Code of Conduct

The purpose of Cascade Writers is to provide educational seminars and workshops for the general public interested in writing and publishing original works. Cascade Writers is registered as a non-profit corporation in Washington State.

We value the participation of each member of the Cascade Writers community and want all attendees, speakers, workshop leaders, guests, and staff to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all are expected to show respect and courtesy to others throughout the conference and at all conference events, whether officially sponsored by Cascade Writers or not.

To make clear what is expected, all delegates/attendees, speakers, exhibitors, organizers and volunteers at any Cascade Writers event are required to conform to the following Code of Conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version

Cascade Writers is dedicated to providing a respectful harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Language, behavior and imagery should be professional, appropriate and not directed personally (i.e. could be construed as an attack).

Be kind to others. Do not insult, put down, or slander other attendees, whether to their face or in the means of gossip to other attendees or participants. Behave professionally. Remember that outside of the clear context of discussing the writing process, harassment, and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for Cascade Writers.

Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers. Attendee may also be banned from future events depending on the level of transgression, a decision that will be made by board vote.

Thank you for helping make this a welcoming, friendly event for all.

The Longer Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, bullying, gossiping, false allegations against others, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Some scheduled events will have topics and content that some people may find disturbing. When disturbing themes and or scenes are critiqued in someone’s submitted work, workshop participants have permission to respectfully leave the room for that period of time and to pass on reading and critiquing such work. In public space, please be aware of those around you and if others appear to be disturbed or express that they are disturbed by your conversations, please respectfully take your conversations somewhere private. If you are in public space and find yourself in our near a conversation that is making you uncomfortable, feel free to ask the group to change or tone down the subject, leave the conversation and/or find a staff member if you feel the situation warrants it.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Retaliation for a complaint will also be construed as harassment. Reports of harassment will remain as confidential as possible, but should the accused become aware, any retaliation is harassment. Complaints made are staff responsibility. Not attendees or guests.

Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Excessive swearing and offensive jokes are not appropriate for Cascade Writers.

If a participant engages in behavior that violates this code of conduct, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Contact Information
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff. Conference staff will be wearing “Staff” badge ribbon. You may also contact hotel staff and ask to be put in touch with the onsite CW event coordinator.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.


  1. Keep in mind that all conference staff will be wearing a conference badge ribbon with the word “STAFF” on it (or otherwise clearly marked as staff). The staff will also be prepared to handle the incident. Our staff has been informed of the code of conduct policy and guide for handling harassment at the conference. There will be a mandatory staff meeting onsite at the conference when this will be reiterated as well.
  2. Report the harassment incident (preferably in writing) to a conference staff member – all reports are confidential.

When reporting the event to staff, try to gather as much information as available, but do not interview people about the incident – Staff will assist you in writing the report/collecting information.

The important information consists of:

  • Identifying information (name/badge name) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in the incident

The staff is well informed on how to deal with the incident and how to further proceed with the situation.

If you feel your safety or those of others is in jeopardy do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement by dialing 911. If you do not have a cell phone, you can use any hotel phone or simply ask a staff member. Otherwise, involving law enforcement or security is the prerogative of, and should be initiated by, the complainant.

Fragrance Policy
As many of our number are sensitive to heavy perfumes and scents, we ask that you consider your fellow classmates and refrain from using heavily scented products this weekend.

This Code of Conduct was forked from the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers under a Creative Commons Zero license and from PyCon — Conference Code of Conduct ( )is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License