Cultural appropriation. Authenticity of voice. Stereotyping. Diversity. All issues that the publishing industry is currently grappling with.
In a series of short free-to-watch videos and a downloadable PDF guide (SCROLL DOWN TO ACCESS VIDEOS & PDF), I present some practical guidance in tackling these topics, based on research that I carried out, funded by the UK Arts Council, and featuring advice from writers, readers, and a host of industry professionals. The project is called “Turning the Page: A Guide to Writing Cultural Diversity in Fiction”. In it, I look at the debate over who has the right to write which stories and how to write across cultural boundaries. I also offer thoughts from key industry stakeholders, and examine lessons and recommendations for best practise.
The aim of the project is simple: to provide authors and industry professionals, such as agents, editors, marketers, and other decision-makers, with advice and tools on how to tackle the issue of writing diversity into literature in a way that minimises the chances of causing offence.
The project is also aimed at readers, providing useful information about why certain types of books make it to market, and about how readers might help in the current drive towards a fairer, more equitable industry.
You can view all the videos here:
Video 1 – Diversity in Fiction: a review of the landscape – VIEW HERE
Video 2 – Cultural Appreciation versus Cultural Misappropriation – VIEW HERE
Video 3 – Write what you know: Mining your Heritage – VIEW HERE
Video 4 – Write what you don’t know: Writing in the ‘forbidden zone’ – VIEW HERE
Video 5 – Recommendations and a checklist for creating diverse characters in fiction – VIEW HERE
The free-to-download PDF guide is available by clicking here
With thanks to the project partners: Hachette UK, Society of Authors, Crime Writers Association, Spread the Word and A.M. Heath.