Why hire a sensitivity reader?
Sensitivity readers are here to help you write the best most accurate portrayal of a marginalization you are not a part of. We do not censor your words or rewrite your narratives. We look at the story you have already created with marginalized characters and help you do the best job you can. We also, more importantly, help you ensure that marginalized readers are able to read your books comfortably and not be confronted by attitudes and stereotypes that hurt them. People of colour enjoy reading books! We like opening a book, seeing ourselves within the pages whether we’re main characters or minor characters. We don’t like opening a book and being met with microaggressions and stereotypes that actively harm us.
What I do:
As a British Asian, I am an expert on my own identity. I live this experience. I interact with the Asian community. So I offer you my expertise on this experience. I will read your work and give you feedback on whether you are perpetuating stereotypes and actively harming people like me, or help you fine tune small details to make your characters more authentic. I want to help you make your story featuring Desi* characters as good as you can make it.
The rest of your story is yours. All I do is look at the details that involve British Asians and give you suggestions. I also give you an overall summary of how you did and how you could do better to ensure your readers of colour love your book even more.
It’s important to note, this isn’t a fail proof method. I can’t promise that something won’t go wrong, nor does my input guarantee your book is perfect. I give you my feedback and you decide what happens to your book.
*Desi: a person from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, or the Maldives born or descended who lives abroad.
I have lived experience from a more stable country to the rise of the far right. I attended Clarion West Writing workshop in 2012 which honed my critiquing skills. I’m a first reader for Lightspeed magazine and an awards reader. I also have experience of past sensitivity reading and can provide examples and references on request.
I read for this subject matter:
- British Asian identities and communities.
- Biracial Asian identities.
- Immigrant culture.
- Existing as a woman of colour in the workplace.
- Race relations in the UK, especially the Indian/Desi diasporas.
- UK anti-immigration politics, from the current government to UKIP, the BNP and Britain First.
- General racism, from abuse to microaggressions.
- Please note I do NOT read for not own voice stories focusing on religion.
I offer my service as a sensitivity reader for works of fiction in any genre. I will provide notes and edits on ideas, fifty-page/15k word chunks or full completed manuscripts.
I am willing to negotiate discounts in specific cases, e.g. if your novel is very long, if you’re self-published, a marginalised writer, a teen, and other cases – feel free to mention this in your email. Thus, the prices below are estimates.
£25 – Idea Session
If you have ideas for a plot, characters or a world that involves any of the things I sensitivity read for, this ideas session is where you can send me those concepts and I will give you my thoughts and opinions on what you’ve come up with. For example, if you’re worldbuilding and you want to involve Desi people in your conception of the world, I can take a look at what you’ve come up with so far. This covers two sessions with a maximum of two plots or ideas.
£60 – Partial Read
I will read over the first fifty pages/15k of your novel or portion that includes the character(s) you’re asking me to read for specifically. This is great for minor characters who only show up for short periods of time. I will give you minor line edits and a one-page report on what I think worked and what would make these characters and their experiences stronger.
£280 – Full Novel (approx 100k)
This is a more in-depth read for novellas or novels that include the above topics throughout the book as plot points and as characters. I will read through your entire manuscript and provide you with line edits and a 1-3 page summary focused on the issues you’re having me read for. Turnaround time is 3 to 5 weeks depending on manuscript length.
Please contact me to discuss details via the contact form or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re requesting a full read, please include your word count and I’ll give you a finalized quote. Feel free to include the first 5-10 pages for the full or partial reads so I can get a feel for your writing.
Payment is PayPal or bank transfer only. For all services, half payment is required before I begin my read. Historically sensitivity readers struggle to get paid, therefore I ask for half up front. For this reason, I offer examples and references so you know what you’re paying for.
Your work is your intellectual property and will not be shared or reproduced without your written permission. Similarities in publishing do arise and if I think your work is too similar to something I’m working on, I will politely decline. I will keep your material confidential. I will also send you an agreement before you pay that has details of the entire process.