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News — own voices

What If We Do Wait?

Amy Leibowitz culture own voices representation sensitivity social justice writing

Recently, I shared the above meme. The text of the main point reads:

i really like the advice "write marginalized characters but don’t write about marginalization unless you experience it"
absolutely i think cis people should expand their horizons and write trans characters, but they shouldn’t write stories about being trans. likewise I think allistic/NT authors should write about autistic characters! but not stories about being autistic.
represent us. absolutely. but don’t tell our stories. let us do that.

Some people took this to mean hetero-washing or...

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Profit, #OwnVoices, and supporting LGBTQIA+ people

Amy Leibowitz own voices pride month

I’ve come under fire before for speaking about allosexual/alloromantic (i.e., not asexual/aromantic), cisgender, heterosexual people writing about LGBTQIA+ people. So I’m prefacing this with a couple of important points:

  1. I’m speaking specifically about those who identify themselves as not being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, not “people we think must be allocishetero"
  2. I’m not calling for any kind of limit or ban on what people can read or write or publish
  3. I’m not in any way suggesting that #OwnVoices books are inherently better written or better quality, only...

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Author Spotlight: Lara Zielinsky

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In honor of the release of her latest novel, We Three: One and One and One Makes Three, we chatted with Lara Zielinsky about the book, writing, and life in general.

Is there a character in your work you feel especially connected to? Why?

My girlfriend Lisa (yes the same one I co-dedicated the story to) asked me this same question when I sent her the submission draft of We Three for her opinion before I submitted to publishers. Because of the situation, a married...

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Write what you know

Amy Leibowitz own voices representation sensitivity writing

It's one of the oldest and most common pieces of writerly wisdom: Write what you know.

At a glance, it seems easy to pooh-pooh. After all, science fiction writers have (presumably) never met an alien from the planet Zork, and to my knowledge, no one has personal experience becoming a werewolf. In real-world terms, everyone writes things outside their own lives, even if it's only the main character's age or career or home town.

On the other hand, there's something to that when it comes to certain things, particularly the emotions that ride...

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What PRIDE means to me as an author

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I'm going to get a little personal here as I wrap up our Pride-themed month. I hope many of you were able to attend festivities (or will be able to; in my city, Pride is next month).

When I began writing seriously in 2013, I had no intention of publishing. I just wrote a novel to see if I could, thanks to National Novel Writing Month. I ended up with 50k words of what would be my first published book. It wasn't meant to be LGBTQIA+-themed, either. Let me tell you, I was...

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