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March 2 @ 9:24 am
We will have our General Meeting at 11:00AM, followed by our educational programming.
Marilyn Barr will be presenting, “Tip and Tricks for Writing Characters with Disabilities.”
Writing characters who have differing ability levels from the author can be a minefield. While the #ownvoices movement has encouraged authors with disabilities to tell their own stories, what is an author to do if one of their beloved characters is permanently injured by an accident or has a child with a congenital disability? These topics are not off-limits and can be written with respect and authenticity using proper research. This talk will guide the writer through research techniques and interview questions to obtain the most accurate portrayals for their characters. Topics include finding the most comfortable language, what to ask therapists or caregivers (and what is not theirs to tell), how to describe struggles without creating a victim, and finding resources in the community.
Marilyn Barr has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community. Her life experiences with sensory processing disorder, the autism spectrum, and her associated eating disorders are described in her debut novel Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me. The Strawberry Shifters series contains heroes of all body-types and ability levels. It touches on topics such as life after amputations, social anxiety from speech impediments, PTSD, drug addictions, fat-shaming, and inclusion of those with differences into small-town America.