SFC Statement on ChiZine and Professional Behaviour

In the last week, many people have reported financial irregularities and unprofessional personal behaviour by the owners of ChiZine Publishing. SF Canada has delisted this publisher from its market list and is in discussion as to further steps necessary to both uphold our mandate and assist the authors (members and non-members alike) who have been harmed. With unfortunate timing, the unfolding situation occurred too late for voting by members on a plan of action at our currently-running annual general meeting.

We do not have the resources or authority to act as a court or professional disciplinary body; however, SF Canada strongly believes that it is unethical for a publisher to withhold royalties or royalty statements, to pressure or bully an author, or to take advantage of staff, contracted editors, or interns. We recognize the important role of volunteer activity; but exploitation and degrading treatment of others have absolutely no place in our community.

We encourage CZP authors and others who experience similar issues now or in future to contact Writer Beware and/or the Writers Union of Canada; but we are supportive of all affected writers, whether they choose to come forward or not. We also encourage affected CZP authors to add their name to Dora Badger’s list for the purpose of promoting their other work outside of their CZP publications. A StoryBundle is also being created for this purpose; contact Doug Smith at http://www.smithwriter.com/email if you are an affected ChiZine Publications writer wishing to participate.

We are striving to continue our mandate of encouraging professional and ethical behaviour throughout the Canadian speculative fiction community. This occasion is a reminder to writers and publishers alike to be attentive to business practises, and to encourage associates and colleagues to ask for and give advice and help.

This statement has been issued by the President and Executive of SF Canada.