Sensitivity Reading Services

Status: I am currently OPEN for sensitivity reading requests.

Below is a comprehensive statement of my rates, identities, expertise, pricing, and privacy conditions. Please read them in their entirety before submitting a request and sending me an email.


What is a sensitivity reader?

A sensitivity reader is someone who reads and assesses your manuscript and provides you with insight on the representation of marginalized identities in your work.

A sensitivity reader does not read your already published book, but rather your unpublished manuscript. A sensitivity reader is likewise not a beta reader (though I also offer beta reading services, they differ in nature and purpose).


Why work with me?

As a sensitivity reader my purpose is to work with you to ensure that any harmful, biased, and stereotypical content regarding the identities in question will be remarked on and worked over at your will.

I have a deeply engraved work ethic, based on mutual understanding, respect, and trust. I have loved stories ever since I was a child, something I’m forever grateful to my parents and grandparents for fostering in me.

One of publishing’s most pressing issues is the spotlighting of harmful content released into the industry every year. Uninformed stereotypes or depictions are the primary weapons against marginalized communities and their rights.

As your sensitivity reader, it is my job and pleasure to help you polish your work so as to counter that, and make sure you have as much insight as possible when deciding how to write your story.

I am a firm believer that my identities can be portrayed by those who do not share them, if coming from a place of understanding, experience, or awareness.

In offering you my insight and knowledge attained through my life experience and professional expertise, it’s my mission to help you consider how powerful your words can be in fighting against harmful and derogatory content, and in doing so, helping you best connect to identities you may not have first-hand experience with.

Together, we can create a deeply meaningful experience for your readers, that will make them feel seen and/or expand their perspectives.


My method

As your sensitivity reader, I will…

  • Offer you invaluable constructive criticism from someone who is of the specific identity you seek council on;
  • Provide honest, straight-forward feedback;
  • Use my detail-oriented skills to best analyse your manuscript;
  • Continuously improve my capabilities to best support your work with my own.

I provide you with expansive and detailed commentary and suggestions (using Word’s Review tool), as well as answer any specific questions you might provide me. If you don’t provide me with any specific questions or themes/subjects you want me to focus on, I will write a thorough reading report that focuses on all the topics regarding representation, authenticity, honesty, and identity spectrum.

I will read through your manuscript 3 times.

Once, to get to know your story. Twice, to focus on any specifics I might have missed at first, and thrice, to arrange my comments and fully answer your questions.

As your sensitivity reader, I will never…

  • Take away your voice or try to rewrite your story;
  • Do line-by-line editing;
  • Do extensive grammar editing (though I provide commentary on most of it);
  • Disclose any information regarding your manuscript.

If you want to get an extra perspective on my work, you can browse this blog for some of my reviews and posts or scroll down further to find some of my articles.


Expertise and Experience

  • LGBTQ+ representation: I am asexual, aromantic, non-binary, bisexual/pansexual. I fluctuate even within those very spectra, so I can provide ample insight;
  • Mental illness: Bipolar, anxiety, depression;
  • Abuse and trauma: Sexual, physical, psychological abuse;
  • Other subjects: Drug use, alcoholism;
  • I can also provide insight on: ableism, classism, sexism, misogyny;

After your contact, we can discuss what themes I am comfortable providing feedback on or if you should strive for another sensitivity reader for certain elements of your manuscript;

  • I have a bachelor’s degree in Languages, Literature and Cultures and vast experience in analyzing literary works;
  • I have and continue to attend book cons whenever possible, to further deepen my understanding of the craft, the industry, and its professionals. I attended WriteHive online con, YALL West (Yall Stay Home), panels organized by Weeknight Writers Virtual Conference, Sirens at Home, and YALL Write;
  • As a book blogger, I strive to become increasingly and endlessly informed on the industry and its periphery;
  • I am also a beta reader and have experience with that type of feedback. You can visit my beta reading page here;

If you want to get a more detailed perspective on my thoughts regarding diversity, stories, and my work, you can visit my articles: Written in Narrative – Does a Protagonist’s Queer Identity Matter?;

For further info about my experiences in sensitivity reading, jump to my testimonals section.

An important factor to note is that my experience, even on these identities, will never be universal.

Within every identity is a spectrum of experiences, and I cannot speak for all of them. Even within my own identities there will be distinct perspectives, as everyone will have different experiences of the same subject.

I constantly work at being a person who considers a multitude of perspectives, and as someone who is always learning from other experiences, I will work the hardest in providing you with an ample perspective that considers all worldviews, but I suggest seeking beyond that, if you’re able.


Preferred genres and age groups

  • Fantasy
  • Science-Fiction
  • Historical
  • Literary fiction
  • Middle Grade
  • YA
  • Adult

I am comfortable reading outside of those, upon further discussion.

I would also appreciate any content warnings you might have regarding your work, especially if it contains: sexual abuse, gore. These will not be deterrent to me reading your work but I require a heads up before doing so.

I will not read any erotica, poetry, or military fiction.


Privacy terms and conditions

  • As a sensitivity reader, I take my own work extremely seriously. As such, your privacy and that of your work is my top priority. I have a strong code of ethics and I will not share, steal, or appropriate any information and/or ideas in your manuscript.
  • As a book reviewer, I do reserve the right to read, review, and freely critique your final published piece.
  • In reading your work I am not directly endorsing it. I ask you that you do not misuse my name as a shield against criticism or in claiming that your work is free of any and all bias.
  • If you wish to do so, you may mention my name in the acknowledgements of your work. I’d be more than glad to know I helped you enough for that! Please, contact me before doing so.
  • I am happy to sign any formal non-disclosure agreements that comply with these terms and conditions prior to the rendering of my services.

Pricing

  • 5k or less: $45
  • 5,000 – 10,000 words = $105
  • 10,001 – 30,000 words = $155
  • 30,001 – 60,000 words = $225
  • 60,001 – 100,000 words = $305
  • 100,000+ words = $355 base price + (# of words above 100k*$0.007)

► I.e.: A manuscript of 115,000 words, will amount to $355 + (0.007 * 15,000) = $460

I offer a 10% discount to returning customers (covering a service rendered immediately after a previous one).

I also do reading of specific scenes (meaning, not the entire manuscript but any perspective you might require on certain scenes only). Flat rate for those is $25 for up to 10 scenes. I will need contextualization of the scenes and specifics of your entire work in order to provide you with the best feedback possible.

Prices are always rounded.


Payment terms and conditions

  • Payment will be accepted via Paypal only;
  • Payment terms to be agreed. This means I can accept payment by installments, on specific occasions. In these cases, I will read parts of your manuscript according to details agreed upon by both of us. Specific timelines and numbers will be discussed on a case-by-case basis;
  • I am open to receive payment in € or £. Rates will be converted from $ using basic online converters;
  • Payment is non-refundable. As a sensitivity reader, I will provide you with honest, straightforward feedback that may not meet your expectations or desires, but I still expect to be compensated for my time and effort.

General terms and conditions

  • As a rule, I will respond to your request within 5 days. If I do not reply to your messages within that timeline, you are free to contact me again. Sometimes emails end up in my spam box so don’t take my lack of response for a rejection;
  • I reserve the right to deny any requests. My refusal to work with you on your manuscript does not constitute a personal statement on it and I will be glad to respectfully clarify my reasons;
  • In accepting your request, we will discuss payment, timelines, as well as particulars regarding the type of feedback you want me to focus on. Upon us coming to an agreement, I will sign any non-disclosure agreements necessary that comply with my terms listed above. My sensitive reading will begin as soon as I receive payment;
  • Please allow up to 3 weeks turnaround from the moment I confirm reception of payment. If you have any specific timelines for the feedback you require of me, feel free to mention them in your request.

Testimonials

As someone who is constantly working at bettering myself and my services, I will kindly ask that you give me any feedback and/or a testimonial of my work upon completion of my reading.

I am looking for honest, upright, fair constructive criticism that will help me better improve my services, so don’t hesitate to be brutally honest with your thoughts.

Here’s what authors I’ve worked with had to say about my work:

From the very first e-mail, Arina immediately put me at ease. She wrote with warmth and consideration, saying how excited she was to help answer my questions and make sure the book I published was as good as it could possibly be. I never got a vibe of being evaluated, judged, or spoken down to. It was all about how she could help me, as a writer, improve my craft, and the book, so readers of all stripes would feel seen and understood.
(…)I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Arina, and I recommend her sensitivity reading services with the greatest enthusiasm.

Dan Fitzgerald, author of the Maer Cycle
(Click this link to read Dan’s full testimonial)

Contact

Thank you for reading! 🙂 You can email me at catlitreview@gmail.com with any further inquiries or requests or fill out the following form:

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