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News — sensitivity

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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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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This month's theme: Sensitive content

Amy Leibowitz lgbtqia books sensitivity

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear the words "sensitive content"?

For me, it's growing up in an era in which that was sometimes how adults labeled things they thought were "not for children." Ironically, sometimes those things were literally about children, such as family issues like abuse and addiction.

As an adult and an author, I tend to think of sensitive as referring to things that may be emotionally heavy for readers. I try to make sure I indicate when content may...

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