Monday, May 28, 2012

Diversity in Children's Publishing: Some Conversations

For the past couple of years, I've had the privilege of being involved with an amazing group of editors discussing issues of diversity in children's literature. This group became an official Children's Book Council committee last fall, and this spring, we've had a series of events to mark our official debut. You can read more about the history and goals of the committee in this great Publishers Weekly article, and better still, you can hop over to the website, and read the words of the committee and our guest bloggers there. This past week was an especially interesting one, with a series of posts entitled "It's Complicated!", from:

  • A writer: Cynthia Leitich Smith, offering an impassioned plea for writers to recognize the need for diversity in their books
  • An agent:  Stefanie von Borstel, who writes about her search for diverse authors to represent, with a couple of success stories
  • An editor:  Me, talking a little (and eventually at length) about parts of my acquisition processes and issues of believability
  • A reviewer:  Debbie Reese, whose posts on child_lit and her American Indians in Children's Literature blog are consistently thought-provoking.
If you hop on over there, as I hope you will, do please also check out the archives, where the members of the committee write about the paths that got them into publishing, and the conversations in the comments -- on this week's posts especially.


  1. As I have a multicultural unit in my selection class for librarians, I found these various posts exactly the kind of thing I want librarians to reflect on as they select literature for their libraries. Debbie Reese is already a part of my syllabus and I'll be adding the other articles as well.

  2. I saw Cynthia's post. I think it's great you're all trying to talk and do something about this.