Podcast update: As I mentioned in Episode 3 and the show notes, I have revised the production schedule to every other week. I’m going to stick with that schedule at least through the summer. I would like to produce a weekly show but what I want more than anything is to produce a quality show, and right now every other week is a better schedule for doing that. We have some exciting stuff coming up: on Monday or Tuesday I will share the bio of our Episode 4 contributor and stay tuned about how you can help with Episode 5, The Summer Camp Episode. Thank you so much for the downloads and likes. They are keeping this ship afloat.
Today, since I’m not releasing a podcast, since it is Juneteenth and since all of us are reeling with the news of what happened in Charleston, I’m thinking about diversity in American lit, especially children’s and YA, but all of it. I’m a huge fan of the We Need Diverse Books campaign, and the number one way we can get diversity into literature is to support diverse writers. That means mentor those who wish to be writers, and buy the books of those who are writing.
But I’ve been asking myself this question over and over: as a white writer, is including diverse characters something else I can do? I loved this blog post on finding ordinary everyday characters of color in kids lit…you know, the kinds of characters who don’t spend every waking minute fighting racial problems. Can I write those characters? I can absolutely support those who do and buy those books, but if I include such characters in my own writing, is that helping with the problem or is that appropriation? Where is the line? If we are trying to break LGBT and minority literature out of “genre” classifications, then who gets to tell the stories?
I don’t have the answers, but I would love to hear what you think! I would also love to hear what books you are reading and how you are breaking out of the reading rut to support diverse books and their authors.
Happy reading! Catch the podcast next week!