Better Writing Through Empathy was created as a response to the difficult and long overdue conversations about race, religion, disability, sexuality, and gender happening in the romance community. Recognizing that inclusion makes our community and our writing richer, and that we can’t tackle any (let alone all) of these topics in a single session, we devote time to our monthly programs for presentations, conversations, and writing exercises to help us understand ourselves and each other better. Our aim is to become better writers through exercising empathy and also to make our space welcoming to people from all backgrounds.
We try to have presenters speaking from some aspect of their own identity.
Topics covered have included:
- What to consider when writing characters of color, LGBTQIA+ characters, characters with disability, multiracial characters, and characters who practice non-Christian religions.
- How to create a more inclusive community
- What makes someone feel comfortable in a space?
- White Fragility
- Specific conversations in the romance community
Spoiler alert: The ultimate lesson of every session is to read books and listen to stories outside of your own experience, to think about the things that make up who you are, and to do the same for others.