I’m now offering a disability sensitivity reading service to writers and am signed up on the Writing in the Margins database. Since I’m a dwarf, who grew up alongside children and young people with all types of physical disabilities, this is my particular area of expertise, but I’ve had a personal and professional interest in all types of disability for most of my life, so I have a broad range of experience.
Please see the Writing in the Margins database (look under “Elinor”) for more detailed information about my qualifications. I’ll consider looking at all material except erotica, poetry and horror (mild horror/supernatural is fine).
If you decide to hire me to read your work you can expect me to highlight:
- insensitive or offensive language
- plotlines and themes liable to cause offence
- clichéd/stereotyped characters with disabilities
- clichéd/stereotyped disability plotlines and themes
- factual errors in the day-to-day life of characters with disabilities (eg. regarding wheelchair use).
I hope to help explain why particular language/plots/themes are problematic rather than just stating that they are. This may help you understand your disabled characters better, so you can write even more convincing disabled characters going forward.
30 days per 100k.
Please note I’m not a doctor or any kind of medical expert so I can’t check medical or detailed therapeutic facts. If your text includes a lot of medical description I strongly suggest seeking another reader.
I won’t discuss your work or my opinion of your work with anyone. I ask that you do the same for me. The reason for this is because you are paying me for my honesty, and I may have to tell you, in my opinion, your book will be offensive to some readers. This may be unexpected and upsetting for you and so difficult to accept and it certainly won’t endear me to you. Bear in mind that even if another disabled person has read your book and thinks it’s okay, disabled people have different opinions on what is offensive. It’s of course entirely your choice whether you use my feedback to edit your book or not.
Optional additional editing/proofing service
I’m also an experienced beta reader and former full time commercial non-fiction editor (in the fields of popular astronomy and politics), as well as a traditionally published fiction writer. I often spot errors even in traditionally published work, so although I’ll primarily be sensitivity reading, I can keep half an eye open for other potential problems for an additional $1 per 1000 words.
These are available from fellow writers I’ve sensitivity read and beta read for in the past. Please ask for contact details for these people if required.
Rates & terms
- Sensitivity read only (includes a written report/critique plus comments in the text): US$3 per 1000 words.
- Additional editing/proofing: US$1 per 1000 words (comments in the text only).
Payment in advance by Paypal.
If you are interested in going forward, please contact me with any questions and to check availability. Also let me know what you want me to read. This should include length, genre, and the disabilities featured. My email address is listed on the Writing in the Margins database or you can use the contact form here on my website.
I look forward to working with you.
Elinor Caiman Sands