Words and stories hold power, and our role as editors is to help clients craft their writing to reflect their intended message. Even if we understand that biased or exclusive language can render text ineffective or harmful, addressing these issues is often easier said than done. In this session, you’ll hear practical tips that will help you navigate the challenges that can come with offering guidance on potentially problematic language or representation, such as how to decide whether to flag content or leave it alone, craft queries and feedback, and handle client resistance.
Crystal Shelley is the owner of Rabbit with a Red Pen, where she provides fiction editing and authenticity reading services to authors and publishers. Drawing on her background as a social worker, she unites her love of language and passion for social justice by pushing for writing and representation that’s more dignified, intentional, and just. She is the creator of the Conscious Language Toolkits for Editors and Writers, serves on the board of ACES: The Society for Editing, and is an instructor for the Editorial Freelancers Association. When she’s not working with words, she’s probably swearing at a video game.