Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor

Sensitivity readers review your manuscript with an eye for how you’ve portrayed certain experiences. Typically, sensitivity readers are members of the communities you’re representing in your work. Lived experience is enough to qualify someone to speak on the topic, but many sensitivity readers also have in-depth knowledge of history and cultural nuances that outsiders can miss.

There are two approaches to sensitivity reading: cultural consulting and editing/risk management. You can hire a sensitivity reader at any stage of your project. If you hire one before you’ve completed your draft, a sensitivity reader acts more like a cultural consultant on the project. If you hire one after you’ve completed a draft, a sensitivity reader is usually providing more of an editing and risk management service. I provide both services and outline the differences below.

My identity is multifaceted and includes being Chinese-American, a child of immigrants, nonbinary, bisexual, aromantic, atheist, agnostic, humanist, disabled, a neural allomorph, and fat, among others. I can’t create an exhaustive list of everything I can read for. Instead, if you’re interested in hiring me, please contact me with a description of your project and what concerns you have about representation, and I’ll evaluate whether I can address them.

Cultural consulting

In an ideal world, a sensitivity reader is a cheerleader, a co-conspirator, and a confidant who calls you out in good faith when you deserve it. My goal as much as yours is to put a fantastic piece out there with great representation, especially since many of my experiences haven’t been represented much or well in media.

If you’re in the planning stages, a sensitivity reader can provide insight into the experiences you want to represent and guide you as you shape your project. That way, you can create richer narratives with more verisimilitude and depth while avoiding common pitfalls and negative tropes before you’ve committed time and words to your manuscript.

A sensitivity reader can also help you generate ideas for your project. If, for example, your idea for a story involves a character doing something that feels untrue to the sensitivity reader’s experience, a sensitivity reader can help you come up with different options, some of which may have never occurred to you as a person outside that background.

You can also hire a sensitivity reader with whom you share a background. Since experiences vary so widely, it can be helpful to get additional insight for a more nuanced understanding of the topic. Some sensitivity readers may also have specialized knowledge on subcultures or subjects that you may not have even if you share a common background.


Contact me with a description of your project and the subject(s) you’d like me to advise on so I can let you know if I’m the right sensitivity reader for you. I can also do a free 15-minute consultation by phone or video.

From there, I charge $50/hr of interview time or labor, but any custom quote I provide to account for the complexity of your project supersedes my $50/hr basic rate. I can provide discounted rates for students and self-published & indie authors. Please contact me to negotiate rates.

Editing / Risk management

If you’ve already completed a draft of your project and are concerned about whether you’re doing a good job representing a certain experience, you can hire a sensitivity reader who would act like both an editor and a risk management advisor.

As an editor, a sensitivity reader can provide feedback on sentence-level and structural-level detail in your manuscript. Sentence-level feedback may include pointing out where phrasing is insensitive, suggesting dialogue that a character would be more likely to say given their background, clarifying terminology, adding detail, and more. Structural-level feedback may include noting where negative stereotypes have been used, providing alternatives to a storyline that follows tropes considered offensive by the group being represented, augmenting character backgrounds with culturally appropriate sensibilities, and more.

Often, people who hire a sensitivity reader at this stage of a project have already committed too much time and labor to overhaul a piece if a core element embedded into it turns out to be faulty. Sensitivity readers can also advise on how much risk you’re taking on by putting a faulty project out there. Sensitivity readers typically have an understanding of which subjects and representations are more volatile and can, essentially, advise you on how bad of a look you’ve got going on.

However, the sensitivity reader’s responsibility to you ends once they’ve provided feedback on your piece. They are not responsible for, nor can they prevent, any kind of reaction to your piece. It’s also possible for you to hire a sensitivity reader, get excellent feedback, and still have a negative response to your work. Because experiences are so varied, there’s no unanimous sense of “good representation.”

I don’t want people approaching sensitivity reading with a sense of dread or thinking that it’s all about managing backlash to a piece. I think sensitivity reading can be a great opportunity to collaborate on a project to make it a more powerful piece. But because representation can be a controversial topic, I outline all this to manage expectations on both sides: as a sensitivity reader on a completed draft, there’s only so much I can do; as the author, there’s only so much you can expect me to be able to do.


My rate is 0.008 USD/word of your manuscript + $35/hr + a $50 flat rate writeup fee. The hourly rate is a rough estimate based on the length and complexity of your work. I charge a flat rate of $40 for poetry under 100 lines and $80 for poetry over 100 lines. Rates for poems over 1,000 words long follow the same formula above.

Here are some sample rates:

1,000-word flash fiction piece
Base Rate1,000 words × $0.008/word$8.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 1 hr$35.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 1. Sample rates for 1,000-word flash fiction piece.
3,000-word short story
Base Rate3,000 words × $0.008/word$24.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 3 hrs$105.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 2. Sample rates for 3,000-word short story.
15,000-word novelette
Base Rate15,000 words × $0.008/word$120.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 6 hrs$210.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 3. Sample rates for 15,000-word novelette.
30,000-word novella
Base Rate30,000 words × $0.008/word$240.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 10 hrs$350.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 4. Sample rates for 30,000-word novella.
80,000-word short novel
Base Rate80,000 words × $0.008/word$640.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 15 hrs$525.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 5. Sample rates for 80,000-word short novel.
120,000-word standard novel
Base Rate120,000 words × $0.008/word$960.00
Hourly Rate$35/hr × 20 hrs$700.00
Writeup$50/writeup × 1 writeup$50.00
Table 6. Sample rates for 120,000-word standard novel.

My rates are high for a few reasons:

  1. Sensitivity reading is a type of specialized labor that should be paid for at a rate that reflects the complexity of the work.
  2. Sensitivity reading requires a lot more emotional labor than standard editing. Of course, I always hope for a positive experience, and so far, it has been. But I have no way of knowing how much a given narrative will exhaust me, and I have no way of knowing if an author will react badly and cause emotional harm. I have to make it worth it for me to wade into that territory.
  3. I have several projects going on at any given time, including my own fiction and poetry, along with translation and editing. I also do administrative work and maintain my site by myself. I frequently have to choose between opportunities to make my workload manageable. My rates for sensitivity reading have to be as competitive as, say, what I’d get for putting the same amount of time into a translation.

However, I’m willing to be flexible for students and self-published & indie authors. Please contact me to negotiate rates.

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