Diverse Writing

This is the home page for my class on diverse writing, that I call Adding The Spice of Diversity to your WritingDiversity map

If you’ve been watching the news, you know that diversity in books is a big  discussion topic among writers, publishers and readers. This is a class that covers multiple aspects of diversity, including race, religion, disability, age, ethnicity, social and economic class, and sexual orientation and gender identity. Its designed for those who want to learn more about what diversity means for an  author, editor, publisher or reviewer. This is not a class on creating any specific character and there is no easy, cookbook method. Instead, it covers things from basic vocabulary, to taking care of what readers want, to taking yourself and your preconceptions out of the picture.

Lesson schedule:

1. Diversity overview and some definitions – Giving a better idea of what is meant by “write what you know” when it comes to diverse characters
2. Our Readers – taking a look at readers and what’s important to them
3. Learning how to take yourself out of the picture
4. Cultural research – part 1
5. Part 2 Lots more about the role of research and writing what we don’t yet know
6. Stereotypes, caricatures, and problem tropes; how to recognize and avoid them
7. Using Backstory to lift your character from the realm of stereotype
8. Character speech, including dialog, dialect, languages, and voice
9. Using diverse Cultures: the difference between cultural appreciation and appropriation
10. Introducing your characters to readers
11. Worldbuilding
12. Ready, Set, Write – the role of revision and editing and what happens after you finish and send your story out into the world

The class is fast-paced, twelve lessons in six weeks. This includes writing homework with lessons 2, 3, 7, and 10. There will be opportunities for students to obtain feedback on some of their work. There will also be two conference calls for in-depth discussion on student issues, ideas and concerns. As in any learning experience, there are no bad questions or wrong answers, only questions and answers that make you think. The more you participate the more you gain.

Interested in taking the course? Adding The Spice Of Diversity To Your Writing will be offered again in February 2017.  Registration will begin December 1. The cost is $50 per student.  The return is priceless.