This summer, the Author Development team launched a special series of three Author University seminars in partnership with PEN America to address book bans, online harassment, and allyship.
The first session, the Book Bans and Disinformation Town Hall, included a one-hour presentation where members of the PEN America Freedom to Read team and the Digital Safety team discussed the different ways authors can take action and make their voices heard while staying safe online. The recording of this presentation is now available to view on demand on the Author Portal here.
The second session was Online Abuse Self Defense Training. This session took a holistic approach to digital safety, equipping attendees with practical tools and strategies to defend against online abuse. Our last session, Bystander Intervention Training, featured an interactive presentation from PEN America and Right to Be giving tools you can use to safely intervene when witnessing online abuse.
In order to allow a safe space for attendees to share personal experiences, the last two sessions were not recorded. For those of you who could not attend, we would like to share some helpful resources from our friends at PEN America, in case you or any author you know is affected by book bans or online harassment.
- Digital Safety Checklist
- Our Freedom to Read Action Page (for up-to-date research, advocacy actions, and talking points regarding book bans)
- Digital Safety Snacks (bite-sized videos)
- What to Do If You’ re the Target of Online Harassment (concise protocol for navigating abuse)
- PEN America’s Field Manual for dealing with online abuse:
A special thank you to our presenters from PEN America and all who attended! If you have any questions about these sessions, their topics, or the resources above, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.