Word Up Online, July 2021

Characters with Disabilities in Fiction

If we want our stories to be well-rounded, it’s important to include disability along with other types of diverse characters. Since some of our greatest real life heroes are not able-bodied, like Rick Hanson and Terry Fox, we can aim to develop thoughtful stories that acknowledge and include them. Join our panel to discuss how to best do this with our insightful, award winning authors.

Meet our Panelists…

Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern is the author of HARD LANDINGS, a memoir about the transition her oldest son, who has autism, made into adult services. Author of three books for young adults, SAY WHAT YOU WILL, A STEP TOWARD FALLING, and JUST BREATHE, and three books for middle-grade readers, JUST MY LUCK, CHESTER AND GUS, and FRANKIE AND AMELIA, all featuring young people with a variety of disabilities at the center. She has been widely honoured for her work advocating for people with disabilities. Her books have been called “joyful, inspiring and unforgettable,” by Katherine Applegate. In addition to writing for The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and other magazines, she has also written three adult novels and is one of the proud founders of Whole Children/Milestones, a resource center for children and young adults with disabilities and their families. She lives in Amherst, MA with her husband and three sons.

Click to learn more about Cammie and find her books.

Emma Pivato

Emma Pivato’s mystery novels in the Claire Burke series is an extension of her advocacy work promoting the inclusion of people with severe disabilities into normal society. In this series, the man character, an interior decorator discovers a dead body, and that her severely disabled, wheelchair-bound daughter Jessie forms a bond with the victim’s husband Jimmy, the main suspect.

Shortly before she retired from her professional work as an academic and psychologist (a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, an M.A, in Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology) in 2015, she published her first mystery novel and has been writing ever since.

And Along Came Alexis is available in October. Click here to pre-order.

along came alexis, book cover, by emma pivato
Click here to learn more about the author!

Seeley Quest

seeley quest is a trans disabled writer, performer, facilitator, and environmentalist, in Montreal since 2017.  Sie was active with the Sins Invalid project 2007-15, and a bookseller twelve years in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Hir playscript “Crooked” is in the anthology At the Intersection of Disability and Drama, hir digital game narrative debuted for Canada’s National AccessAbility Week 2020, and work featured in Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times’ Rhubarb Festival 2021.  Sie inaugurated a poetry and prose workshop for disabled writers 2021 with the Quebec Writers’ Federation, has blogged for QWF on disabled writing, and has pieces forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, and Canadian Theatre Review. A white person with mixed class, gender, and medicalized experiences since childhood, not on social media, find hir at https://questletters.substack.com

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