At INCLUDAS, we appreciate all of the writers who are working to make the world more inclusive and diverse. We are always looking to support and encourage authors to follow their dreams. Below is a list of resources, which will hopefully be helpful to emerging creatives looking for tips and opportunities in their fields.
These are suggestions we found. They are not sponsored or guarantee a book deal. Please conduct appropriate research for whichever book publishing path you choose to take.
If you’re looking to query your manuscript, but are unsure of where to send it:
- NY Book Editors: This online “matchmaking” service pairs writers and their manuscripts with the editor they are most compatible with.
- Writer’s Digest: While this online magazine has numerous resources on the topic of querying, this list covers the most essential do’s and don’ts for writers to keep in mind while drafting their letters to agents.
- If you don’t even know where to start with your query letter, literary agent and YA author Eric Smith offers examples of some of the best query letters and book proposals he’s received and why, along with more advice for authors looking to submit to agents.
If you are unsure where to find an agent that suits your work:
- Browsing social media. Sometimes, finding an agent willing to represent your work can be as simple as connecting with them via sites such as Twitter or Instagram. If you’d like to make a more traditional connection, you can also try reaching out through LinkedIn.
- Visit Manuscript Wish List, a database run by writers, editors, and literary agents. Manuscript Wish List allows registered agents and editors to customize their “wish lists” of manuscripts they’re on the hunt for, and interested authors to find the agent passionate about their work.
While the official Pitch Wars mentorship program runs on a schedule, pitch events of all kinds are held on Twitter throughout the year:
- Each pitch war is centered around a theme, with the #PitchDis summer event intended to showcase pitches from authors with disabilities.
- Other themes include the #PitBLK event for Black writers and the #LatinxPitch for Latinx kidlit writers.
- The #DVPit runs from August 1-2, offering a chance for unagented marginalized authors and illustrators to pitch via Twitter.
- Pitch Party calendars contain the full list of annual pitch events, while experienced writers have assembled recommendations for how to fit a great pitch into under 280 characters.
If you’re looking for contests, awards, or grants to submit to, there are many databases that keep up-to-date records of the latest opportunities, such as:
- Poets and Writers has a frequently-updated database of writing contests, grants, and awards for all writers.
- Winning Writers’s list of open contests or publications that are open for submissions.
- Galleyway’s monthly roundups of fellowships, submission opportunities, and prizes are aimed at poets but may still interest other writers.
- The Schneider Family Book Award (for children’s literature) and The Barbellion Prize (for any genre) are annual book awards given to authors whose books featured exceptional portrayals of the disability experience.
- Grant Funds for Writers/Artists offers a list of over 50 funding options for creators, writers, artists, filmmakers, etc. that are location-based, project-based, identity-based, etc.
If you are looking for community, there are many different active places where authors can converse. Each has its own sets of social rules, so you may have to search around to find a good fit:
- Writers groups including or inspired by the “Binder Full of Fiction Writers” group, which began on Facebook in 2014, tend to be progressive and welcoming of diverse members.
- There’s also Writers for Diversity, a group open to helping all authors write about diverse characters and worlds.
- The ADCI (Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) group, which launched in 2020, holds regular meetings on Facebook and Zoom to share their experiences with one another.
- Any authors who write kidlit are welcome to join the Disabled Kidlit Writers, who offer support, advice, and answers for fellow aspiring children’s book authors.
Other resource lists:
- KidLit411 has a master post of resources for people looking to support diversity efforts in publishing or to write inclusive stories.
- WeNeedDiverseBooks has a sectioned resource list for authors, booksellers, and the general public about diversity topics and information.
- The newly-launched Disability in Publishing Network (founded in part by INCLUDAS’s Madison Parrotta) aims to support disabled workers within the publishing industry, working to make it a more inclusive space regardless of the currently-existing barriers. Their website offers resources for authors, including directories of agents, editors, and freelancers.
- Children’s nonfiction author Annette Whipple has an extensive list of resources for children’s book writers available for download on her website.
- Jane Friedman, a writer who also works as a business strategist for authors and publishers, has an incredibly comprehensive database of references for editors, book publicists, literary lawyers, and more.
- A comprehensive list of writing scholarships, working with editors, formatting a manuscript, and professional organizations can be found on the Money-Saving Guide for Authors and Writers.
- BONUS: If you are a publisher from a marginalized community, the Independent Book Publishers Association is now offering the Innovative Voices Program. This one-year sponsorship includes networking opportunities, financial donations, and other benefits designed to support publishers from marginalized communities who are publishing work focused on people and topics of importance to marginalized communities.
We hope that the resources provided by this list will be useful to authors, and we look forward to reading the works that they produce.