This interview with a group of literary agents by Jason Low over at the Lee & Low Books blog explores what's going on with the "diversity gap" in children's and teen publishing, and where literary agents fit into bridging that gap (or not.)
A few highlights:
Lori Nowicki (of Painted Words agency)
"Less than one percent of the submissions I receive reflect people of color in the samples."
Abigail Samoun (of Red Fox Literary)
"The author’s ethnicity... makes a tremendous difference when the story is told from the perspective of a person of color. Editors want those stories told by insiders to the culture."
"I think writing for children is a luxury that not everyone can afford."
Adriana Domínguez (of Full Circle Literary)
"Seeing my son at preschool, surrounded by many other kids who are also multilingual and multicultural, and who already have a broader understanding of the world, gives me hope and confirms for me that diverse publishing is not a “niche” market, it is this country’s present—and future."
and Mira Reisberg (of Hummingbird Literary)
"I think we need to have a kind of self-aware affirmative action in publishing where people of color are mentored, if need be, so we can have more books by and about people of color."
Read the full post here.
Illustrate and Write On,