Mental Health Sensitivity Reading

Sensitivity readers work with authors who are writing outwith their own experience to ensure that people from marginalised groups are not represented by authors who do not share that marginalisation in a harmful or offensive way. This might include highlighting errors and giving  feedback on tropes, stereotypes, harmful word choices, cliches, plot points and depiction of culture, religion and societies. Suggestions may be given for alternative ways of approaching issues. We read for biases which the author might not realise they have.

I am a sensitivity reader for mood and anxiety disorders, and PTSD, using my own name, Laura McKendrick. If you would like feedback on descriptions of a symptom that another condition shares with any of these conditions please contact me via the Contact Form and we can discuss if this would be appropriate. I do not read for disability generally.

I have been receiving treatment for anxiety for almost 20 years, and mood disorders since I received a new diagnosis in the mid-2000s for anxiety and depression. In the last 10 years I have also experienced bipolar hypomania and mania, and disturbing images arising out of trauma.

I have attended talk therapy, group therapy, taken self-management courses, studied forensic psychology and psychiatry, and have access to numerous mental health resources.

Before I accept a project, I will assess whether a manuscript is likely to be distressing to me as a reader.

Please get in touch via the Contact Form with enquiries.

“Laura read my romantic novel prior to publication as a sensitivity reader for mental health topics–anxiety and PTSD in particular. She picked up on problematic language use with a high degree of precision and gave well thought-out advice on each scene where the topics arose. She showed a clear understanding of both the way characters with mental health problems can be sympathetically portrayed and how a reader with mental illness would experience the characters. She also asked probing questions so I understood more clearly what I was trying to achieve with the mental health representation and make sure that was reflected in the finished book. Her input has ensured the manuscript can make a positive contribution. – Leonie Mack, author of My Christmas Number One (Boldwood Books, September 2020)
Rates

Short story, or stories, up to 15,000 words = $0.007/£0.006 per word.

Novella, up 30,000 words = Flat rate: $150 / £120

Short novel, up to 50,000 words. = Flat rate: $250 / £200

All other novels = $250 / £200+ Please ask for quote

Feedback on novel synopsis of up to 5 pages = Flat rate: $25/£20*

*Via your preferred means of communication

25% off for unpublished authors.

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