Today's Featured Writefest Speaker is Léonicka Valcius, an assistant agent at Transatlantic Agency and founder of #DiverseCanLit. She is also a founding member of The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), a Brampton, Ontario 4-day festival devoted to community of reader and writers celebrating diverse authors. Léonicka has dedicated her career to diversity, equity and inclusion. She is eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks.
What book/story/poem have you read recently that you’re really excited about?
I'm currently reading client manuscripts, then turning my attention back to pending queries! But the top two books in my To Read For Fun pile right now are Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott and Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan.
Tell us about your work with #DiverseCanLit.
#DiverseCanLit is just one of the many ways I've explored diversity, equity, and inclusion in my publishing career. I started asking questions when I noticed that my 2012 graduating class in publishing school was more than 80% white women. These questions led to me speaking on panels at industry events but each panel rehashed the basic. I started #DiverseCanLit as a weekly Twitter chat in an effort to have a continuous, evolving conversation. Now @DiverseCanLit is a platform where I signal boost news, resource and work for and by diverse Canadian writers.
What are some of the questions you ask authors when you talk with them for the first time about their career?
I always start by asking about their overall vision and long-term goals. Understanding a writer's personal definition of success helps me support and guide them throughout their career.