The Writing Academy was excited to have Tagan Shepard (she/her) give a special class to our students on Writing Diverse Characters. As the GCLS Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Tagan takes seriously the idea of educating writers and helping writers educate themselves when writing about experiences outside of their own lived reality.
Tagan talked to our students about recognizing the difference between harmful stereotypes and literary tropes, microaggressions, and othering.
She also gave specific examples of what to do and what not to do when writing about:
- Black characters
- Latinx characters
- Asian characters
- Bisexual characters
- Transgender characters
- Neurodiverse characters
- Physically disabled characters
- Fat characters
Importantly, she also left us with some resources to start/continue our own research after the class.
- Writing With Color: https://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com
- TV Tropes: https://tvtropes.org
- Oxford Languages: https://languages.oup.com
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC): https://www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms
If you are a GCLS member and you need help/resources when writing diverse characters, please contact the D&I committee at Diversity-Inclusion@goldencrown.org