Vancouver Genre Writers (VGW) Code of Conduct
VGW was founded to bring together writers who may not have found a place in existing writing communities. As such, we hold ourselves to a high standard of inclusivity and acceptance. To keep things clear, we have a two simple rules we expect all of our members to abide by, whether it be in online chat or in person.
1. Respect Your Fellow VGW Members
We are a diverse group of amazing human beings, and that means you may find yourself sitting next to or chatting with someone whose life experience differs from your own. Prejudice, bigotry, and racism will absolutely not be tolerated. This is a zero tolerance policy.
Do not insult or attack other members of the group. Heated discussion is one thing, but the moment it crosses over into ad hominem attacks, it’s time to back off and change topics. People are allowed to have different opinions, and even if you can’t agree with someone, you’re expected to find a way to respect their right to hold their own opinions.
Refrain from flirting and broaching topics of an explicitly sexual nature. While we’re generally a fairly open-minded group, it’s important to remember that we’re all relative strangers. Meetups and private chat messages are not an acceptable place to be flirtatious or provocative. This holds especially true when talking to newer members who may be too timid or shy to express discomfort with certain subject matter.
2. Try to keep conversation positive, and where critical, constructive.
We get it, you have opinions. Strong opinions. That’s cool, so do we! Sometimes we get a little riled up when discussing a piece of fiction that irritated us. At the same time, we have to remember that the value of creative work is inherently subjective. It’s not uncommon to hear people dismiss certain works as garbage, but what that says to people who might have enjoyed certain aspects of those works is that they are somehow wrong for liking things.
Take a moment and say this out loud:
No one is wrong for liking something I don’t like.
Okay, I know you didn’t read that out loud. I can also hear some of you grinding your teeth and muttering nasty epithets about me right now. Disagree with that statement all you want, but this group is not the place to air your bitterness over a creator who has somehow managed to personally offend you with their work.
Does that mean you can’t be negative or critical about anything? No! Of course not. But please do keep it on the constructive side. If you want to talk about how much you hated a particular book or movie, move past hurling insults, and try to create an opening for dialogue where you at least make a half-hearted attempt to see how other people may hold a differing opinion.
VGW meetups and chat are not your soapbox, and if you’re not prepared to have a discussion about both the positive and negative merits of a piece of work, save it for another venue.
Be nice. Be courteous. Consider the fact that the person you’re talking to is a human being with their own impression of the world.
If you experience or witness any major infractions of these rules, please contact one of the organizers on meetup.com or via the private message function in our Discord chat. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure you feel safe and/or comfortable attending future meetups.