Adventures in Curating Diverse Reading Materials: Online Edition

I’m the type of person who enjoys having options. Netflix is my kryptonite. The insane amount of chip flavors out there oddly feels me with joy. And I was glad to discover a few years back that purchasing a book from a publishing house isn’t the only option I have when I want to read a new story. There’s so many wonderful online writing communities that have attracted talented writers. The writers on these sites tend to be more diverse than ones on bookstore shelves because there’s more opportunity for them to share their voices.  For a first timer it might be a bit daunting to search through pages and pages of stories, but don’t start scratching your head yet. I’ve put together a beginner’s list of works by, and featuring, people of color to give you an idea of what’s out there. So if you too enjoy exploring your options or you’re just looking for a new way to support diverse, upcoming writers, check out some of the following stories:

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

This gem is available to read on SwoonReads for a limited time before it hits the shelves in January 2018! The novel follows Alice who is a college student, asexual, and dreaming of a “rom-com grade romance.” It’s so refreshing to find a story featuring a young, black woman aware of her sexuality.

Summer of Firsts by Chen Yan Chang

This is also on SwoonReads, but has yet to be selected for publication, so that means once you’ve read it you can vote to support the author! I’m guilty of having a soft spot for anything that takes inspiration from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Grace is a character who – like many of us – is fixed on having an Austen-like romance.Augustine by TraceyJo-

Augustine by Tracey Joseph (a.k.a. TracyJo-)

Wattpad has a plethora of works to sort through. I go on there whenever I have time to kill and hunt for whatever matches my mood. I was ready for a romance with an edge when I found Augustine. The protagonist, Kathryn, is caught in a crazy dilemma when the guy she gets involved goes too far when declaring his love.

Where Seagulls Fly by mittasw

This story is described by the author to be a Korean drama meets modern-day Elinor Dashwood. If that doesn’t hook you, I give up. Su Bin has to put her dreams of becoming a doctor on hold to fulfill her father’s wish for her to become his heiress. And that cherry on top is when she falls for her father’s right-hand man who so happens to be engaged.

I know these stories are all romances, but what can I say? I’m addicted. I’m aware that not everyone is so inclined and that’s why I encourage to just think of these recommendations like the first stop on the tour. There’s so much out there for readers looking for online material by diverse writers. It’ll take some hunting, for sure, but it’s well worth it in the end. I also encourage you to comment and share whenever you find a work you enjoy. These writers are sharing their work freely with the hope that readers connect and enjoy what they’re creating. Go out there and explore those archives, ladies and gents. Let all those diverse options fill you with joy.