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NC Writers’ Network Launches New Member Service: Representation Readers

WINSTON-SALEM—Through its popular Critiquing & Editing Service, the North Carolina Writers’ Network now will offer its members access to Representation Readers, qualified writers/editors who can help writers avoid false or clichéd portrayals, and bring their characters to life fully and responsibly.

Representation Readers can examine members’ unpublished work for characterizations that seem inauthentic or undeveloped. They can advise writers on how to create accurate and authentic dialogue, descriptions, settings, plot points, and more.

The fees and submission process for a Representation Read are the same as for other Critiquing and Editing Service submissions. The time needed to complete a Representation Read will vary, based on the reader’s availability, the work’s length, and the depth of the critique needed.

“We decided to call this new service Representation Readings, rather than the more common ‘sensitivity reads,’ because the goal isn’t simply to avoid hurting people’s feelings,” NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern said. “The goal is to help writers produce the best work possible: authentic, understanding, and deeply imagined.”

The service currently has five Representation Readers, able to critique representation of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. The NCWN plans to add more Representation Readers as the service grows.

“Clichés and stereotypes are the hallmarks of bad writing,” Southern said. “We hope this service will help our members avoid them in their own work, and produce richer, more compelling portrayals.”