Teresa Nielsen Hayden, aka Hapisofi, Shreds The New Guy

Case Study #1 Teresa Nielsen Hayden Baits A Naive Editor

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden in Her Element
The new guy to the Absolute Write boards never saw it coming. And that's exactly how they like it at AW. An Australian editor joined AW and at first, began having friendly conversations with his fellow writers. Teresa Nielsen Hayden got wind of his editor status and the hackles went up. With Teresa, remember, it's all about ego. Anytime she encounters an editor or an agent on her turf, she sniffs her or him out, analyzing whether or not credentials and writing skills on the boards are up to her own standards (which is funny considering she is neither an editor or a fiction writer). Her words:
Me personally? I have decades of experience in newspapers, magazines, and reference and trade book publishing. That's as opposed to working for a toy distributor that took a fling at printing books. /Source

So, what does she do? Teresa Nielsen Hayden spends an inordinate amount of time (as if she's some kind of legitimate journalist) and "researches" the Australian  by doxing him. She cherry picks what she wants to find out about him online to build her thesis on why he should be be discredited in front of the whole world by one of her self-righteous diatribes. She didn't contact him by phone to get a fair and balanced interview, because a faux journalist is not interested in being fair and balanced.

Here's how this ongoing saga started with the Australian and Hapisofi (Teresa's psuedo):

After doxing him, she defines for the AW community what her perceptions of his qualifications are: (her words in italics)

As for you? I went from notes like

* doesn't know a query letter from a cover letter
* hasn't seen much slush
* has a shaky notion of what book editors do, and a shakier notion of what agents do


* hasn't worked in the editorial department of a general-interest trade book publisher
* hasn't worked in sales and distribution
* has no in-depth acquisition experience in adult trade nonfiction
* in adult trade publishing, period
* hasn't done marketing or promotion for a mainstream publisher
* is emphatically not a professional proofreader or copy editor.

#105 post he replies:

HapiSofi said I had not worked at a trade publisher. She didn't ask me. She didn't read where I mentioned Pearson in the thread (although I admit it was small and in passing). She didn't try to verify anything at all. She blurted out that I hadn't worked for a trade publisher. She did this because she assumed. She assumed that every single person I've worked for is listed on my About page. She was wrong. And what is really frustrating is that no one bothers to point it out to her.

This Australian editor was gobsmacked that Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Melodi "Macillster Stone" Sherman would take a swing at him. What he didn't understand (as most newbies to AW do not) that this brand of trashing and insult is an established pattern of the AW mods.

A little back story: Many of the AW mods and cronies have acted as "publishing industry watchdogs" for years. During the old Jenna Glatzner days they worked together to expose agents and bigger publishers for defrauding hopeful authors. But over the years, their successes have turned to an ugly form of self-congratulatory, shoot-from-the-hip vigilantism. Their modus operandi is to assume most people they don't personally know who come to the AW boards and claim to be part of the publishing industry are frauds unless proven innocent....and this is where it gets interesting. Because when you are up against them, you cannot be proven innocent. And what's worse? Google ranks their rantings so high in search results that within days your friends, customers, business associates, and so forth, are reading pages of vehement and ill-informed attacks made by AW posters who behave as it they are authorities.

In the Australian's case, watching him publicly try to prove his legitimacy over and over is exactly the game they so love to play. Teresa Nielsen Hayden sets the stage by taking a swing. The unsuspecting newbie defends himself. The rest of AW mods lay in wait to peck, peck peck, trolling the newbie to continue to lay out more evidence. The AW suckups want to join the game. "Let me in coach, let me in." The real dogpile begin.

If you don't have the time it takes to wade through  hundreds of posts on this thread to see how this all turned out, we'll summarize it for you.
The Australian has his professional reputation trashed. The more he fights back, the more they pounce. Meanwhile, search engines aggregate everything and the Australian has learned a very important lesson.

Do not go onto the AW boards if you are expecting a civilized, fair and balanced community. And do engage when getting dogpiled online.

Teresa's response post #106

I think you need to read the Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes. Seriously. It's all about what life is like in the vicinity of authors. If you want the short version of that description, it's only occasionally like spending a week getting roasted on AW, but it's a lot more like that than any kind of "normal life." It's a terrible thing to say, but we really are a representative sample.

In other words:
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
A little bullying builds character.

It's a terrible thing to say, but we really are a representative sample. 


  1. "Examples of what constitutes cyberbullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyberbullying has been defined by The National Crime Prevention Council: “When the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person."

    - Wikipedia

    1. The number of anonymous comments here is testament to the absolute fear people have of Teresa Nielsen Hayden. I don't blame for WAR advising people to remain anonymous. That's how Absolute Write survives anyway, isn't it? If they find out who you are they attempt to trash you into homelessness.

  2. Stop by her Wikiquuote page off of Google. It tells the truth for a change, but in a soft way. One of her cronies will change it soon back to a lie, then open the history tab on that Wikiquote page and read the truth posted three times.

    She isn't a science fiction editor at all. She's a once upon a time staff editor, a dime a twenty dozen in Manhattan. This makes her efforts to trash other people all the more head shaking.

  3. Everyone should read the Teresa Nielsen-Hayden Wikipedia talk page. It becomes certain upon reading what Hayden isn't, and that's an American SF editor. She's a disemvoweling, bullying, nobody nothing.

  4. "The Australian has his professional reputation trashed. The more he fights back, the more they pounce. Meanwhile, search engines aggregate everything and the Australian has learned a very important lesson."

    That's a damage and, if I'm not mistaken, can be brought as a suit in tort.

  5. Editors at Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's Wikipedia page have awakened to the scam.

    Thank God.

    1. Amen. You can thank W.A.R. for being the inciting incident in this path to justice regarding Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. Her days of viciously smearing people will come to an end. We promise.

    2. I don't remember if I asked. But who is Kennedy Trengrove and Orange Mike? Aren't they both aware Teresa was recently fired?

      TOR books own website says so. You can't get more reliable than this.

  6. Teresa Nielsen Hayden needs to be exposed. She didn't last on Boing Boing and doesn't exist anywhere except in her own self-published circles and Tor Books. Does the publisher that hires her and her husband know what they do? Vicious cyberbullying posing as intelligent editors is fraud. Look at the Wikiquote page of Teresa Nielsen Hayden -- it only lists *her own blog* as citation of where she is supposed "quoted." That completely violates Wikpedia guidelines.

    The same with her husband, a Tor editor named Patrick Nielsen Hayden. His wikiquote page quotes *her blog*. No third party sources find them reputable, or quotable.

    They have spammed nonsensical statements that nobody else ever quotes. They give writer workshops and rip writers to shreds.

    Look at their activity in the rec.arts.sff newsgroup. It's vicious. These people work at TOR books. They are pals with Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald, who also give these workshops at Viable Paradise. And they only publish each other.

    It is shamefully disreputable for a publisher to send his amateur so-called editors to bash and rip the competition.

    1. Aunt Hack and Uncle Sage. iPredators all.

  7. Glad somebody finally called that ridiculous woman out. I've seen her do this to colleagues on AW and elsewhere. She delusionally maintains the premise to all of her writing sycophants that she is their "journalist-watchdog," their almighty Lord & Savior, to protect them against all the baddies in the writing world. Give me a royal break.

    She has absolutely no educational background as a journalist and based on her shady, unethical intel gathering techniques (i.e. what the writer above calls "doxing") she insults those who HAVE spent years working as real journalists, adhering to the proper standards.

    As for my colleagues who've been trashed by her online, she has never once contacted them to get the other side of the story and is thoroughly uninterested in providing a fair and balanced assessment of the situation.

    That's a petty blogger; not a journalist, folks.

    In case you're interested in knowing the difference between a scam "faux journalist-blogger" and a real journalist? Here are a few criteria of the SPJ Code of Ethics:

    -Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering,
    reporting and interpreting information.
    - Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care
    to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
    -Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the
    opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
    -Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
    -Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and
    commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

    By the way, some of my colleagues HAVE tried to contact her directly in order to stop the drama and resolve her issue with them. No dice.

    1. Thank you for making these points.

  8. She was just a line editor on staff at Tor. She was never an acquiring or developmental editor, and she was demoted to "tech consultant" where she now resides at the bottom of the mast She is a legend in her own mind and more filled with resentment and hate than any human being I know. If TNH were in charge of the world, we would all be designated as trolls and assigned to concentration camps.

  9. She is a great editor for all of us and better than any of you! Even now she's going to be on a fantasy panel at a conference. This is on Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog:

    What Is I?
    (Consciousness: it’s a thing.)

    Ken MacLeod [m], Russell Blackford, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Martin Poulter, Ashley Pollard

    1. How are those compression socks feeling Ms Hayden? :)

  10. And if you go to her website you can read about what a great editor she is: nielsenhayden.com.

    "Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of discovering and acquiring the first novels, or in some cases the first adult novels, of some remarkable writers, including but not limited to Maureen F. McHugh, Susan Palwick, Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Jo Walton, and John Scalzi."

    So who is the real editor here, eh you squirming weevils?

  11. If the squirming weevil here can have a word?

    On the Nielsenhayden.com website, it states "Among the many books we’re proud to have helped publish are several notable award-winners. Robert Charles Wilson’s "Spin," edited by Teresa, won the Hugo Award in 2006."

    If you look up RC Wilson's bio on his website, you will see he was an accomplished author of up to a dozen books published by major houses well before Teresa looked at his work. If anything, she line edited the ms a bit to tidy it up, and that's it. Authors with that kind of track record don't need or want developmental editing from Teresa or anyone else. He would have won the award regardless. And she discovered Cory Doctorow? His dad kinda helped him get noticed, not Teresa, yes? And Jonathan Lethem? Can anyone find a quote by Lethem crediting his discovery to Teresa Nielsen Hayden? Can anyone find any quote from anyone?

    She was still at Tor when some of these writers filtered through. She looked at an ms or line edited this or that, and now, many years later, takes credit. If anything, she's riding the success carpet that belongs to her husband. He sits on panels re writing and she sits on a "What is I?" panel.

  12. Like I said above re Wikiquote. Look at the history page. Her crew on there have changed it back three times to the original lie.

    1. Ridiculous. Besides being luke warm, the Wikiquotes are from her own blog and Wikiquotes is allowing it. What the heck???

  13. This woman has defamed my business for years, intruded into my life like an online assassin, and attacked people I know with an outrageous lie. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn't. She's just part of the whole hateful mob at Absolute Write. This is what they do on a continuous basis.

  14. We received information that makes it appear she was fired from Tor books, or "let go" for reasons of bad publicity, but this cannot be confirmed with Tor administration:


    Regardless, good riddance to this toxic force of one.

  15. Apparently Matthew also banned as an incurable tosspot. I can pretty much gather the irony in this made up reason.

  16. This quote sums it up perfectly. It's a comment from a blog post on Hugogate (where the Sad Puppies upset and overwhelmed TOR's historical cliquish and longstanding control of the Hugo nominees)."

    "I am a former….confidant of Teresa Barbara Nielsen. She’s now Teresa Nielsen Hayden. And I see that her trademarked debate style, honed in high school, is still at work. The structure is like this: (a) “Gee, I’m not sure I totally understand what you mean, but what I *think* you mean is X. Right?” II. OK, since that’s what you mean, let me make sure that the straw man of what I thought you meant is stood up for me to thus demolish. Three. She then proceeds to demolish the strawman she has substituted for what you might have meant, or said, or whatever.

    End of argument. TNH wins"

    -Tim Kyger
    source: http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2015/04/02/hugogate-2015-edition-third-times-the-charm/

    1. Just dropping by years later. Um...Teresa and I were lovers. You should have seen her in '75-'76; nothing like the whale she is now. I have pictures!

    2. Just to be clear..."former confident" translates as lover. She and I went together for two years. While she also was screwing two other people, behind my back.

  17. It was Teresa Nielsen Hayden who attacked and libeled Robert Bausch as a fraud in one of the AW threads. AW knows the truth and never deleted the post by Hayden despite the fact that Robert proved she was lying. I've sent them multiple mails and get no reply on this issue.