More children's books are published with an animal protagonist than a main character who is black, Latinx, First Nations, or Asian.
Only around 7% of published romance novels are written by authors of colour. There are similar statistics in other genres. The vast majority of employees in publishing houses are white and able-bodied.
The hashtag #publishingpaidme brings to light the huge pay disparity between white authors and BIPOC authors in the traditional publishing world.
As a disabled author, I know many of us face additional barriers to getting our work out in the world, and that those barriers are still present when we self-publish. I also know that in telling our stories we often do battle against the harmful stereotypes and unrealistic images of disability in the media.
Also, as a white writer, I understand I have the privilege of being seen. I try to be a good ally, but I've got things wrong. I'm always learning. But a POC character written by myself will more likely reach a wider audience than one written from the lived experience of a POC author, and that's ridiculous and it needs to change. Writing more diverse characters is only part of the solution. The other part is to lift up voices that might not otherwise get heard.
I want you to have the same opportunities self-publishing has given me. On an equal footing. That's why I'm excited to offer the Rage Against the Manuscript Diversity Scholarship.
Rage Against the Manuscript Diversity Scholarships
If you're a BIPOC or disabled writer, you can use these scholarships to help you explore self-publishing as an alternative avenue for having your stories heard.
The scholarship include free lifetime access to How to Rock Self-Publishing School.
The School is online, and partially accessible, with content available in PDF, audio, and video. Most videos include transcripts, and I'm working to complete transcripts for all videos/audio and to include close caption in a future update. I'm happy to take feedback to improve accessibility.
There's no limit and no deadline. The course is available year-round, and so is this opportunity.
Aotearoa New Zealand is my home, so I'm especially excited to hear from Māori and Pasifika authors.
How to Apply
I wanted to keep the application process simple and accessible to all. All you've got to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you qualify and why you'd like to take How to Rock Self-Publishing School.
Use the format most comfortable to you. Write an email, film a video, send me an audio file.
Include a link to your author website or published work if you have one. If not, don't worry about it – just tell me about a story or project that excites you.
Self-identification is fine. I'm not asking for any proof of your eligibility.
Don't fret too much making your application perfect. This isn't a competition. Just tell me about your writing from the heart.