S151. Writing White Characters

Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


A google search of “writing white characters” defaults to its opposite, the trials and errors of white writers attempting to write characters of color. There are numerous articles about whitewashing, tokenization, disrespectful tropes and representations, and appropriation. What there isn’t, however, is an in-depth conversation about what it’s like for writers of color to write white characters.



Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bone Street Rumba and the Young Adult novel SHADOWSHAPER, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which was shortlisted for the Kirkus, Mythopoeic, and Norton awards.

Sophfronia Scott is author of the novels All I Need to Get By and The Light Lives Here. She has an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and essays have appeared in the Killens Review, Ruminate, Saranac Review, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her Twitter handle is @Sophfronia.

Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men and What I Had On. Her verse play Non-Sequitur won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers, and was staged in NYC by The Relationship. She is a PhD candidate at University of Denver.

Traci L. Jones's first book, Standing Against the Wind, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. Two more books are Finding My Place and Silhouetted by the Blue. She is currently working on getting her fourth book, Dead Certain, published and her fifth book, The Blossom Within, written.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center