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Writers for Diversity–Your Diversity Toolkit with Eliana West

March 13, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PST

MWA Presents: Writers for Diversity –Your Diversity Toolkit with Eliana West

“Multiracial Americans are at the cutting edge of social and demographic change in the U.S.—young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.” Pew Research.

Have you wanted to write more diverse characters but have been afraid? I’m going to give you the basic tools to write characters from different racial backgrounds without falling into many of the common pitfalls that create characters that are stereotypes instead of genuine people.

Tap into this growing new market and potentially add new readers by adding diversity to your story.

Writing Diversity in Popular Fiction is a workshop focused on how authors can create realistic multicultural characters. Topics in this workshop include:

• Character identity. How does your character choose to identify, and why?

• Creating your character’s multicultural backstory.

• The Legend of Bagger Vance Effect – how to avoid the stereotype of the “wise black friend”

• How to describe skin tone, hair and physical traits without using stereotypes or certain food descriptors.

• Diverse world building

This will be a closed-door session with honest, thoughtful dialogue, all questions are welcome and there will be no censure for questions asked, in other words you can’t offend me! This workshop is a safe space to question, learn, and grow.

This is a live event only. Will not be recorded.

After being approached for advice on writing diverse characters from several members of her writing group, Eliana West created a Facebook group where her friends could post questions. Since its creation in 2017 Writers for Diversity has provided a safe space for thoughtful and respectful dialogue, growing to over 1,000 members from around the world and encompassing all genres. The only child of a black man and white woman who married before the milestone Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court ruling legalized such unions. Growing up severely dyslexic, converting to Judaism as a young woman, starting a business and later writing interracial romance allow Eliana to share her passion for diverse characters and stories contributing her personal experience in her workshop presentations and classes.

Eliana West writes contemporary interracial romance. Her first book, The Way Forward, was published by Tule Publishing in 2020.

When not writing, Eliana can be found exploring the many wineries in Oregon and Washington with her husband in their vintage Volkswagen Westfalia named Bianca.

She is the founder of Writers for Diversity (https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersfordiversity), a community for writers interested in creating diverse characters and world.



Mystery Writers of America NorthWest Chapter