Code of Conduct

James River Writers builds community by connecting and inspiring writers and all those in central Virginia with a love for the written word.

James River Writers envisions a community enriched by the literary arts. This community aims to be welcoming, inclusive, respectful, and safe for all. To that end, James River Writers has adopted the following code of conduct and terms and conditions.

By attending any James River Writers (“JRW”) events and/or participating online, the participant (the “participant”) automatically agrees to the terms and conditions set forth below. These terms and conditions apply to each participant. Any person, guest, student, media representative, speaker, or exhibitor who is present is considered a participant.

Thank you for making JRW a safe, enriching, inspiring community.

Participant Code of Conduct

JRW is committed to providing an environment free from harassment, intimidation and coercion based on race, gender, religion, national origin, immigrant status, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any other classification protected by applicable law. No participant shall engage in any action that may constitute harassment. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Offensive or abusive physical contact;
  • Repeated or persistent unwanted physical contact;
  • Use of slurs or offensive nicknames or terms of endearment;
  • Unwelcome comments about a person’s clothing, body, or personal life;
  • Offensive jokes or unwelcome innuendo;
  • Other conduct based on referring to a protected classification, even if not objectionable to some participants, which creates an environment that others may reasonably find hostile, offensive, or uncomfortable

Participants are expected to act in a civil and collegial manner at all times. While it shall not be cause for removal merely because a participant disagrees with the majority on one or more issues, both the “dissident” participant and the majority are expected to continue to treat each other in a civil and respectful manner so that all sides of any issue may be carefully considered. A persistent disregard of this principle may constitute cause for removal. Personal disagreements and differences of opinion are not harassment.

Reporting An Issue

Participants finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety or comfort are at risk or who become aware of a participant not in compliance with this code of conduct should contact a JRW staff person or director so that the matter can be resolved. Staff and directors are identifiable by a name badge and ribbon or by a nametag. During an event, please contact the volunteer coordinator, staff, or director present. At the annual conference, they can often be found at the registration desk. Communications can be sent to Katharine Herndon, Executive Director, at [email protected] or (804) 433-3790 or to the Board Chair at [email protected] Reports can be made at any time. JRW requests that a report be filed as soon as possible, especially if you believe the offending party might continue to harass you and/or other participants. Reports will be taken seriously and handled appropriately regardless of when they are made.

Retaliation in response to asking a question, raising a concern in good faith, or participating in an investigation will not be tolerated. Knowingly making a false report or reporting with malice or disregard for the truth is also prohibited.

Consequences of Harassing Behavior

Participants asked to stop harassment are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the JRW organizers may take any action they deem appropriate and necessary to safeguard participants, including warning the offender or expelling the offender from the event with no refund.

At the reporter’s discretion, reports of harassment will be referred to JRW’s board of directors, which will hear all sides and recommend whether to bar the offender from attending any additional events organized by JRW and/or to strip the offender’s membership. In determining the appropriate response, the safety of all participants will be paramount.

JRW will handle all reports with equal consideration and will not be influenced by factors such as the social status or event role of anyone involved in the situation.

JRW will provide procedures for addressing violations upon request and/or when a report arises.

Terms and Conditions

Participant agrees to abide by all fire, safety, and health regulations of the local, city, state, hotels, and event space where the events are held. Participant must comply with all applicable federal, state, local and ordinances, as well as JRW policies and procedures as set forth below.

Participant in violation of such rules and/or who behave in an unsafe or careless manner may be asked to leave and will be held responsible for their actions. Participant acknowledges that such violations may result in the attendee being removed from the event or forum and barred from returning without refund of the participant’s registration fee.

Participant likewise acknowledges and agrees that all participants have the right to enjoy JRW programs equally. Disruptive behavior that interferes with the conduct of reasonable business, or any other attendee’s safety or comfort, may result in the participant being removed from the event/forum and barred from returning without refund of the participant’s registration fee.

Indemnity. To the extent permitted by law, the participant agrees to protect, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless JRW, the event venue(s) and convention centers where the event is being held, and their respective employees, officers, directors, and agents against all claims, losses, or damages to persons or property, governmental charges or fines, and costs (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising out of or connected to the actions or failure to act in accordance with the Terms and Conditions by participant, its employees, officers, directors, or agents, except those claims arising out of the other party’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Access Guidelines. JRW is committed to making all reasonable arrangements that will allow participants to participate in events. All rooms at the conference are wheelchair accessible. In order to help JRW better prepare, please submit requests for special services, equipment, or accommodations in advance of the event. Please submit your request to [email protected] Participants who require special onsite assistance during events should request it from personnel at the registration desk or the event host.

Lost Registration Badge. Participant’s registration badge must be worn at all times during the annual conference. Access to the conference facilities will not be granted to those without proper credentials. If a participant loses, misplaces, or forgets his or her name badge, a replacement badge can be obtained from the registration desk. A small fee may be required for the creation of a new registration badge. Once the new registration badge is released to the participant, the lost badge will become invalid.

Modification of the Event. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise. JRW reserves the right to modify the event, speakers, panels, etc, which are published online and in print as an indication only.

Registration, Hotel, & Travel Accommodations. Registration includes admission to JRW’s meetings, panels, readings, and public receptions for the duration of the event period. Some meals, all lodging, and all travel are not included.

Salvatory Clause. If there is a determination that any part of the Terms and Conditions is ineffective or impracticable, then the validity of the Terms and Conditions remaining is not impaired.

Photography & Filming. Professional photographs, audio, and video will be captured during the events. Participants hereby grant JRW and its representatives permission to photograph and/or record them at the event, and distribute (both now and in the future) the participant’s image and/or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions, and sound recordings of such events and activities. Participants may not use professional recording, photography, or film equipment without authorization from JRW, whether digital or analog, and should refrain from interfering with the speakers, presenters, panelists, staff, and attendees and their enjoyment and participation in JRW events.

Force Majeure. Attendance at the event is subject to acts of God, government authority, disaster, or other emergencies, any of which make it illegal or impossible for JRW, the event venue(s), or convention centers to provide the facilities and/or services for the event, or make it illegal or impossible for the participant to utilize the hotels, convention centers, or venues for the event. A registration may be cancelled for any one or more of such reasons by written notice from JRW to the participant without liability on the part of JRW.

Cancellation. In the event the conference or event cannot be held or is postponed due to events beyond JRW’s control, JRW shall not be liable to participant for any damages, costs, or losses incurred, such as transportation costs, accommodations costs, or financial losses. Under such circumstances, a participant may choose to have their registration fee refunded in full.

Online Participation

Online participation includes JRW’s website, social media, and any online forums.

Comments that are explicitly or implicitly sexist, racist, or otherwise marginalizing or discriminatory are subject to deletion. Users can be banned on the first offense for any of the following behaviors:

  • Violation of JRW Participant Code of Conduct;
  • Insulting or otherwise attacking another participant;
  • Posting irrelevant, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate content or comments as determined by JRW staff and/or board;
  • Posting comments that denigrate the value of marginalized voices
  • Using JRW’s website or JRW’s social media accounts for any unauthorized purpose.