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Diversity Resources To Connect Authors from Underrepresented Communities with Publishers

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by Deb Vanasse, Reporter, IBPA Independent magazine —

Deb Vanasse

Below, you’ll find a helpful list of programs and initiatives that connect authors from underrepresented communities with publishers.

Authors from underrepresented communities want to be heard. Publishers want to help them find an audience. By offering awards, mentorships, scholarships, and grants, as well as showcasing diverse voices, the following programs and initiatives help bring these groups together:

  • City College of New York Publishing Certificate Program: A publishing certificate program to help prepare a diverse pool of students for a career in publishing.
  • Latinx in Publishing: A network of book publishing professionals committed to amplifying Latino/a/x voices in publishing. Launched in 2016, this nonprofit hosts professional development events and promotes diversity. Resources include information about scholarships, grants, residencies, and conferences.
  • #ownvoices: Hashtag for discussion and pitches of work by writers whose race, gender, orientation, and disability are underrepresented in publishing. Search the hashtag on social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • People of Color in Publishing: Created by book publishing professionals, a grassroots organization that works to support and empower racially and ethnically marginalized members.
  • Representation Matters: An effort that connects editors working full-time in book publishing with young people of color who want to pursue careers in the industry.
  • The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary: Launching its first editor-writer mentorship program this year, a nonprofit that promotes voices from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities.
  • We Need Diverse Books™: A nonprofit organization with the goal of increasing diversity in children’s books. The group also recognizes booksellers who champion diverse books and created the OurStory App as a way for readers to discover diverse books.
  • Writing in the Margins: A mentoring program pairing emerging authors from marginalized groups with experienced editors and authors.

Co-founder of 49 Writers and founder of the author co-op Running Fox Books, Deb Vanasse is the author of 17 books. Among her most recent are the novel Cold Spell and a biography, Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold. She also works as a freelance editor.

To read more about diversity in the publishing industry, check out this IBPA Independent article: Getting There: Why Indie Publishers are Well-Positioned to Satisfy the Need for Diverse Voices.

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