Readers want to see themselves represented in accurate and respectful ways, both in fiction and in nonfiction. This is where authenticity reading, also called sensitivity reading, comes in. The conversation around this service has grown as writers and publishers recognize the harm that can come with poorly crafted representation, but writers may not know where to begin finding an authenticity reader. As an editor, you can help educate writers on the value of this service, recommend when it would be helpful, and even expand your own services to offer it.
This session is useful for all editors and will explain what authenticity reading is and isn’t, why it’s valuable, how writers can benefit from an authenticity read, and what to know to become an authenticity reader.
Crystal Shelley is the owner of Rabbit with a Red Pen, where she provides editing and authenticity reading services to fiction authors. Drawing on her background as a social worker, she unites her love of language and her passion for social justice by pushing for writing and representation that is more dignified, intentional, and just. She is the creator of the Conscious Language Toolkits for Editors and Writers, serves on the board of ACES: The Society for Editing, and is an instructor for the Editorial Freelancers Association.