Jun 4, 2021 • 45M

Episode 266 #Sensitivity Readers with Jordan Shapiro and Jazz

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Hey all, Jess here. When I agreed to read and blurb Jordan Shapiro’s new book, Father Figure: How to Be a Feminist Dad, I was struck by the attention he paid to inclusivity and the language he used to describe it. When I mentioned it to him, he told me he’d used a sensitivity reader named Jazz to ensure he got the language right.

Sensitivity readers are becoming more of a norm in publishing. Jodi Picoult has tweeted about how much she depends on hers to get her descriptions, language, and representation right in her books articles like this one in the Guardian and this one in Vulture are great primers on the topic.

We asked Jordan and Jazz to join us to talk about the experience of working together to create Father Figure.


Jazz: What's Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She by Dennis Baron

Jordan: Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

KJ: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Jess: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

As always we’re sponsored by Author Accelerator—THE place to find a book coach or become one! KJ here, and I think I’m a book coach addict. I have an editor waiting for this revision and an agent who’s always happy to read and I’m STILL tempted to call up a coach and say, please, hold my hand! I’m resisting (because I’ve ALREADY DONE THAT for this book, twice) but you shouldn’t. A book coach could help you set the right kind of goals for the summer, or be ready and waiting when you get back into gear in the fall—or, spend some time this summer setting up your book coaching side gig. New seasons, fresh starts, love them all. Find a book coach HERE or learn more about becoming one HERE.