Writing for Diversity and Inclusivity — with David-Jack Fletcher


10am – 2:30pm
Saturday 11th March

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Writing and publishing are ever-changing, and so too are authors and audiences. It is critical for authors to be aware of things like diversity and inclusivity when writing characters and cultures that are not their own. It is vital to avoid assumptions, which are often based on unreliable pre-conceived ideas. As authors, we are responsible for undoing some of this damage by writing authentic characters and cultures. How do we write characters on the LGBTQI+ spectrum with authenticity if we are outside their sphere of existence?

This course will introduce participants to the notion of inclusivity, with a specific focus on gender and sexuality. Becoming your own sensitivity reader can enable a more realistic and engaging manuscript, as well as avoiding fetishising marginalised groups. The first half of the workshop will be focused on inclusivity and diversity—with a focus on sub-cultures, authenticity, voice, and respect—while the second half will centre on diversity and writing about sexuality and gender identity without lived experience.

Participants will study excerpts of books written by diverse authors, in addition to excerpts of texts including diverse characters written poorly and/or stereotypically. Participants should bring along a sample of their work for peer-based critique if they wish.



David-Jack Fletcher is an Australian author, editor, and publisher, specialising in LGBTQI+ horror fiction. He dabbles in comedy-horror and dark fiction, but his true love is body horror.

His debut novella, The Haunting of Harry Peck, was a 2022 Amazon international best-seller across several lists including Gay Fiction, Horror, and Two-Hour Literature.

He has also appeared in several anthologies across the US, Canada, and the UK. David-Jack’s latest novel is due for release in 2023, and he is currently working on the next one: Indentured, which focuses on a pair of bloodthirsty cursed dentures.

He also operates a small online business, Chainsaw Editing, where he specialises in copyediting and developmental editing for horror/thriller, dark fiction, mystery/suspense, and the occasional historical romance. As of February 2023, he and a UK-based colleague launched Slashic Horror Press, a queer indie horror outlet aiming to publish diverse queer voices and their allies. Their first title, Raven’s Creek, is available for pre-order with a release date of June 15.

When not writing and editing, David-Jack can be found on the couch with a book, cuddling his dogs and his husband.

Additional information

Membership Status

HWC Member, Non-Member