Underused Resources in the Writing World: Sensitivity Readers

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Recently, I wrote a personal essay for Tor.com, involving sensitive topics. I’m well aware of the challenges of writing about sensitive issues like mental health and suicide – which are in this story. I’ve written on them many times before.

I asked a friend who I know has understanding in these things. She carefully evaluated the words I used in reference to the loved one who dealt with mental health challenges. She pointed out better ways of phrasing things that could be felt by someone who has similar mental health challenges as potentially insensitive.

Though I am aware of terms that can be hurtful, I live in my own head as I write personal stories. I know what I mean. But readers don’t know. They aren’t stuck in my head with my history. That’s why we need sensitivity readers.

What is a Sensitivity Reader?

Simply stated, a sensitivity reader is someone who is aware language that can be considered painful or offensive to given readers.

For example, if an article touches on racism, ethnic, or cultural topics, a sensitivity reader will be able to point out words and phrases that could be read as unkind, insensitive, or otherwise offensive – whatever your intent behind them.

Some Great Sensitivity Readers

If you find yourself in need of a sensitivity reader, here are a few to check out.

Salt & Sage Books

Rachel J. Rowlands

Noemi Martinez

Published by ritajpike

traveler, adventurer, writer, director, actor, granddaugher of Jerrie Mock (first woman to fly around the world), happily married.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: