How to Get Published if You are [Insert Minority]

  1. First and foremost, write well—well enough to meet modern literacy levels. Our current sociopoliti-loco climate should clue you in.
  2. Also, keep in mind millennial attention span; write in increments of 140 characters (this may be modified to 280).
  3. Then, make sure you have the right name. What you’re aiming for is an equilibrium of complex and euphonic. Nix anything that exceeds one syllable. Instead, abbreviate, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, come up with a nifty acronym like: I.A.M.D.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y
  4. Next, and perhaps the most important part of the process: SELL YOUR SOB STORY. I mean that’s the whole point of you — yes, you, oh so coveted diversity token — you allow the publishing industry to #woke #SJW #metoo itself and maybe even sleep at night.
  5. Whatever you write, absolutely do not write about anything ordinary (i.e. zombie apocalyptic dystopian fantasies; non-orientalist adventure mysteries; resplendent romances, unless there is misogyny involved; etc). Your opinions on the ordinary make you too relatable — that’s scary—it’ll make you, like, human or something. Instead, be extraordinary, and be #diversity.
  6. Your experience needs to be strange, singular, novel, exotic, foreign, alien, segregated, faraway, reasonably isolated, and, of course, positively sensational. God forbid your audience has to read between the lines and find #diversity in the nuances of your context. No, you have to make it easy — remember, short attention span is oft accompanied by shallow depth.
  7. Then, it goes without saying, but be sure to filter your words (no one appreciates unedited work) — just choose an appropriate filter that fits the tone of your writing (you can never go wrong with Puppy or Flower Crown but steer clear of Rainbow Vomit).
  8. Now, submit the heck out of your work — it’s a numbers game in the end [no really it is].
  9. And remember, you are #diversity, and used to rejection.
  10. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re ready to meet an agent or even publisher (yay you!). Make sure you look the part. You want to give out #hardlife vibes—but keep it slick, no one likes unhinged.
  11. When you sign, use your tears (or blood) for ink, it’ll add a nice kick to the whole process — if it won’t dry, it’s ok, raw sells better anyway.
  12. Now wait a couple of years (it’s print) and presto, ‘your kind of people’ are represented!***

***Except in politics, government, economics, education, academia, global affairs, fake news, real but still fake news, popular culture, unpopular culture, any relevant culture really, the arts, Wall Street, Main Street, or like, the entire Northern Hemisphere

Well, at least you gave them your voice.

Funny, you’re still muted.

wage beauty| published in McSweeny’s Internet Tendency; Anchor Magazine| recipient of the 2018 SCBWI Emerging Voices Award

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