This weekend, I appeared on a panel at The Baltimore Book Festival with other diverse writers about our experiences in publishing and what we wished other potential writers knew before trying to write diversely or, sometimes, about characters out of their normal realm of experience. Here are a few reflections on that below.
Last week has resulted in an even more intense discussion of the need for diverse books than usual. Between Handbook for Mortals attempting to scam the New York Times bestseller list and displacing, however briefuly, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give from #1 and bumping Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything off the list, the Linda Howard debacle over diversity in the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and an indignant sci-fi author on Twitter, Jon Del Arroz, arguing that trade publishing agents are only seeking LGBT+ books, we need to talk. The publishing industry is not a zero-sum games, and diverse authors are not stealing from “more mainstream” or so-called “more traditional” writers.
Last week, Ivy Quinn attended the Romance Writers of America’s 37th annual conference in Orlando. Over the very jam-packed week, she learned quite a bit. You can read a break down of her day-by-day experiences at her journal, but she’s also boiled down her top ten tips below!