Backlash continues against deStefano for refusing GISHWHES


In a follow-up to an earlier article, Lauren deStefano continues to experience backlash and hate from a group of Gishwhes participants for her refusal to write an 140 word story featuring Misha Collins, the Queen of England and an Elopus.

deStefano has written several blog posts on her Tumblr about the harassment now, calling people out on their behavior and explaining that, though she is an author, she has no obligation to the general public to write when they demand.

“Buying a book is not buying an author. When you buy a muffin, do you email the baker to demand to know what he is doing with his free time that he is not currently baking more delicious muffins for you to eat right now? Do you think that because there are no blueberry muffins that day that he is wasting his time spending the day with his family? No, of course not, because that would be insane. So don’t do this to authors,” wrote deStefano on Tumblr.

Some have begun to question whether the backlash against deStefano rather than, say, Jon Scalzi and Neil Gaiman – both of who not only denied Gishwhes participation, but were far more sarcastic than deStefano’s politely worded answer – is a matter of gender.

deStefano is no longer the only author batting away requests and demands from the Gishwhes crowd. Ann Aguirre (Razorland) has also been forced to step up and ask that people stop sending her requests. “Please stop asking me to write a story on demand. I’m on tour right now and I’m really tired,” Tweeted Aguirre before linking to one of deStefano’s posts.

While deStefano is continuing to receive hate messages, she has also received numerous messages of support and apology from the rest of the Gishwhes community.

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.


  1. Misha’s fans are extremely rabid and I doubt things will settle down until he tells them to. Last year, NASA declined to participate and he called them “chickenshit”.

  2. I don’t think gender is the issue…there are other female authors who said no and didn’t have this problem. I have read a lot of the comments to her fb post and the issue is not “no” but the tone and presuppositions/accusations of her response.