Nosy Crow has put out a call for submissions from BAME authors, saying the children’s publishing industry needs to address the issue of complacency when it comes to diversity.
Tom Bonnick, business development manager and commissioning editor, said he was inspired to put out the call by an article by Nikesh Shukla about the lack of diverse authors in the 2016 World Book Night titles.
Bonnick told The Bookseller: “Individually, we all think that of course we’d never discriminate, but at an institutional level, there are clearly problems to address. Diversity in children’s books is hugely important: not only so that children from every background can recognise their own lives and experiences in the books that they read, but also simply to enrich the body of children’s literature that we publish, by moving out of a monoculture and embracing a wider world of ideas.”
He said he is looking for BAME writers of literature for children aged 5-12, although he is particularly interested in middle-grade (9-12), and is keen on finding unpublished voices.
“I don’t have a grand plan in terms of what I’d like to achieve from this exercise - other than an increase in submissions from BAME writers,” he said. “We’ve always had an open submissions policy at Nosy Crow, and so this isn’t exactly a departure for us in terms of our stated position, but I think that what this particular discussion has shown me is that it’s not enough just to say that you’re happy to consider writing from anywhere: if you aren’t hearing from authors from particular backgrounds at all, you need to go out and actively court them.”
Full details on how to submit are on the Nosy Crow blog.