READING SERVICES

 kai cheng with graffiti

“New ways of bringing new stories into a world that, in these times of change and struggle, so desperately needs them.” – Kai Cheng, “They Call Me Literary Fascism: Reflections of A Sensitivity Reader

kaichengthom@gmail.com

Are you a new writer or spoken word artist seeking help with polishing a manuscript?  Or perhaps an experienced writer in need of a colleague to consult with?  Are you a publisher or editor who would like to engage the services of an experienced, ethical sensitivity reader in regards to a challenging project? Perhaps the following services are for you.

SENSITIVITY READING

Sensitivity reading is a newly emerging practice in literary and artistic fields that is quickly becoming the standard for creators and publishers who wish to engage with subject material that is diverse, complex, and politically provocative.  A sensitivity reader is a specialized consultant with a background in editing and/or writing.  Sensitivity readers use their literary expertise, as well as their lived experiences of oppression or difference, to help writers ensure that their representations of marginalized characters and communities are nuanced and three-dimensional.  Sensitivity reading is also helpful for avoiding the unintentional use of harmful tropes or stereotypes.

I am available for sensitivity reading on fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and dramatic works and can provide my input on the representation of:

  • Queer and trans people and community
  • Gender transition & coming out
  • Mental health & illness
  • Chinese diasporic communities, Chinese migration to North America

Sensitivity reading is controversial in some literary circles due to a perceived association with censorship and political puritanism.  I am dedicated to developing a sensitivity reading practice that is informed, ethical, and consensual.  I approach my consultations with a deep respect for authors who write with courage, authenticity, and a desire to connect with experiences beyond their own.  To help ensure that our collaboration is healthy, productive, and well-boundaried, I have created a standard procedure and working agreement that I share with all clients.  This procedure includes:

  • Reading and signing of a working agreement outlining roles, responsibilities, and boundaries
  • My reading of a completed manuscript and the provision of written feedback in note form
  • A 1 hour Phone or video discussion
  • Follow-up discussion as needed

Please contact kaichengthom@gmail.com for further details and fees.

MANUSCRIPT EDITING & CONSULTING

In addition to sensitivity reading, I also provide general editing and manuscript consulting services for writers of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry.  In this role, I may take a more expansive approach to providing you with feedback on narrative structure, pacing, character development, and other technical or conceptual aspects of writing.  This is a very exciting way to work together, and I genuinely love working closely with writers on the projects that are close to their hearts.

Please note that you must have a completed draft of your manuscript before I can work with you.  My availability for manuscript consulting is very limited, so there are many collaborations which I must decline.  If you wish to work with me, please do the following:

  • Contact me by email with an introduction to yourself and your work
  • Describe your project briefly in one paragraph 
  • Attach a sample of no more than 1000 words 
  • Briefly describe your hopes and expectations for working with me

My starting fee for a book-length manuscript consultation is $1500, which includes up to 5 readings with written feedback in note format and 3 1-hour phone or video meetings.  For shorter manuscripts, please inquire within.  I do not offer a sliding scale at this time.  Before starting on a collaboration, it will be necessary to read and sign a working agreement outlining roles, responsibilities, and boundaries. 

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