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Responsible Representation: Writing Diverse Commercial Fiction for Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers 2018 | August 18 – August 21, 2018

Explore ways to include diversity in your work and create authentic worlds and characters that provide windows and mirrors for the next generation of readers.

Instead of the old writing adage–write what you know–learn how to know what to write. Whether you’re drawing from your own experience or outside of it, writing diversely demands research, empathy, attention to detail, an interrogation of one’s own place in this world, and a willingness to be open-minded. In this workshop, the emphasis will be on respectful and responsible representation and craft.

Providing readers with authentic, respectful experiences is a writer’s responsibility, whether creating story from lived experiences or from the outside. Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, along with special guests agent Linda Camacho will ask fellow writers to dig deeply into their own beliefs, considering why they write and to whom their stories speak. They will look for active contributors at the workshop and hope to nurture new voices and new stories within the writing community.

Sona and Dhonielle are generous stewards of the children’s book community. Along with their work as authors, Sona and Dhonielle are the founders of CAKE Literary, a book development agency. They are looking to grow new writers: to give them tools and see what they’ll do with them.

With a background in journalism and screenwriting, Sona is a team member of We Need Diverse Books. She is the author of Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces (co-authored by Dhonielle). The pair recently announced their third collaboration, Rumor Game (Disney Hyperion).

Donielle is the chief operating officer of We Need Diverse Books. In addition to her stunning solo debut, The Belles, Dhonielle contributed to Meet Cute, a short story collection of first love, as well as The Radical Element, a collection of female stories of revolution and resistance.

Faculty blog posts:
Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra: Meaningful Collaboration

Faculty & Special Guests