FAIRNESS, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND BELONGING POLICY STATEMENT
At Bywater Books and Amble Press, we believe our industry and the books we publish should reflect the rich diversity of the society in which we all live.
As a small queer publishing house with the mission of building bridges to community and belonging, we enable people from all backgrounds to contribute to and benefit from narrative fiction and nonfiction titles that are balanced, grounded, anti-racist, and promote a more just society. Acknowledging the prevalence of structural discrimination and bigotry and believing that diversity is the cornerstone of vibrant culture, we are committed to challenging the unfair power structures within publishing to help create a more equitable future for all. For us, this isn’t just about doing the right thing—more diverse publishing is not just a moral imperative but makes good business sense, enabling us to reach the widest and most diverse authors and readership.
We pledge to:
• Ensure business relationships are based on fairness and respect for all involved, regardless of age, ability, gender, sex, marriage and partnership status, pregnancy and parental responsibilities, race, abilities, religion and belief, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation.
• Publish titles that represent diverse populations, voices, and perspectives. Seek out and support content that helps to decolonize queer fiction and non-fiction and reduces barriers for marginalized communities.
• Increase the numbers of authors, editors, proofreaders, interns, reviewers, and other publishing partners from underrepresented backgrounds.
• Continuously enhance the technology, usability, and design of our resources so that they are accessible to all.
• Promote a publishing environment that extends to our staff and authors a sense of belonging, the feeling of value and respect, an expectation of fair treatment, an openness to ideas and opinions, and the guarantee of workplace advocacy.
We commit ourselves programmatically to:
• Define our mission broadly to include all forms of literature and storytelling.
• Support more writers of color, gender diversity, neurodiversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities and highlight their stories.
• Build a diverse, intergenerational audience for literature.
• Create equitable access to our publishing platform.
We commit ourselves administratively to:
• Create a staff and volunteer base reflective of our community.
• Apply the best practices and tools to ensure our organizational systems are equitable.
In all of the above, we strive to work with humility and in collaboration with our community to be adaptable and responsive and accomplish these important goals.
We are committed to doing this work now and into the future.
We also realize that we cannot do this work alone—and we commit ourselves to work with all of our business partners as we are only one part of a much larger system that has excluded many people. The history of modern literature has been defined by our educational system, the publishing and bookselling industries, the professions of journalism and criticism, and the way awards and prizes are adjudicated.