A new author census continues the conversation on diversity in the publishing industry.
Representation, recognition, identity all factor in literary careers.
The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) has released Diversity in Canadian Writing: A 2020-2021 Snapshot, a report with key findings from a community survey of nearly 600 literary authors in English Canada. Intended as a snapshot of the industry and the continuation of an important discussion, the report analyzes both demographic patterns and write-in responses on the state of diversity and equity in Canadian publishing from 2020–2021. TWUC thanks all publishers, industry organizations, and authors who contributed to the survey.
The report found that authors who identified as BIPOC, LGBTQ2+, and/or disabled reported they have encountered greater barriers in their careers than authors from dominant demographic groups, working harder than others to get the same treatment, being excluded from work or networking events, and losing out on opportunities to those less qualified. While BIPOC authors were found to have received proportionally greater recognition in award shortlists and literary festivals, they had lesser representation overall in titles published. Authors from non-dominant groups also reported fewer active years in the industry.
The report lays out seven key recommendations, such as ensuring greater diversity in publishing gatekeepers and decision makers, mandating diversity training for publishing house staff, and increasing support for small presses.
Diversity in Canadian Writing was produced with support from the Access Copyright Foundation.
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The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. Over 2,600 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information.
For additional information:
Rhea Tregebov, Chair
The Writers’ Union of Canada
Date: June 7, 2022