The recent #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign will hold a panel at BookCon, the same event that inspired it.
The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, a recent social media initiative to promote diversity in literature, announced today that the campaign has arranged a panel at the freshman literary convention, BookCon.
The panel, moderated by author I.W. Gregorio, will tackle the subject of diversity among authors and characters in children’s and young adult fiction. Acclaimed children’s authors Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,) Matt de la Peña (The Living,) and Jacqueline Woodson (Miracle’s Boys) will speak on the panel. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign promises to reveal further plans and strategies to promote diverse literature at the event.
The new panel demonstrates a strong step forward for #WeNeedDiverseBooks. It was the initial guest lineup for BookCon that provided the spark for this campaign, highlighting a lack of follow-through on the part of industry events that claimed to prioritize diversity.
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In spite of recent attention paid to the notable homogeneity in children’s and young adult fiction – most notably in the New York Times – the literary lineup at BookCon was first composed entirely of white authors… and Grumpy Cat.
“We were thrilled to be invited to attend and host a panel,” says Aisha Saeed, a #WeNeedDiverseBooks liaison for BookCon. “But most importantly we are appreciative of BookCon’s recognition that diversity matters.”
Campaign founder Ellen Oh, author of the young adult fantasy trilogy Prophesy, was also eager to bring the push for diverse books to BookCon. “This is a great opportunity to show the world what’s next for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign,” Oh said. “We are delighted to be joined by a group of exceptional authors, all of whom epitomize the importance of our campaign.”