Diversity and Inclusion

Mother Language Day Blog Image showing a young person looking at old bookshelves

Mother Language Day for Authors and Publishers

In 1999, UNESCO designated 21 February as International Mother Language Day. It’s an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge and celebrate language diversity and to resist the suppression of minority...
A blog feature image showing a small leafy branch and scrabble tiles spelling 'Mental Health' with the title '5 Novels with Authentic Mental Health Depictions' over the top

5 Novels with the Best (Authentic) Mental Health Depictions

Mental health is a popular theme in fiction but negative stereotypes abound. Charlotte Brontë has a lot to answer for with her madwoman in the attic in the classic novel Jane Eyre. As a former clinica...
A close up of an old woman holding a book with the text

Why We Need More Older Characters in Fiction

In a 2013 Guardian article the novelist Penelope Lively, then aged 80, bemoaned the depiction of older characters in fiction: “The stereotypes of old age run from the smiling old dear to the gru...
A blog feature image showing a letter-cloud rainbow with the title 'LGBT+ History through Contemporary Fiction' over the top

LGBT+ History through Contemporary Fiction

Minority rights aren’t only deeply important for minorities. Like the canary in the coal mine, they can also indicate a society’s flexibility, respect and overall health. Equality benefits everyone, s...
A blog feature image showing five short story books fanned out on a dark table with the title 'Perspectives on Identity in Short Stories' over the top

Perspectives on Identity in Short Stories

I often get to the end of a novel and think Now I know where it’s going, I’d love to read it again. But, as a book blogger reading around 150 contemporary novels a year, I rarely do. But short stories...
A blog feature image showing a digital render of brain neurones with the title 'Does Diverse Reading Benefit Your Brain?' over the top

Does Diverse Reading Benefit Your Brain?

You’re probably familiar with the ethical arguments favouring diverse reading. Celebrating marginalised stories is part of what Inspired Quill is about. You might not be aware, however, that reading d...
A blog feature image showing a headshot of the cartoon character She-Ra with the title 'Why Would You Even Want A Damsel?' over the top

The Point of Fictional Damsels

One of my favourite animated series was, and still is, The Mysterious Cities of Gold. It aired on the BBC in the very late eighties and it has always been a huge comfort and inspiration to me. There w...
A blog feature image showing a person behind a stack of books with the title 'A Man Writing Heroines' over the top

A Man Writing Heroines

Here’s a story about D&D, listening and trying to be a good ally. Why am I, a man, writing about heroines? Let me tell you a story. A friend told me about a game of Dungeons & Dragons he...
A blog feature image showing a diverse group of youngsters standing and looking at the camera and the title 'Stop Talking About Diversity in Books' over the top

Stop Talking About Diversity In Books

“The importance of diversity in books”, “diverse characters – tokenism or important?” and my personal favourite, “is diversity really that important?” Every time I see a convention panel discussion wi...

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