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Presenters: Nancy Johnson, Kim Lionetti, and Patricia Green

Host: Lisa Montanaro


Presented on: October 8, 2020

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Description: Creating characters who reflect the diversity of the world we live in is important for fiction writers. But writers often find it difficult to represent people whose race, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, or other aspect of identity is very different from their own. This can lead to mistakes that are harmful to marginalized communities.

It is possible to write stories that reflect the true diversity of our world sensitively and responsibly. In this webinar, you will hear from a diversity consultant, an author of color who writes about the intersection of class and race, and an agent who is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in publishing.

Learn best practices to:

  • Avoid harmful tropes and offensive stereotypes
  • Discover the meaning of publishing industry terms such as Cultural Appropriation and Own Voices
  • Add valuable resources to your writing toolbox to help you better navigate writing across difference.

A reading list will be provided to help expand your understanding of various backgrounds and communities.



A native of Chicago’s South Side, Nancy Johnson worked for more than a decade as an Emmy-nominated, award-winning television journalist at CBS and ABC affiliates in markets nationwide. A graduate of Northwestern University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she lives in downtown Chicago and manages brand communications for a large nonprofit. The Kindest Lie is her first novel. 



As the first literary agent to charm BookEnds into hiring her, Kim Lionetti has been an integral part of growing the agency, along with her clients' careers. Using the editorial skills learned during her first eight years in the industry at Berkley Publishing, Kim helps authors shape their works into books their readers will love. With twenty-five years of publishing experience, she's worked with award winners and bestsellers in a variety of genres, including women's fiction, mystery, young adult and romance. She’s currently eager to grow her list in the areas of women's fiction and romance. Most especially, as an Autism mom, she is dedicated to representing the stories and voices of individuals with special needs and their families. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kim currently resides in New Jersey with her son (knock-knock jokester extraordinaire), daughter (budding Francophile and resident drama queen), husband (80s aficionado and sports trivia master) and Winston, the twenty-pound cat.

Patricia Green is a public relations professional and founder of The Patricia Green Group. She incorporates diversity and inclusion in her practice recognizing that an interconnected global community dictates that words and images resonate with who people are culturally. Patricia, a woman of color, also offers her expertise to the WFWA board. Her son, Elwin Michael Cotman, is a published fantasy writer.


WFWA Webinar Host and Moderator 

A former employment discrimination lawyer and instructor and interpreter of deaf students, Lisa Montanaro is an inclusive writer whose current manuscript features a social justice issue at the core of the story. She is committed to equitable access and success in the writing and publishing industry.