A Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your Diverse* Fantasy or Science Fiction Novel

A Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your Diverse* Fantasy or Science Fiction Novel

Questions about how to do research are among the most common questions I hear when it comes to writing books based on non-white cultures. Often the questions are like this: “Are there any resources that will be sure to help?” (emphasis mine) The answer is: no. There is no guarantee that any resources will be universally seen as true and right.

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Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews

For the past few years, I’ve read hundreds of reviews for Diversity in YA. I read them to determine whether a young adult book has a main character who is of color, LGBTQ, and/or disabled, and thus is appropriate to include on DiYA. Sometimes the book’s cover copy reveals this, but often it does not — or it deliberately obscures it — and then I have to read reviews to figure it out.

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On Self-Rejection and Writing From a Marginalized Perspective

On Self-Rejection and Writing From a Marginalized Perspective

Over the weekend I caught the tail end of a Twitter discussion centered on the hashtag #dontselfreject, created by writer and editor Rose Lemberg in response to an essay by writer and editor Nisi Shawl in the literary quarterly The Cascadia Subduction Zone. Nisi Shawl’s essay, titled “Unqualified,” is about how difficult it is for writers of color, and particularly African American writers (Nisi is African American, among other identities), to develop the confidence to try to get published — essentially, how hard it is to believe that their stories are valuable and worth it.

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