Saturday, July 18, 2020

Kerfuffle in the agenting world


During the period of protests and rioting that followed the police killing of George Floyd, the owner of Red Sofa Literary, Dawn Frederick, tweeted that she was phoning the police because people were looting a gas station by her house. All told rioters in the twin cities of Minneapolis–St. Paul torched, looted or vandalized 1,500 gas stations and bookstores, restaurants, homes, and other locations during rioting.
Remains of Uncle Hugo's, the oldest sci-fi bookstore in the U.S.
and its brother store, Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore
Following Twitter attacks on Dawn, Kelly Van Sant, who was an agent at Red Sofa, tweeted that she’d quit the agency because her boss had phoned the police “on protesters in St Paul who were demonstrating to demand justice for George Floyd." Apparently, Kelly was unaware or uninterested in any distinction between looters and protesters. 
The Twitter mob hasn’t concerned itself with such fine distinctions either and continued to pursue Dawn, accusing her of racism. Calling the cops on looters is not a Woke thing to do. {More details here}
Two other agents at Red Sofa also tweeted their resignations. Amanda Rutter cited “racism” {apparently assuming the looters were Black} and Stacey Graham referred to “recent events.”
Dawn posted an explanation of these recent events and her actions on the Red Sofa website, then in an apparent attempt to placate the mob or possibly because she believes she did something wrong, Dawn posted an apology (both here). More recently, she’s threatened law suits.  

Kelly Van Sant has since joined kt Literary {see here}. Stacey Graham has joined 3 Seas Literary Agency. 

Dawn Fredericks is now closed to queries. Hopefully she and Red Sofa Literary will have only been wounded, not destroyed, by this instance of cancel culture. 

Update Aug 26, 2020: Good news! Dawn is once again open to queries, though the Red Sofa website has yet to be thoroughly updated. See here.

1 comment:

  1. Children’s Literature has enjoyed a long period as a safe and nurturing environment in which to publish. No more! I’ve watched careers trashed on Twitter and Facebook for anyone not supporting the prevailing attitude that change cannot be undertaken without rioting and looting in support of BLM.

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