New scholarships launched to help disabled writers and writers of colour self-publish
Local Kiwi author Steff Green makes a living self-publishing romance novels. Now she’s launched an online course helping authors self-publish to a high professional standard – complete with a free scholarship programme for disabled writers and writers of colour.
Green’s online course, How to Rock Self-Publishing, is based on her popular book of the same name. It involves regular weekly lessons (in audio, video, or text), case studies, and downloadable tip sheets and action lists, as well as feedback and expert advice.
For Green, who is legally blind, accessibility is a big factor in both her business and creative decisions.
“I’m a disabled writer, and I know that we are often are locked out of opportunities in the publishing world. We’re told ‘readers don’t want stories about people like you’. But I’ve found the exact opposite through self-publishing.
“One of my most popular series features a heroine who has a degenerate eye condition. She is going blind throughout the series. I get so many emails from vision-impaired readers who love seeing a heroine like them.”
Green, who is Pākehā, is also keen to be a good ally to writers of colour. In the midst of the international Black Lives Matter movement, the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe recently brought to light the pay disparity between white writers and writers of colour. Unfortunately, self-publishing has similar problems.
“As a white writer, I have the privilege of being seen. A character of colour written by me is likely to reach a wider audience than one written by an author of colour: that's ridiculous and it needs to change. Writing more diverse characters is only part of the solution. The other part is to lift up voices that might not otherwise get heard.”
To help give others a hand up, Green is offering scholarships to disabled writers and writers of colour to enable them to take her How to Rock Self-Publishing course for free.
“Self-publishing offers an opportunity to bypass the gatekeepers. I want to empower writers with all kinds of life experiences to tell their stories and find their readers.”
Green is particularly keen to hear from disabled writers here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and from Māori and Pasifika writers. She has designed the application process to be as easy and simple as possible – just email email@example.com with a brief note saying why you qualify and why you'd like to take the course.
The online How to Rock Self-Publishing course is available all year round for writers to take at their own pace. It includes exclusive interviews with successful authors and top experts in self-publishing, including New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre, and CEO of Best Page Forward, Bryan Cohen.
“I want every writer to get excited about the options for getting their work out there in 2020 and beyond,” explains Green. “I started my website, Rage Against the Manuscript, to help others. It’s grown from free articles I shared online to a huge resource for writers, a book, and now I’ve launched my first online course.”
Green infuses her self-help for writers with optimism, creativity, and perseverance. Her How to Rock Self-Publishing course and book are filled with real-talk from her own career, as well as Green’s trademark punk-rock DIY ethos.
“I’ve been speaking about self-publishing at events in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas, and while that’s been amazing, I’m only able to reach writers who turn up at those events. Not all writers have the ability to attend expensive conferences, and sometimes these conferences aren’t accessible.”
To learn more about the How to Rock Self-Publishing scholarship for disabled writers and writers of colour and to apply, visit https://www.rageagainstthemanuscript.com/diversityscholarship
The How to Rock Self-Publishing course is now available for learners who wish to go at their own pace. Contact Steff Green for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the How to Rock Self-Publishing course, visit https://www.rageagainstthemanuscript.com/courses