Sensitivity Reading

Sensitivity Reading & Consulting

Sensitivity reading (also called "authenticity reading" and "diversity reading") is a type of manuscript evaluation that checks whether characters are portrayed with authenticity and respect and helps authors avoid harmful stereotypes and problematic language. 

Dot and Dash Sensitivity Readers have experience working on multiple books for a Big Five publisher and a major children's and YA publisher. You can trust we have the expertise you need.

What does Sensitivity Reading include?

If you are looking for someone to assess your completed draft, then Sensitivity Reading is right for you.

The Dot and Dash Sensitivity Reading package includes:

  • A detailed and personalized sensitivity reader report with three to ten pages of feedback and insight regarding your characters, setting, plot, and theme

  • In-text comments throughout your manuscript addressing specific issues

Cost: starting at $0.0147 per word

What does Sensitivity Consulting include?

If you want someone to help you as you are writing your draft, then Sensitivity Consulting is right for you. This is perfect if you have a particular scene you want help with or need more immersive guidance in order to create the most authentic character you can.

The Dot and Dash Sensitivity Consulting package includes:

  • Unlimited email consultation access

  • One thirty-minute consultation via phone or Zoom per week

  • Sensitivity read on up to 25 pages per week

Cost: $167 per week or $600 per month (10% off)

What is a Conscious Language Check?

Our conscious language expert, Crystal Shelley, will conduct a broad review of your manuscript to help you align with current conscious language guidelines, including about race, gender, sexuality,  disabilities, and other characteristics. Where Sensitivity Reading involves an evaluation with a specific characteristic(s) in mind, the Conscious Language Check uses a wider lens.

The Dot and Dash Conscious Language Check includes:

  • In-text comments throughout your manuscript addressing specific issues

  • As necessary, a report with further explanation

  • A thirty-minute phone consultation via phone or Zoom.

Cost: $0.02 per word

Check out our free Conscious Language Guide.

 

What are our areas of expertise?

Dot and Dash Sensitivity Readers are available for the following topics:

  • Agoraphobia

  • Alcoholism & drug abuse

  • Alzheimer’s and dementia care

  • Anxiety

  • Asian American, specifically Chinese/Taiwanese

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Bisexuality

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Caregiving

  • Child abuse

  • Christianity

  • Chronic pain

  • Connective tissue disorder

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

  • Evangelicalism

  • Extremist religion

  • Feminism & gender issues

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Gamer geek

  • Homophobia

  • Hospice/end-of-life care

  • Hypermobility

  • Lesbianism

  • Mental health therapy and recovery

  • Mental health hospitalization

  • Midwestern

  • Non-religious, atheist & agnostic

  • OCD

  • Pansexuality

  • Phobias

  • Physical disability, arms & legs

  • Political activism

  • PTSD

  • Queer topics

  • Religious abuse

  • Science-fiction nerd

  • Scoliosis

  • Second generation/child of immigrants

  • Self-harm

  • Social anxiety

  • Sudden death

  • Suicide/suicidal ideation

  • Tinnitus

  • Verbal abuse

  • Working class

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Sensitivity Reading censorship?

No, it is not censorship. The Sensitivity Reader has no veto power. They can only give suggestions that they think will help your book be more successful. The main purpose of Sensitivity Reading is to alert writers when they are accidentally offensive or inauthentic as they write about a characteristic they, themselves, do not have. If you write a character who is purposefully offensive, and their behavior plays an important role in the plot, then it is not typically necessary for the Sensitivity Reader to suggest changes.

2. How long does it take?

On average, your Sensitivity Read will be completed and returned to you within four weeks. This varies, depending on your reader's schedule.

3. How much does it cost?

Sensitivity Reading Consulting has a flat rate of $167 per week or $600 per month. Sensitivity Reading starts at $0.0147 per word. The price depends on the topic involved. For instance, "gamer geek" is easier to read for than "rape" or "PTSD." The more emotionally involved the topic is, the longer it can take for the reader to complete their report while also practicing self-care so they're able to do their best work for you.

A Conscious Language Check has a flat rate of $0.02 per word.

3. What does sensitivity reading include? When you purchase Sensitivity Reading,  you will receive your manuscript marked up with many in-text comments about specific issues and scenarios that arise in the story and a three- to ten-page Sensitivity Reader report that discusses your specific concerns, along with feedback about scenes, dialogue, characters, and context.

4. Can't I find a sensitivity reader for cheaper?

Like with most things in publishing, you can find people willing to do the work in all price ranges. Also like most things in publishing, you get what you pay for. With a Dot and Dash Sensitivity Read, you'll know we will read every page and will prepare an in-depth Sensitivity Reader report so you have all the information you need to improve your next draft and have the peace of mind​ that you have written authentic characters. 

In addition, keep in mind what Sensitivity Reading involves. Many of the subjects we read for require us to draw upon painful memories and experiences in order to do a good job for you and your book. Because of that, we won't work for basement-discount prices.

What they're saying:

"She gave detailed feedback throughout the manuscript, including marking those passages that she felt were indeed getting it right, which was immensely helpful. More than that, she went beyond the issues that I'd originally asked her to read for, gently and kindly pointing out other issues that she noticed. I found her perspective very valuable, and I'm absolutely glad to have worked with her."

—Sonya Mukherjee, author (Simon and Schuster)

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