Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is "A Call To Arms"

As reported in Publisher's Weekly, YA author Ellen Oh, the #WNDB group’s founder, announced the movement's momentum and plans on May 30, 2014 at BookCon's The World Agrees: We Need Diverse Books panel. (The panel came about because of the uproar over BookCon's initial all-white-and-male lineup.)

There's been a huge outpouring of #WeNeedDiverseBooks messages on twitter - with over 162 million impressions in just the month of May!

New initiatives include:

Lee & Low Books/Tu Books is launching a second New Visions Award for a middle-grade or YA fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color

The Diversity in the Classroom project of the National Education Association’s Read Across America program and First Book, in collaboration with #WNDB to both promote multicultural books and authors.

First Book's pledge to purchase 10,000 copies of each of the multicultural titles it selects for distribution to children in need from low-income families.

And they also announced plans for the first Children’s Literature Diversity Festival, to be held in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2016. “This will be a celebration of diverse authors and authors who write diversely,” Oh explained, “A festival where every panel, every event will be to celebrate diversity in all of its glory.”

To learn more about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign (and listen to the audiostream of the panel) visit their website here.

There will also be a spotlight on diversity at the upcoming SCBWI Summer Conference, August 1-4, 2014 with a main-room panel on Diversity the Friday of the conference, featuring Agent Adriana Dominguez, and Authors Sharon Flake, Lamar Giles, Meg Medina and Linda Sue Park, moderated by Suzanne Morgan Williams.

In addition, the conference will once again have the LGBTQ Q&A (which I'll host), a safe space to discuss with conference faculty guests the challenges and opportunities of including LGBTQ characters and themes in our work for children and teens.

You can find out more about the conference and register here.

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