Hey, #diversebooks Fans–Let’s Talk #ownvoices

Hey folks, today we’re going to talk about #ownvoices, the hashtag created by Corinne Duyvis as a way to mark books written by authors who share a diverse identity with their characters.

It’s about a year and a half since Duyvis suggested #ownvoices. It never reached the trending viralness of #weneeddiversebooks, but it’s been growing in popularity as more and more people find it and fall in love. And there is a lot to fall in love with.

Why #OwnVoices?

See, it’s important for authors—all authors to be inclusive in their writing. But it’s hard to write “from the inside” an experience you’ve never had. Someone who has fibromyalgia is going to know things about living with and managing chronic pain that would never occur to someone who is able bodied. And research can only take you so far. If we want our books to be reflective of people’s real experiences, well, they need to be written by people with those experiences.

This doesn’t mean that someone who is able bodied should never write a character with fibromyalgia or that a white author should never write a black character. Our fiction should be as diverse as our world, unless this is a good reason to NOT make it diverse. But if a book is about being black, it should not be written by a white author. If a book is about the experience of being trans, only a trans author can do it justice. And even when a book is not about an identity, the perspective of an author who shares that identity adds depth to the characters.

At Cuil Press, We Love #OwnVoices

Which is why our first several books will be #ownvoices. Not all our books will be #ownvoices, we are open to all inclusive sff and romance. But there is a special place in our slush pile for #ownvoices.

So if you are interested in reading more #ownvoices fiction stay tuned—we got it coming!

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