image of Sadie and text "Meet Sadie" and "illustration & cover design".
disability in publishing | INCLUDAS Team | interviews

Meet Sadie

Sadie joined the INCLUDAS team in May 2021 and is the Design and Illustrations Superhero. We are so excited to have her with us!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m great at experiencing stories. Whether it’s through books, TV shows, writing, or art, I love getting that human connection to other people through storytelling—both if I’m the one telling the story or I’m the one receiving it from someone else.

The most significant thing that’s influenced me as a person, and one of the reasons I wanted to work for INCLUDAS so much, is because I have a chronic health condition called fibromyalgia. I’ve had chronic pain and fatigue since I was a freshman in high school, and I’ll have it for the rest of my life. Having that daily experience with disability has really shaped me in a lot of ways. It’s helping me look for what means the most to me, what I want to prioritize in life. That’s kind of why I want to go into the publishing industry because if I’m going to spend so much energy into a career, it should be something that I love.

What makes you proud of yourself, and what are your aspirations?

I’m graduating from Emerson College in December 2021, so making it through college is my greatest accomplishment right now. It’s been really fun, and I’ve had a lot of great opportunities, but it’s been a lot of work. I want to continue to work in children’s publishing, like middle-grade novels and chapter books with illustrations in them. I want to work in both design and editorial, and with INCLUDAS, I’m excited to be in a community of people who all care about what the mission is.

Why are you interested in working in publishing?

I love working with other people and on other people’s stories in a team and making it the best that it can be. I want to reach out to as many people as possible through the stories I work on. I like how transportive books can be. When you really get into a book, it’s such a unique and cool experience, so I would love to work in that for my career.

Why is disability diversity in stories important to you?

I’ve always loved to read. It’s really important to see yourself and the things you experience in books, which is why what INCLUDAS is doing is incredible. Disability is such a wide umbrella term, and a lot of peoples’ experiences are very different, so it’s important to have that diverse representation. I would love to see more chronic illness in books in a diverse range of genres, not just romance, but in fantasy novels, because that’s my favorite genre.

What’s the most fulfilling part of being a superhero at INCLUDAS?

I’ve been working on social media graphics and potential ideas for book covers, which I’m super excited about. I think the most fulfilling part is getting this experience of working in a publishing house and tailoring my skills to their specific branding because I feel like I’ve only done publishing in a classroom setting where I’ve had to make a lot of my own decision making, but when you’re working with a publisher, they already have an image or idea of what they’re trying to go for. That’s been really fun to figure out how to navigate that workflow.

Any advice for those wanting to work in the publishing industry?

Read a lot and be thoughtful when you’re reading, looking for what works for you and try to be aware of that. Be aware of the trends going on and involve yourself in the industry in any way you can. It can be working at a bookstore or volunteering at a library, which is more accessible than majoring in publishing or something along those lines. There are a lot of little ways you can get involved.

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