03/04/22 - 07/21/22 (ongoing) The following screenshots and documents are related to defamatory statements recently made by Erica Ciko Campbell (former volunteer editor at NN) and the subsequent, ongoing cyberstalking case against her. The police have directed Erica not to contact me after reviewing the documents herein.
Documentation logs are recommended as an appropriate response to cyberstalking. This one is public to serve as a:
1) public-facing record in case further legal action is needed
2) professionalism reference for prospective clients of Erica Ciko Campbell and Desmond Rhae Harris who have seen Novel Noctule listed in their work histories
3) countermeasure against additional defamatory statements (past, present, or future) Needless to say, Erica and Desmond do not have positive professional references from Novel Noctule.
CONTENTS Cyberstalking Case (2022):
If you are ever a victim of cyberstalking yourself:
Cyberstalking Case: The Now
03/04/22 I received a reply to an old email thread. Erica Campbell had noticed that she had been blocked on Twitter, and she was not happy about it. This is the first contact that we have had in almost a year. Figure 27:
Figure 28: I state that I am able to provide evidence that Erica 1) offered to work as an unpaid volunteer, and 2) Desmond was paid fairly as a freelancer / a contract was signed. Due to the aggressive tone of her initial email, I also ask that she not contact me again unless it is through a lawyer. Erica takes this as a challenge.
Figure 28a: Erica's first email address has now been blocked. She continues to message me against my wishes through a second email address. She alleges that she was made to perform work "under duress." I begin to grow irritated and respond with the reasons that I blocked her on Twitter.
Figure 28b: Erica continues to insult both me personally and the magazine as a whole.
Figure 28c: Erica continues on using a third email after her second email address is blocked. She states that the police/lawyers will laugh if I use her messages as evidence of harassment.
Figure 29a: The next day, Desmond Rhae reaches out with a lengthy, similar email.
Figure 29b: Cont. more insults and condescending statements.
The masthead on our site with all current/former staff info was taken down when we went on hiatus. No editor ever received credit on individual stories or issues, and Erica did not have a problem with this until she noticed that she had been blocked on Twitter a year later. Erica's editor's note, in which she expresses her joy about being part of our team, still lives here with full writing credit given.
03/06/22 Erica Ciko Campbell:
telling others that I was committed to a mental hospital and arrested during her time at Novel Noctule. Erica claims that this is why she left. Attached: Erica's bio on the Starward Shadows site
Open letter from a writer, M. A. Istvan Jr., who received aggressive communications from Erica accusing me of something I didn't do wherein she requests that he send me sexually explicit content as retaliation: https://maistvanjr.substack.com/p/open-letter-to-the-editor-of-novel?s=r
Email from Erica under an "anonymous" email address after I retweeted the above letter:
Then some from Desmond Rhae Harris:
Erica Ciko Campbell: 1) researches me to find out my legal name and workplace 2) sends disparaging notes to my place of employment through (2) separate platforms
Erica Ciko Campbell: 1) researches me to find out my home address through my LLC 2) sends vaguely threatening emails under a fake name with screenshots of my address, Google reviews, and personal info
My local police department reaches out to Erica via phone to warn her against cyberstalking. A case file documenting the online abuse is created.
To date, Erica has my legal name listed on her magazine's website in her bio, which she has never been given—and never will be given—my consent to use.
04/08/22 Desmond Rhae:
reaches out to me indirectly by adding my email as a reply-to on his Bing complaint regarding this documentation log (attempting to get it taken down).
05/27/22 Desmond Rhae Harris:
submits a bad faith copyright complaint to Wix in order to get this page taken down. I submit a counter-notice showing a valid contract; the page is restored by Wix on 6/10/22 after a two week waiting period.
06/09/22 Erika Ciko Campbell:
sends a cease and desist letter through a lawyer claiming that this cyberstalking documentation log is defamatory.
06/15/2022 Erika Ciko Campbell:
submits a bad faith copyright complaint to Wix in order to get this page taken down. I submit a counter-notice citing free use guidelines; the page is restored by Wix on 7/12/22.
07/08/22 Erika Ciko Campbell:
contacts me regarding the cease and desist letter via my personal email, despite police having directed her not to. I again request that she refrains from contacting me and block the email address.
07/19/2022 Desmond Rhae:
submits another bad faith copyright complaint to Wix in order to get this page taken down. I submit a counter-notice citing free use guidelines and note that this is the 3rd bad faith complaint in 2 months. Wix bypasses the usual 2 week waiting period before restoration; the site is restored on 7/21/2022.
Footnotes: 1: Erica claims that I didn't send Desmond a high quality image of the cover, and so he has decided to nullify our contract. I sent the image to her (Figure 21), and she said she would pass it on to Desmond. There is also no mention whatsoever of this as a condition in our contract(Figure 19).
2: Erica denies that she announced her departure in a single Slack message, citing the earlier email thread as proof. I have shown that Slack message in the History section (Figure 24).
3: I mentioned that racial dynamics played a factor in how I perceived her behavior when she left (i.e., a white team member had learned professional skills from people of color, misrepresented her intentions, and left to start her own project without notice.) Erica stated that I should have "put out a call" for a PoC editorial assistant instead of her if race was a concern. But I never put out a call for an editorial assistant at all: Erica had messaged NN to volunteer unprompted, and she was welcomed with open arms (Figures 1-3).
4: Erica alleges that I made her "do all of [my] dirty work", largely referring to the proofreading assignment she received. Erica and I both made equal contributions to this assignment, supported by Sheena, while I worked on additional admin tasks. She had expressed enthusiastic interest in the project. (Figure 5).
5: Erica says she told me that meetings got in the way of her spending time with her family. Again, please judge for yourself based on our prior exchanges. Erica was repeatedly told the she should take all the time that she needed and that family and her health come first (Figures 11 - 16).
6: Erica never "requested" editorial credit. She demanded it aggressively and provided ultimatums right from the get-go, almost a year after she had left (Figures 27-29).
7: Erica alleges that I tried to convince her to stay at NN by offering her pizza. My actual statement is in one of the email threads in the history section (Figure 25b) . We had all discussed having a pizza party on Google Meet before she even mentioned she was leaving. There was also a message in which I'd expressed that I was happy to complete magazine work on my own, as I had already been doing before she ever came along (Figure 24). 8: Erica herself admitted that she did not communicate her concerns clearly or adequately during her time at NN (Figure 25a). She contradicts this in her most recent emails, stating that I "just didn't listen" to her (Figure 28b). 9: Erica states that I had no respect for her time and effort. I repeatedly thanked Erica for her work and told her that she was appreciated during her time at NN. Please feel free to reach out for additional screenshots demonstrating this if need be.
History: The Beginning
Erica Ciko Campbell reached out to the magazine to volunteer in August of 2020. I made it clear that we were unable to pay her for her services. I told her that, if she was okay with that, we were happy to have her on board.
She agreed to these terms, expressing that the experience would be more than enough. Figures 1-3: Initial contact and agreement
Figure 4: Erica's initial impressions of the work after starting. She was excited and appreciated that I was teaching her about the innerworkings of the magazine.
Figure 5: Erica was assigned a proofreading assignment where the work would be divided up between team members while I worked on e-books (I ended up performing about half of the review, as did Erica). The assignment was to proofread our older issues and fix any minor grammatical/spelling errors that may have existed. She seemed excited about the notion.
History: The Middle
From what I was able to discern, Erica seemed pretty okay with the work she was assigned and the general team culture. We had weekly meetings that most of us ended up missing for one reason or another. None of them were mandatory, but we seemed to be growing closer as friends when we had the chance to talk. Things were messy sometimes, but they were fun. Although, Erica did express some differences in opinion regarding how magazine should be run. I explained my standpoints on decisions I'd made, and I didn't always agree with her, but I did concede in areas where her points had swayed me.
She expressed appreciation for how these issues were handled. By this time, Sheena and I had been friends for over 10 years, and we were happy to have made another friend. * Redacted if/when too-personal information is included
When Erica, Sheena, and I discussed personal issues that were affecting us, we really seemed to connect. Below are general team culture and sentiment screenshots:
Figure 6: Erica had some health issues going on within her family. We talked at length about my cancer diagnosis and shared experiences. She seemed happy with the level of support she was given.
Figure 7: We all were going through a difficult time toward the end of her term (she left in May 2021). Sheena shared an encouraging message, and Erica expressed that she'd missed us during the lapses in communication.
When Erica expressed concerns about magazine logistics, they were discussed in a professional manner:
Figure 8a: Erica's opinions were always given careful consideration. We ended up implementing her idea regarding trigger warnings.
Figure 8b: When Erica expressed that she had a little trouble with my ad hoc way of doing things, I created a Trello board for the team to accommodate her work style. She seemed happy with it, stating that she worked much more effectively this way.
Figure 9a: Erica disagreed about not allowing sim subs and wanted to accept stories in advance. The team had also briefly floated the idea of removing contracts from the equation because they were time consuming to keep track of. She disagreed with this.
Figure 9b: I responded to the above. Erica expressed her appreciation for these explanations and seemed happy that I was open to critique. We agreed to keep contracts and find a way to streamline them.
These are the only concerns that Erica ever expressed while volunteering at NN. But, Erica also found it difficult to communicate when it came to expressing opposing opinions, which she seemed to be aware of. At the time, I did not perceive this as a notable issue. Figure 10: During a team video call, we discussed the logistics re: a new wall art idea. Even though Erica had differing opinions, she waited until after the meeting to express them.
Whenever Erica expressed that she was unable to complete an assignment or requested a time extension due to personal issues, she was encouraged to take care of herself first: Figure 11: Erica was a little late on an assignment because of medical issues. No pressure.
Figure 12: Erica was a little late on an assignment because a family member was experiencing medical issues. No pressure again. I expressed that family and health come first.
Figure 13: Erica expressed her appreciation that I had been patient while she recovered. I encouraged her take her time to recuperate before jumping back in. I picked up on work that she wasn't available to complete.
Figure 14: Erica was asked if she wanted to write an editor's note for the first time. She declined because of time constraints, and she was encouraged to take her time preparing. I acknowledged that everyone works differently. The offer remained on the table.
Figure 15: Erica later expressed that she was ready to write an editor's note, but she was now experiencing more family issues. She took on the assignment but had to back out a few hours before publishing. There was little notice. Erica suggested we share the responsibility, but never followed up. I was tasked with writing the editor's note instead. Still, no pressure.
This was one of the last private message exchanges between us. We continued a bit in the general chat the day after:
Figure 16: Again, the family issues above were discussed. I re-iterated that family comes first and that Erica should do what is best for her well-being. She insisted that staying busy helped her "drown [her] sorrow."
Sometime during Dec/Jan 2021, Erica had referred me to her friend, Desmond Rhae Harris, for a cover art commission. I reached out according to her suggestion, and he produced a beautiful illustration for January's issue. Below are documents and conversations relating to Desmond Rhae during Erica's time at NN : Figure 17: Desmond Rhae was referred.
Soon afterwards, Desmond was contacted. He signed a contract and the commission started/was completed quickly.
Figure 18: The signed contract.
Figure 19a. Everyone was happy with his work and seemed excited for the new year.
Figure 19b: There is a bit of personal info in the first portion of Erica's response, so just attaching the related section here for general sentiment/impressions:
Figure 20: Desmond reached out via email after publishing to request a high resolution image of the cover for his portfolio. I forgot to respond to him directly. Still, it seemed sentiments were positive on all ends.
Figure 21: Erica followed up a month later via Slack regarding the high resolution artwork. She acknowledged that I'd sent it to her and expressed gratitude.
This is the last notable discussion relating to Desmond Rhae Harris.
History: The End
Due to the personal-life issues that everyone at NN was experiencing, I suggested that we should consider taking a hiatus. The team agreed, although they were disheartened. Figure 22a: My hiatus announcement and reasoning. The reasons largely boil down to strain on my personal finances and time. I also wanted re-evaluate my commitment to the project.
Figure 22b: During hiatus discussions, Erica mentioned that she was thinking about starting a magazine using all she's learned at NN after we go on hiatus. She also mentioned that she intended to stay and help until NN wrapped up (received on April 10th, 2021).
Figure 23a: Erica still seemed like she wanted to participate in wrap up processes and updated us on her medical situations. She even suggested that we should pick the project back up together in the future.
Figure 23b: Communication between team members becomes even spottier than usual in the next few days (between April 20th and May 6th). We largely discuss personal life-related things in the general chat. We continue to support one another about non-magazine issues.
Figure 24: A few days later, out of the blue, Erica responds with a single message to the general chat indicating that she will be stepping down from her duties at NN. I expressed disappointment, but relayed that I would complete the work on my own, even if the issues were a bit late.
Sheena and I were saddened and confused by this message as it contradicted what she had mentioned earlier (Figures 22b and 23a), but we respected her decision.
That is, until we noticed that Erica had already launched a new literary magazine a month before she sent this stepping down message (Starward Shadows, founded April 2021). We also noticed that her magazine was pretty similar to NN in some ways.
Although Erica had mentioned that she had always wanted to start her own magazine (Figure 22b again), she never mentioned that she had already started the magazine. She had also expressed her intent to stay until NN had wrapped up. We were blindsided. At this point, the following factors made us doubt Erica's genuineness:
her abrupt departure without notice (after already learning our magazine processes)
her abrupt departure without notice after she had expressed her intent to stay until hiatus started
her decision to launch the new magazine and never mention it, despite continuously updating us on other facets of her personal life
To be clear, we didn't need her work contributions, although they were appreciated. We felt slighted as her friends. After a brief phone call, Sheena and I concluded that I should reach out to Erica to explain our concerns and gain further insight into her perspective.
Figure 25a: The resulting email exchange between Erica and I. These are the final exchanges between us before yesterday, 03/04/2022. I express how Sheena and I felt about the way that Erica had left, making it clear that her magazine in itself is not an issue, and that we are happy for her. She responds, sharing that she has a history of communication difficulties. She also admits that she chose not to be completely transparent in her message because issues often arise in her life as a result of her communication difficulties.
Figure 25b: Cont. I respond that differing opinions are a part of working with other people and relay final thoughts/feelings about how things had played out. I thank her for explaining, and I leave to door open for continued contact as friends with well wishes.
I shared this email exchange with Sheena. Figure 26: Sheena's thoughts on Erica's response, which mirrored my own. She did not feel completely satisfied with the explanation, and Erica's behavior still did not sit well with her.
In the end, none of the NN team members were okay with how Erica handled her transition away from NN. We had taught Erica a lot about our processes, as she had wanted, and we felt taken advantage of. It also didn't seem like she was truly apologetic for how she communicated—or didn't communicate—during her time with us (ex: Figure 25a, "I'm sorry if you feel like I wasn't being upfront.") Erica never took us up on the offer to continue contact, which only validated our concerns. She stopped responding completely in both the Slack channel and via email. Soon after, I chose to block Erica and her magazine on Twitter in the interest of protecting my mental health. I also unlinked her editor's note from the issue in which it was published because the positive, friendship-related sentiments she had expressed about our team no longer felt genuine. I did not say anything further to her, and I still wished her the best, but I did not appreciate that she continued to frame our parting as 100% amicable on her social media sites.