Jennifer Pelland

I know that many people on both sides of this issue wanted me to take an early and decisive stand, but I couldn’t. I had friends on both sides, which made it incredibly difficult for me to sort out my own genuine feelings from the feelings of the people that I cared about. On the one side was a magazine that I loved and which had done incredible things for my career, headed by an editor who had never been anything but kind and supportive to me. On the other side were friends who asked to have their stories removed from the Helix archives and were subjected to extremely unprofessional treatment in response by that same editor.

I am aware of the multiple interpretations of the infamous rejection letter, and the debate over which was the greater offense—the words contained in it, or the fact that it was released to the public in the first place. Several people whose opinions I respect greatly told me that they didn’t believe William Sanders to be a bigoted man, and several other people who I equally respect told me that his words spoke louder than his beliefs.

In the end, it all came down to words. This is a business that’s all about choosing your words carefully, and his words were hard to ignore. And I might have been grudgingly willing to ride this one out on the sidelines were it not for the choice words he chose to level at my friends. Those were the tipping point for me—the words that made me realize that I couldn’t simply write off the rejection letter as being hastily written and easily misread. So I’ve decided to post copies of my archived Helix stories on this site alongside the stories written by those friends. But I’m also happy to have my stories remain in the Helix archives alongside so many wonderful authors’ wonderful works. I still love the magazine. But I can no longer support the way it behaves editorially.