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  • Lynn Lovegreen

Do you need a sensitivity reader?


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I attended the Pike Peak Writers Conference last weekend. I enjoyed (virtually) hanging out with other writers and learned a lot from the workshops. One of the best ones was October Santerelli’s “Sense in Sensitivity Readers.”


A sensitivity reader is useful when writing a character from a minority or a community you’re not a part of. For example, if you’re writing about someone who is a different race, ethnic group, ability, or sexual orientation than your own, you might need a sensitivity reader. They will help you avoid problems and make your book more appealing to a broader audience.


A sensitivity reader will read your whole story and “makes sure that minority is treated well” in your book. Depending on your book, they might look at terms used, stereotypes, scenes that could be offensive, or other items that may need to be revised or changed. Better to catch it now and make your book better, than have issues later, right?


How can you find a sensitivity reader for your book? Some publishing houses hire sensitivity readers. But there are also freelance sensitivity readers you can find on Fiverr, writing groups, or via social media. Most charge by the hour, depending on how long your book or story is, and how long it will take them to read it and make notes for you.


I was really impressed with October’s workshop, and I plan to hire him for my next project. He specializes in LGBTQ+ and trauma survivor content. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to find him on Twitter at @OKSanterelli or drop him an email if you’re interested in his services at oksanterelli@gmail.com.


Thanks to all the sensitivity readers out there, for making our books better and our world more inclusive!



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