Resources

If you’ve come to this page, you’re probably looking to widen your knowledge base and hone your ability to write more diverse characters in an informed and sensitive way. 

This list is by no means complete, or exhaustive, hence why we are writing our own book and putting out our weekly podcast! 

Respect to Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. Their primer Writing the Other: A Practical Approach is the first published book we know on the subject. It was published in 2005 and we both consider it a tremendously valuable resource. If you don’t own a copy yet, do go and get it.

The Writing the Other website is an immensely useful resource as well, including various webinars and courses on the topic. 

Salt and Sage Books, with the support of their crew of sensitivity readers, have put together several guides: 

  • How to Write Black Characters: An Incomplete Guide
  • How to Write Autistic Characters: An Incomplete Guide
  • Writing Fat Positivity: An Incomplete Guide
  • How to Write About Sexual Assault: An Incomplete Guide
  • How to Write Asexual Characters: An Incomplete Guide

We recommend these guides because they appear to have been written based on the advice and recommendations of members of the communities on which they are focused. Out of privacy concerns and due to the sensitive nature of the topics, the individual names of the sensitivity readers aren’t listed. You can, however, visit Salt and Sage Books’ website and see the bios of the readers they have publicly available. 

Salt and Sage also offers sensitivity reading services.

The International Writing Program has a view-on-demand course that is advertised to be twelve episodes. The first six appear to be on Youtube now (as of August 2021) under IWP Writing and Inclusion

As our project grows, we will add more resources here. For now, this is something to go on. 

If you have a moment, please consider supporting our own research and contributing to author education by filling out one or both of the surveys below. And, if you want to stay in the loop, sign up for our newsletter.

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