Hello. We're Dale Cameron Lowry and Olivia Helling, and we're devastated by the news coming out of Chechnya, where gay and bisexual men — and those suspected of being gay — are being rounded up in detention camps. The Washington Post reports hundreds of 100 arrests and at least three deaths. It’s imperative to act now to save lives.
If you're a writer or publisher, please consider donating a percentage of your earnings from one or more of your titles, on one or more days in the upcoming weeks, to support organizations that are helping vulnerable LGBT Chechens. The Russian LGBT Network is already working with two dozen people who have fled Chechnya, and four or five new Chechens reach out to the network's hotline each day for assistance.
You also have the option of donating items to an online auction that will run May 5 to May 12.
Interested? Please sign up using the form below. All writers, publishers, and other creatives are welcome to participate regardless of genre, sexual orientation, nationality, or gender.
— Dale and Olivia, April 17, 2017
What charities are helping vulnerable Chechens?
Is there a deadline for signing up?
To participate in the auction, please sign up as soon as possible, but by May 4 at the latest. If you are raising funds through regular book sales, there’s no deadline for participation. But given that this is a humanitarian emergency, the sooner we respond, the better.
Can I donate a portion of my sales AND donate to the auction?
We welcome you to do both. Please fill out both relevant sections of the questionnaire.
I can't give a percentage of sales or participate in the auction. Is there another way to fundraise?
Yes. You can find additional fundraising ideas here: More Ways Writers Can Help LGBT Chechens.
I want to donate (or have already donated) a flat amount instead of participating in the auction or earmarking a portion of sales. Can I still be listed?
Definitely. Just fill out the form on this page and select "other" when we ask how you're participating.
Where should I send any money I raise through book sales?
Please send all collected monies directly to the Russian LGBT Network, ILGA-Europe, Rainbow Railroad, or American Friends of Rainbow Railroad.
Is this effort endorsed or run by the Russian LGBT Network, ILGA-Europe, Rainbow Railroad, or American Rainbow Railroad?
No. This is an independent, voluntary effort by people who want to support these charities.
Are my donations tax-deductible as a charitable or business expense?
Tax implications depend on your country and business type. Please consult your tax agency for more information.
How does the auction work?
I'm not an author or publisher. Can I help out anyway?
Yes. We know book people, so we're asking book people to join us. But if you have something to offer, let us know!
Is there a central web page I can send readers & fans to for information about this effort?
Yep: dalecameronlowry.com/lgbt-chechnya. I'm in the middle of building it, so don't expect anything mind-blowing yet. And if you have time and energy to make it prettier, I'll probably offer to kiss your feet. Only with your consent, of course.
Can I skip questions in the form and get back with missing details later?
We've set the forms to allow this. If it doesn't let you, contact Dale.
How can I keep in touch with participating authors and publishers?
We have a Facebook group.