We Know the Way is a literary consultancy providing diversity editors for manuscripts, synopses and more. We believe that nobody is free of privilege, and that everyone deserves to see a positive depiction of their humanity in the books that they read.
As a company, our aim is simple: to check our clients’ work for any biases, inaccuracies, insensitive or problematic scenes and portrayals, with alternatives suggested, in order to produce a work that is emphatic, understanding and overall a positive representation of the minority group being written about.
As writers, we cannot be expected to fully understand the experiences of another group; particularly a minoritised group. We need to be made aware of our own ingrained biases, no matter how empathetic our own positions are. Diversity editing is an essential part of a novel’s birth across all forms of non-fiction literature. This is especially true for YA books, where young minds are exploring the world around them through literature, and are easily damaged by the negative portrayals of characters that reflect themselves.
Our editors give a voice and agency to the minoritised groups which they are a part of. They are book lovers with an in-depth knowledge of their genres and the publishing industry, and know which pitfalls to look out for and ways to provide feedback that will ultimately lead to better books being put into readers hands. Our editors are mostly from groups that struggle to get an opportunity to work in the publishing industry despite their skills and knowledge, and a big part of this business is breaking social and economic barriers to create freelance job opportunities.
Our editors can advise on race, gender, sexuality, age, religion, mental health, physical health, body types, class, family dynamics and more. We will allocate you editors who are best suited to your requirements. We offer detailed feedback over several packages all available in our shop:
• Full manuscript reads
• Picture book reads
• Synopsis reads
• Hourly consultations
For example, a writer has a complete manuscript and isn't certain that there are no insensitive aspects to their story. They can submit it to us and an experienced diversity editor will go through it with a fine toothed comb and flag anything up. Another example is a heterosexual writer with a lesbian character - the author can request a lesbian editor who will check for bias and inaccuracy, drawing on her own experiences and knowledge.
These services are designed to highlight issues and provide suggestions to fix them. This is not a comprehensive editing service. We strongly advocate for publishers to buy from authors from minoritised groups, so they can share their stories with the world. We also believe that with the correct research, everyone can write about anyone, and we are here to support that.
These services are designed to highlight issues and provide suggestions to fix them. This is not a comprehensive editing service. Feedback will be detailed and returned up to 30 days after date of submission unless you order a fast track service. Please allow a month to receive your feedback.
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