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Golden Crown Literary Society Code of Conduct



The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is an international organization devoted to increasing the diversity,  accessibility, quality, and visibility of sapphic and women-loving-women literature. GCLS values of diversity and inclusion are fundamental: we welcome everyone, celebrate our differences, and understand we are at our best when we draw from the unique strengths, abilities, experiences, and perspectives of a diverse membership. We encourage and support initiatives that facilitate understanding, embrace mutual respect, and cultivate an atmosphere of kindness. We encourage and support programming that is inclusive, safe, accessible, and anti-racist. We must all work together to ensure that the spaces and places where programming occurs foster an anti-oppressive environment for the organization’s members, the surrounding community, and allies who support women-loving-women literature. To guide this vision, we’ve developed a code of conduct, based on our organization's mission to help guide the behavior of GCLS members and guests interacting within GCLS-supported spaces. 


Mission of GCLS:

 Recognize and reward quality literary works about women who love women;

  1. Provide learning opportunities, encouragement, and assistance to new and established writers in developing their craft;

  2. Provide opportunities to promote WLW literature, including events that bring readers and writers together;

  3. Be inclusive of friends/supporters of literature that celebrates women who love women.


In line with our mission of providing a safe, inclusive space we expect our members to adhere to our Code of Conduct. 


GCLS Code of Conduct:


Who this code applies to: Any person choosing to participate in a GCLS event either virtually or in-person. This includes members, non-members, vendors, and service providers. 


GCLS members are expected to respect and work to advance our mission by adhering to the following values and behaviors:



  • Recognise the value of every member of the organisation as well as its supporters/allies and treat them with respect and dignity. 

  • Actively strive to ensure all voices have the opportunity to be heard and be open to hearing everyone’s individual perspectives. 

  • Respect that people's individual needs may be different from your own. This includes using people’s chosen pronouns and self-described identities. 

  • Recognise that representation matters and that as an inclusive organisation we need to make sure we amplify all of the voices within our community. 

  • Ensure that all events organised in the GCLS name are inclusive, accessible, and, when public, open to all. 



  • GCLS is dedicated to providing a positive and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of other members or participants or anyone in our spaces, in any form whatsoever. 

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive verbal or written comments or literature that seek to demean, ridicule, or humiliate,

  • deliberate intimidation, 

  • bullying,

  • stalking, 

  • photography or recording without consent, 

  • sustained disruption of talks or other events, 

  • inappropriate and non-consensual physical contact, 

  • unwelcome sexual attention including comments on dress or attractiveness, 

  • sharing of sexual images without consent,

  • advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviors. 


Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence is any unwanted attention of a sexual nature, including:

  • Remarks about appearance or personal life,

  • unwanted flirtations or advances,

  • offensive written or visual depictions, including graffiti or degrading pictures and literature,

  • touching someone without their permission (groping, grabbing, hugging, petting, biting),

  • unwanted sexual demands, pressure, propositions, or requests for sexual activities,

  • graphic comments about an individual’s body or dress,

  • verbal abuse, including sexual insults and name-calling,

  • rewards for granting sexual favors or the withholding of rewards for refusing to grant sexual favors,

  • sexual assault, rape, and sexual violence.


Offensive Literature includes:

  • Literature that perpetuates, glorifies, or promotes racism; dehumanizes someone's race, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size,, ethnicity, or religion.

  • Literature that perpetuates, glorifies, or promotes sexual assault, rape, or sexual violence.

As creators, promoters, and lovers of literature, we know that words matter. GCLS members should ensure that all their communication is free of Racist, Transphobic, Homophobic, Ageist, or Ableist content. While it is important to respect differing points of view (as stated above), speech, actions, and literature that are harmful, oppressive, or intolerant of other people’s identities will not be condoned as representing opposing perspectives. 


Members should be committed to ensuring that everyone in our community feels respected and valued. To that end, we should be open to being told when our behavior even unknowingly has made another member feel unsafe or excluded. We strongly suggest that such conversations be conducted in the spirit of goodwill and with the intent to promote positive change.


Members must comply with health directives issued by the board, which could include, for example, the need to not wear excessive perfumes or colognes, the need to wear masks or to socially distance.  Such directives are given to provide the safest event possible for all participants. 



  • We encourage all members to help us in creating a safe space for all by speaking out when they witness or were the recipient of any of the behaviors mentioned above. However, we recognize that speaking up may be challenging and that individuals may not always feel safe doing so. Where a GCLS member or event attendee has directly been subject to or has observed any of the above behaviors or feel unsafe, we encourage them to report the issue through one of the options below: 


  • In person by contacting an identified GCLS staffer or board member, 

  • emailing, ‘report at goldencrown dot org‘ or clicking here, and putting: ‘Code of Conduct Violation’ in the subject line,

  • anonymously by filling in an online incident form located here.  

  • Where the matter is urgent, attendees are welcome to email, Betsy Carswell, Golden Crown Literary Society Board President & Director of Organization at, or by clicking here and putting: ‘Code of Conduct Violation’ in the subject line. 


Members of the GLCS Diversity & Inclusion Committee are also available to discuss these matters with you and connect you to the appropriate person, by emailing ‘diversity-inclusion at goldencrown dot org’ or clicking here.  


Breaches of the code will be followed up and action taken as quickly as possible. 


Participants asked to stop any of these harassing behaviors are expected to comply immediately.


Sanctions and Restorative Actions: 

GCLS takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Any issues that GCLS has identified will result in action taken immediately.  All other complaints will be investigated by a panel of board members. When necessary, the panel will also determine violation sanctions or restorative actions, which could include mediation, education, a warning, removal from an event, denial of access to GCLS spaces and venues, prohibition from future speaking engagements, or revocation of membership.


Non-retaliation and Confidentiality:

GCLS prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports harassment or any action listed in these guidelines, including participating in an investigation relating to a complaint. GCLS will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations in a manner that protects the confidentiality of all parties. However, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate reason to know of the allegations will be informed. Where criminal behavior has been reported, GCLS will assist the complainant if requested to lodge a complaint with the authorities. Parties to any complaint should treat the matter with discretion and respect the reputation of all involved.

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