ACES Evolve 2023

Yes, We’re Everywhere: Editing LGBTQIA+ Characters and Stories | Cindy Cresap, Jenny Harmon, Ruth Sternglantz

Fiction editors doing all types of editing should expect to encounter a variety of queer and trans* characters and storylines in the manuscripts they edit. As queer editors who specialize in editing queer fiction, we offer a practical guide to common issues you may encounter in these texts, including tropes, motifs, and stereotypes; evolving language; sensitivity reads; editing #ownvoices; homophobia/transphobia (including characters displaying self-directed homophobia/transphobia); and the intersectionality of queer/trans* and other marginalized communities. We will provide a handout with frequently updated resources for editors to consult regarding this ever-evolving area of our craft.

Introductory level, All editors, Students, Freelance editors, Book editors, Words and Language


Cindy Cresap edits queer fiction for Bold Strokes Books. She began her editing career while an undergraduate at Yale University, as a writer and managing editor for a national college guide. Prior to beginning her work for Bold Strokes Books in 2006, she worked as a substantive, copy, and acquisitions editor for a small press as well as with individual clients. Over the last sixteen years, she has edited over four hundred manuscripts for publication and has managed production at Bold Strokes Books, overseeing the process from delivery of draft manuscripts to the readying of final print-ready files.

Jenny Harmon edits queer fiction for Bold Strokes Books, the largest LGBTQIA+ publisher in the world, and loves it. Her passion for queer genre fiction began when she encountered her first lesbian romance in 1978. Since 2004, she has read and reviewed submissions, proofread, and beta read in all genres for Bold Strokes Books. She began editing after receiving a professional development certificate in editing from the University of Chicago.

Ruth Sternglantz edits queer fiction for Bold Strokes Books. She has spent her professional life working with words and editing books, first as an editorial intern at FSG, then as an academic (PhD, NYU) and an attorney (JD, UPenn), and, since the founding of Bold Strokes Books in 2004, editing queer fiction. A medievalist by training, she loves old books, but she thinks working with living authors and taking care of their queer stories is the best job. She has edited over three hundred manuscripts for publication and has guided authors and their works from proposal through final proofread.

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