Dear members, dear colleagues,
The Authors' Union is standing behind our endangered colleague Pim Lammers and signing a broad statement of support from the book trade. You can also join this individually. The login address email@example.com is open until Thursday, February 9, 10am.
Here's what it's about
It was with horror that we followed the news surrounding our colleague Pim Lammers. Pim received death threats in response to a 2015 adult literary short story about a trainer grooming a 12-year-old boy. This story was seen by a small but very outspoken (online) group of people as proof that Pim himself would have these fantasies and would therefore not be suitable for writing the children's book week poem for Children's Book Week. Pim said the following about this in a press release from the CPNB:
'Writing a poem is not worth death threats to me. The allegations about me are pertinently untrue and I have therefore filed a report. The sheer volume of threats and their aggressiveness towards me and my loved ones have made me decide to withdraw.'
The CPNB reported in the same press release: 'We have learned of the threats with great indignation and dismay and find it appalling that an author is being attacked. Literary freedom is under extreme and for the CPNB unacceptable pressure here. In the near future, we need to have a dialogue with each other about the safety of authors.'
Last weekend, the Authors' Union was in close contact with Eveline Aendekerk, the director of the CPNB and through her with Pim. At their request, we did not initially draft our own statement.
Many who speak out about this immediately get the axe on social media. That is why we are joining a joint initiative. Together with the GAU (Group of General Publishers), the CPNB has drafted a declaration of support that will be placed in all major Dutch daily newspapers this Saturday with signatures by as many authors as possible. That way we are making a fist at the same time instead of individually.
Statement of support
Last Saturday, author Pim Lammers had to decide to withdraw as writer of the poem for Children's Book Week 2023. He was and is seriously threatened. We find this appalling.
The attacks followed a short story Lammers wrote for adults in 2015. Death threats against writers are unacceptable, regardless of how you interpret their work or what you think of it.
We do not consider it acceptable for writers to have their safety and freedom threatened.