We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.-Maya Angelou
We need more stories. Let me say that a different way. We need a broader diversity of stories. It is wonderful and lovely that we can enjoy exercising empathy in caring for a protagonist who is not like us, but I had the early luxury, in all my neurodivergent quirkiness, of still finding people on the printed page who looked back like a mirror. I would have been lost without them, unaffirmed in the world, and without the refuge that fiction was to me. Fiction should be that to everyone who wants or needs it, and it can’t be without each of us, in our uniqueness, finding ourselves in writing.
Page Turner Magazine should be that, and right now it is incomplete. I love the stories we publish and the voices we uplift. I celebrate genre fiction in its accessibility. But we need more, and we need to do better. This is a plea to my fellow Emerson students, even if I’m not wording it right:
If you have trouble finding yourself in fiction, write that fiction, and send it to us, and even add a note to tell us who or what it represents, and that we might lack such representation. Why the note? I want to imagine we’d immediately read and love a beautiful piece from a voice and a background other than those belonging to our staff, but I’d rather not engage with the danger of overlooking something because I haven’t experienced it myself. I never want to be that person who says “this doesn’t resonate with me,” and casts aside something beautiful. I’m never the only one who needs fiction.
If you see gaps in our oeuvre (I know they’re there), please send in work that fills them. If there’s a way you’re held back from doing so, please email us email@example.com. If you want to work with Page Turner Magazine (though we’re all volunteer, which I am very aware is a barrier to many in itself), and you feel your voice and identity is not represented in the fiction or on the staff, please reach out to the same email above.
I would love to hear your story.
-Sarah Burton, Editor in Chief
Here are some helpful links to guides, tips, and available resources, as best stated in The NaNoWritMo Blog, “for writing diversity convincingly and respectfully in your fiction”: