The NaNoWriMo Board of Directors has paused most of the forums due to an investigation into moderation practices. At the heart of the matter are serious allegations made against a forum moderator based on their actions in the Young Writers Program (YWP) area of the NaNoWriMo forums. There also are claims that NaNoWriMo HQ staff did not respond to those accusations in an appropriate manner.
I will not include details that could be triggering. So, if you decide to wade into the forums and read associated posts, please put yourself and your mental health first. Exercise caution and step away if necessary!
You may read the Board's statement here: https://nanowrimo.org/board-response
Please bear in mind that speculation, misinformation, and exaggeration are muddying the facts. I can vouch that the Board's statements are our most reliable insights into the situation. Since NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization, the Board can take priority when making decisions. And, right now, the Board is making sure members of the community remain safe and have their voices heard. They are devoted to our community and are working toward a solution that will benefit us all.
In the past, the NaNoWriMo Board hasn't stepped in like this, and we rarely hear from them at all. This is normal and appropriate for a Board of Directors. The Board is only doing so now because they have no choice. Also, they are being as transparent as they reasonably and legally can, and we have been given no reason to distrust them. It is the staff and some moderators whose errors are in question.
A responsible and thorough investigation takes time. Therefore, we will know more when we know more. No other information has been given to the MLs, nor do we expect to be given any. Since these issues overlap with either law enforcement, employment issues, or both, we expect that most details will remain confidential.
In the meantime, the Board left it up to individual Municipal Liaisons to determine our next steps at the local level. Currently, MLs are guiding each other and have received no further guidance or support from NaNoWriMo staff or the Board. In short, the MLs are all floundering and winging it.
If you're not already part of the Rogue Wrimos Discord community, I recommend connecting with us there (the link is in the menu). Our Discord server is a space independent of the forums and not directly overseen by NaNoWriMo HQ. I have opened a channel on our Discord server where we can openly discuss this matter. In there, we may share our feelings and thoughts, and explore how we wish to proceed as a region.
If you need to reach out to the Board of Directors, you can do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care of yourselves and continue supporting each other. Forums closure aside, this situation does not (yet) directly impact local NaNoWriMo regions. Our region continues to be a supportive and wonderful place to write. I'm glad you’re here!
Rogue Valley Municipal Liaison