Sensitivity reading services
If you are a writer, you'll be familiar with researching parts of your project that are outside your own lived experience. Perhaps your main character lives in San Francisco and you live in Berlin, or you and your protagonist have different careers. But what if the difference between you and your character is a matter of identity? Your character is gay, autistic, or an immigrant, and you are not.
While much of our writing beyond the boundaries of our own lived experience can be achieved with research by the author, when it comes to characters from backgrounds that are not our own, it is a constant challenge for the author to make those voices feel authentic. A good way to improve the authenticity of the voices within your project is to hire a sensitivity reader who shares important aspects of their identity.
The sensitivity reader's job is to read your work and provide advice on ways to make the characters voices sound more authentic, or in the case of nonfiction projects, ensuring that the language used about communities is up to date terminology.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
A sensitivity reader should come from the community or communities being written about. This means that I can provide sensitivity consultations for your projects on the following identity or community aspects:
Nonbinary and trans status
Disability status (mobility disability/wheelchair use, hearing impairment, neurodiversity, fatigue conditions, mental health, chronic illness)
I'm also a trained historian and can offer advice on authenticity and avoiding anachronisms in historical settings.
I pride myself on honesty and ethical operation - this means that when approached by a client, if I'm not the right sensitivity reader for the job, I'll do my best to connect you to someone who is.
"Jaime provided sensitivity reading on issues of intersex representation in popular culture for my book "Dubcon: Fanfiction, Power, Consent". As well as responding to the specific questions I had, they proactively highlighted other issues in the material, made constructive suggestions for rephrasing, and supplied additional relevant resources. They set clear expectations on timings, stuck to deadlines, and answered follow-up questions promptly. Jaime's expertise was an extremely valuable contribution to the book, and they were an absolute pleasure to work with!"
- Milena Popova
I have provided sensitivity reading services across a variety of disciplines. Previous projects have included:
- advising on intersex representation in the field of fandom studies
- consulting on Jewish content in a biography of JRR Tolkien
I recently provided sensitivity reading consultation services to the editor of a new Jewish prayer book (siddur), on the use of disabled inclusive language within their interpretations of the prayers.
Jaime provided thoughtful and incisive comments on a new, inclusive Jewish prayerbook I was working on, pointing out numerous ways I could improve the text. The feedback was timely and thorough, and the agreed-upon price was more than fair. I'll definitely be keeping Jaime in mind for future projects — I could not be more satisfied!
— brin solomon, The Inclusive Siddur Project
Rates for sensitivity reading or historical accuracy consultations vary from project to project, depending on the length of the piece, the turnaround time and the amount of feedback expected by the client.
Typically I have charged £1.50/$2 a page for academic work, with negotiable discounts for projects over 100 pages or work with illustrations padding out the page length.
Fiction is typically charged at £1.30/$1.75 a page, with negotiable discounts for children's books.
There is no increase in price for multiple sensitivity subjects in the same project, or for clarification questions from the author in response to my feedback. Unless the client requests other arrangements, the feedback is usually delivered in a word document with each reference quoted alongside a page and line number, a suggested alteration where appropriate, and an explanation of the issue.