The literary community has always catered to white, abled, neurotypical, cis, straight, (mostly) male voices. The entire establishment is structured to privilege those who have money, which usually doesn't include Black, Indigenous, Latin, neurodivergent, trans, disabled, and/or Queer writers.
Of late, there has been much
lip service in literary circles about the need for diversity in what voices are published. But the entire conversation around submissions from disabled, neurodivergent, LGBTQI+, Black, Indigenous, etc. writers is meaningless when publications continue charging fees, or giving weight to expensive pedigrees, that make it cost-prohibitive for all of those marginalized writers to actually submit.
I recently called out one publication for its "Diversity Lip Service"
. The response surprised me, but I hope it inspires other writers to do the same. Read my essay about it on The Handy, Uncapped Pen
, a blog/community for disabled and neurodivergent creatives.
My essay, "Searching for Identity: Finding Words", was awarded third place in the 2021 RCWMS Essay Contest
. Writers were asked to "focus on the theme of identity and belonging. Oppressive systems and structures seek to prevent us from living into the complexities of our identities and lived experiences. How do you know when you are showing up as your full self and experiencing true belonging?"
Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
, "committed to supporting women as they find their voices and make them heard", weaves "feminism and spirituality into a vision of justice for the world."