this was my fault*.

The next day, Sunday, I self-reported what little I recalled of that night. I personally wrote apology letters to the few people I remembered seeing. I removed myself from the con permanently, and cancelled all my con appearances for the year. I issued (on May 23) a broadband apology to anyone I insulted or abused.

Again, I truly offer my humblest apologies. There is no place for my actions at any con.

I have no more to say publicly.

File 770 searched Hunter’s blog, newsletter, and Twitter and Facebook activity for May 23, and checked all items posted after the JordanCon weekend, but was unable to locate the earlier apology.

She did announce May 15 on Facebook “For personal reasons, I have withdrawn from ConGregate this year. It’s a great con. Y’all go and support them!”

Faith Hunter’s Facebook apology has received over 400 positive responses.

The response to Richard Fife’s post includes a statement of support from Charlotte Moore-Lambert on why he warrants being believed. Moore-Lambert formerly ran Dragon Con’s Fantasy Literature Track with Fife as her second. When her criticism of an author in social media led to her being fired by Dragon Con in 2018, Fife resigned and wrote a public statement protesting how Dragon Con had handled the matter. (See Pixel Scroll 6/9/18 item #3.)

2019 Phoenix and Rebel Awards

Winners of two traditional DeepSouthCon awards were announced in Charlotte, NC on June 2 during ConCarolinas 2019, host of DSC 57.

The Phoenix Award is given to the professional (writer, editor or artist) who has done the most for Southern Fandom. This year’s honoree is Faith Hunter, a prolific fantasy author.

The Rebel Award is awarded to the fan who has done the most for Southern Fandom. The 2019 winners are Ron McClung and Jeff Smith, managers of JustUs Productions & MACE Tabletop Gaming Conventions.

Monster Hunter Tales Anthology Announced

Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Monster Hunter International creator Larry Correia have signed a contract with Baen to co-edit an anthology of stories set in Correia’s Monster Hunter universe.

Schmidt told his Facebook readers the anthology will feature 18-20 stories. Correia will write two of them himself, including one from a monster’s POV (never done before).

Other invited contributors include Jim Butcher, Jonathan Maberry, Jessica Day George, Faith Hunter, John Ringo, Sarah A. Hoyt, John A. Pitts, Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Kupari, Maurice Broaddus, plus Steve Diamond and John C. Wright .

Correia says the book will come out in 2017.