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Sensitivity Editing: Getting It Right and Avoiding Misrepresentation

Date: Tuesday, May 22, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 215 Spadina Ave., Alterna Savings room, fourth floor

Branch/Twig: Toronto

Meetings and events | Branch meetings | Executive committee meetings

An expanding focus on cultural sensitivity has given rise to the new field of sensitivity editing, which works to ensure that marginalized groups are represented accurately, fairly, and respectfully. Join Editors Toronto on May 22 for a panel discussion featuring four editors who have performed sensitivity edits dealing with race; LGBTQ2+ concerns; mental health; religion; disability; and Indigenous representation. Our guests will discuss their work as sensitivity editors, talk about how they got into the field and what it means to them, and provide examples of how they dealt with specific issues in the context of sensitivity edits for a variety of clients.


More about our speakers:

Teneile Warren is a Jamaican-born playwright and reluctant poet. Her sensitivity editing focuses on language, racism, and cultural competency issues among Black immigrant populations. She predominantly works with immigrant writers seeking language balance between their new homes and maintaining authenticity of their stories. Her genres of focus are stage plays, screenplays, lyric essays, and funding applications that impact Black populations. Teneile is a resident artist with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She is the creator and writer of a historical graphic novel that uses North American superhero narrative structure to tell the story of her ancestors, the Maroon people of Jamaica.

Ronan Sadler is a freelance editor, primarily of romance and young adult fiction; sensitivity editing is part of their freelance services, as well as their in-house work with a romance publisher. With a master’s in critical disability studies, Ronan approaches sensitivity editing as a question of both craft and education, and strives to not just correct the manuscript, but also to equip the author with greater knowledge and skills.

Talia C. Johnson is a writer, poet, sensitivity editor, public speaker, workshop facilitator, ritual and service leader, educator, and activist. Her work bridges faith, mental health, and LGBTQ+/queer communities. Talia is a member of the Heartspark Press executive committee, and she is currently studying with the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, with ordination planned for summer 2019. Talia’s sensitivity editing is informed by a combination of formal studies, work in various communities, and lived experience as an out transgender, autistic, Jewish woman. 

Mary Beth Leatherdale writes, edits, and consults on books, magazines, and digital resources for children and youth. She is the author of the awarding-winning Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees. Together with Lisa Charleyboy, she is the editor of the highly acclaimed Dreaming in Indian, Urban Tribes, and #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women. Recently, #NotYourPrincess was awarded the American Indian Library Associations’ American Indian Youth Literature Award, named a 2017 Quill & Quire Book of the Year, and named a finalist for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.. 

RAFFLE: Enter our raffle to win valuable prizes! All proceeds will be donated to Welcoming Words, a new non-profit association that fosters cultural literacy by placing Canadian books in the hands of new Canadians.

Cost: $2/ticket, $5 for three tickets, or $10 for seven tickets.

Prizes: one $50 gift certificate to any Oxford Properties Group shopping centre (includes the Scarborough Town Centre); one copy of the coffee table book Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest, by Ian McAllister and donated by Vancouver’s Greystone Books; and one copy of #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, donated by co-editor Mary Beth Leatherdale and Annick Press.

Editors Toronto would like to thank the Oxford Properties Group, Greystone Books, Mary Beth Leatherdale, and Annick Press, for generously supporting this event.


Program details for Tuesday, May 22, 7 PM

LOCATION: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), 215 Spadina Ave., Alterna Savings room, fourth floor

7 PM                 Mingling and informal Q&A session for new and prospective members
7:30 PM           Editors Toronto business meeting
8:00 PM           Program
9:15 PM           Mix-and-mingle

Free for members; non-members $10.