Sensitivity Reading

What is a sensitivity reader?

A sensitivity reader is someone who has a writing or editing background who uses their personal lived experience to review projects for unintentional bias, stereotypes, misrepresentation, lack of understanding, and other potentially problematic depictions or viewpoints.

Sensitivity readers often specialize based on the identities that they claim. For example, someone who is Black may read for racism; someone who is an immigrant may read for xenophobia.

What areas or topics do you review?

I specialize in narratives that include any of the following:

  • queer sexuality and identities, including transgender/transsexual and gender nonbinary/nonconforming individuals

  • diagnoses of PTS(d), schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety

  • alcohol addiction and recovery, including involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous

  • foreign and domestic terrorism

  • mass-casualty events, including mass shootings

  • non-visible disabilities, including hearing and vision impairments and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

  • medical trauma (e.g. involuntary psychiatric holds, misdiagnoses, manipulative/abusive providers, etc.)

  • overweight or medically obese individuals

  • adoption and family-of-origin conflicts

  • domestic/relationship violence

Does a sensitivity reader edit or proofread?

Usually, no. Sensitivity readers typically stick to reading for what they believe to be offensive content. However, I will bundle editing and sensitivity reading services if you're interested.

I'm interested in hiring you. How does this work?

First, I will discuss your project with you and get a sense of what you need. I will ask you questions about the length of your manuscript, the topic(s) you wish me to address, your expectations for evaluation, and your goals for the final product. Then, I will give you a price estimate and we will draw up a contract. My charge varies based on criteria like manuscript length, time commitment, and subject, but you can generally expect my rate to be between $40 and $70 an hour. Occasionally, I will charge based on page count.

Once we have agreed to the terms of our contract, I will read your work and generate a report for you. This report will include information about bias, stereotypes, assumptions, offensiveness, and any particulars stipulated in our contract. Once you receive my report, it is up to you to decide what to do with this information. I do not expect you to implement every suggestion or rewrite your entire project based on my feedback. You're welcome to make whatever changes you deem useful!

What are your qualifications?

I am a published author with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual master's degree in fiction and nonfiction writing. I teach literature, creative writing workshops, and composition at the college level, and I have worked on the editorial board of two literary magazines. I have provided manuscript consulting services since 2018.