Today is a pretty excellent day, and if you'll hop over to my friend Marieke's blog, you'll see why!
I'm very, very excited to help her out with a pretty awesome project called DiversifYA! We aren't officially launching the blog until May 1st, but Marieke typed up an awesome introductory post that I'm shamelessly copy/pasting here (but you should still check out her blog, because she's amazing and this whole thing was her idea)!
DiversifYA is a bit of Dear Teen Me, a bit of the Emotional Thesaurus, and a whole lot of Miniature Earth. It is a collection of short interviews—five questions each. Interviews focused on all sorts of diversity. Racial and cultural diversity. Gender diversity and sexual orientation. Disability and neurodiversity. All sorts.
DiversifYA is our response to that one comment we’ve heard so many times when it comes to writing diversity: “I don’t know what it’s like, what if I get it wrong?” It’s our response to Othering diverse characters, because one sure way to never understand each other is by continuing to talk about “them”, “their kind”, “their world”. Above all, it’s our response to never quite recognizing ourselves in stories.
DiversifYA is a tool, an introduction, for all writers out there who want to diversify their stories, but don’t know how or where to start. Because the only way to know what it’s like, to stop being afraid of offending and to reach out, is to listen.
And for all writers out there who never considered diversifying their stories. Allow us to convince you that the world is so much richer than the world we often read about.
DiversifYA is our way to show you: diversity is all of us. Partly because we all have shared experiences, no matter how different we may be. Partly because it’s those differences makes us all unique and can make this world amazing. It’s about time more stories reflected that.
What DiversifYA *isn’t*
- A cookie cutter solution. Diversity is not simply a case of finding the right paint-by-number method for your stories. It means you have to invest in your story, and research research research.
- An alternative to research. ;) DiversifYA is an introduction to diversity, it’s not a collection of premade character bios you can use. It is not a substitute for research. But don’t mind us if we want to nudge you in the right direction.
- A blog *about* diversity in fiction. There are some amazing blogs about diversity already, and they’re doing a much better job at it than we are.
What DiversifYA *is*
- Inclusive. Let’s get rid of “other” and make it ours. Every experience counts. Do you want in as interviewee? We’d LOVE to have you! Please shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you asap.
Meanwhile, we’d love for you to spread the word, via Twitter, via blogs. (Ohai, you’re awesome!) Or email/tweet us to chat. We’d love to get to know you.
See you on May 1st!