Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Why we host a month full of diversity...

So here's the deal. Diversity Month hadn't always started out as Diversity Month

We wanted to end our first year in blogging about diversity right. Guinevere had recently read and loved "The UnNaturalists" by Tiffany Trent and loved it, and reached out to host an interview.
We couldn't very well just have one interesting interview in the month of December, so we started asking other friends, mostly authors(particularly ones who wrote diversely) if we had an event that was specifically geared toward diversity, would they show up?

No one was doing anything similar as far as we knew. We have some friends who work for indie presses, so we started asking them what they looked for when seeking clients for publication. 


We started asking bloggers who wrote about diversity, if we hosted a month long event, with no break, with interviews and guest posts every day, would they tune in.


But here's the thing...We blog about diversity in some way, shape or form, with every single post on this blog.
 Is a month long event talking about diversity really important when you talk about it all the time? And then we realized...

Some book blogs talk about diversity, or are even cool enough to highlight it every once in a while. But what about PoC, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, the religiously diverse, or people who aren't size 2's?

We don't just wake up every once in a while. We have to show up for our lives every day. For people who come from marginalized groups, how can we really feel apart of society, when we only matter every once in awhile?

This is not to shame anyone who isn't marginalized. Everyone is probably marginalized in some way, whether you're a woman, a person with a disability, a Buddhist, or of Malaysian descent.

But it's to know the possibilities.

Diversity Month highlights every single topic we can think of in one month. One of our best guest posts of the year by blogger/librarian Kelly Jensen, talked about size diversity in YA books, and there was a lot of coffee, tea and Red Bull getting passed around. It was a big eye opener for many.

Size Diversity is rarely talked about, if at all. At KidLitCon, a librarian/blogger named Faythe talked about socioeconomic diversity. Most of us think having a stable home, a computer, internet access or a cell phone is a right, or something everyone can afford to have.

Unless you're conscious, you probably won't even notice how many books feature middle class families, who never have to worry about what it's like to have to go to a library to do your homework because culture expects everyone and everything to be online.

Before you deem a character in a book "ghetto" for not being born with what you may consider basic needs, you have to examine how their socioeconomic background affects them.

What We Highlighted A lot Of:
-We managed to do a lot for Black Speculative Fiction month. African American authors who write Speculative fiction are a piece of cake to find. We definitely didn't struggle with that.
-Other Diversity sites in Kidlit and or/Speculative Fiction blogs like Latinos in Kidlit, Disability in Kidlit, DiversifYA, BookDragon, Space Crip and Alien Star Books.

Sarwat Chadda, because we couldn't get enough of his Ash Mistry series.

We provided a lot of Indie author Promotion. And always will.

We reviewed and highlighted a lot of books featuring Interracial couples, because it's totally awesome!
What We Could Have Done Better:

-We could've highlighted more voices or authors who celebrate positive images from less fortunate socioeconomic backgrounds.

-We could've highlighted more Native American, First Nation, American Indian, Indigenous Tribe members and hear their thoughts about diversity and positive representation in books(We definitely tried! Many of the higher profile names weren't available in December).

-We could've had more Western Asian, Middle Eastern, Persian, Northern African(and more places where Arabic is often spoken as a first language) voices to speak about positive representation.

-We could've highlighted disability,and the diversity and intersectionality within the disability community much more than we did. There are so many amazing resources, we forget in the process of compiling our list this year.

-We could've highlighted more writers, authors or bloggers who actively discuss size diversity and size discrimination.

-While we highlighted Asexuality, Gender Equality and Sexual Identity Equality, we could've reached out to more LGBTQIA resources, to break down all the different types of identity, as many don't often understand or know that they might fall under a label.
-We could've hosted more Latino authors of diverse backgrounds. We featured three Latinas and one Latino this year, but no Asian-Latino, or White Latinos.

-We could have hosted more authors of South Asian Descent.

We only featured American Authors of color, we'd like to reach out to authors from Canada & England and Nigeria.

There's just so much you could be doing more of, that month is just not enough to do it all. Next year we hope to do better. Until then...

The winners of our contest are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
We'll be emailing all the winners soon!

Happy New Year! And thanks for reading!


  1. Hi all! Please visit AMERICAN INDIANS IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, where the focus 24/7 is on Native peoples and how we're portrayed and (mis)portrayed in children's and YA lit.

  2. @Debbie, So happy you commented. My sister and I are actually huge fans of your blog and are devout followers. We really wanted to ask YOU specifically but wasn't sure what your availability was like. You and other writers featured on your site will be next on our list to ask!

  3. It's been a great month to follow - definitely been adding to our already overwhelming to read list. I'm so glad that diversity on several axis is becoming much more of a topic

  4. @fangs for fantasy We definitely could've done better. We're always looking for ways to improve where the focus goes, hopefully next year we'll get better and better.

  5. It's great how you promote diversity in books. Being disabled myself I know that there is not nearly enough books that deal with disability in a positive way. My current WIP a main character with Progressive mutism, which will hopefully help to highlight the struggle those with the condition face as well as show others that despite the obvious differences in others there is a lot of shared feelings and emotions also. Great post and a Happy New Year xxxx

  6. @joss We hope you'll join us for the events we have to come for the new year! There is a lot we plan to improve upon, so we hope we can keep your attention! We look forward to you publishing!


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