SCBWI-WI Equity & Inclusion Committee
Reach. Include. Belong.
MISSION and VISION
The mission of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators-Wisconsin (SCBWI-WI) Equity & Inclusion Team is to welcome and celebrate writers and illustrators from a broad spectrum of backgrounds through a threefold vision.
1) Reach. We seek to educate existing members and reach prospective members from diverse Wisconsin communities not previously aware of SCBWI.
2) Include. We seek to include more creators and characters from groups that have been historically under-represented.
3) Belong. We seek to foster a welcoming environment, sense of belonging for all, and understanding that everyone has a voice in children’s literature.
Straight Talk on Race by Mitali Perkins: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids’ Books: “Here are five questions that’ll help you and your students discern messages about race in stories.”
We Need Diverse Books website: Resources for individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing
Cooperative Children’s Book Center diversity statistics: Statistics on children’s books by and about People of Color published in the United States.
School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers, by Allie Bruce: A librarian discusses how a question from a student led to a series of conversations about the representation of race on book covers.
We need more diverse YA book covers, by Annie Schutte: A discussion with examples of books that do not show the diverse characters on the cover.
The Danger of a Single Story, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A Ted Talk on why no culture can be represented by one story.
Reading While White – Allies for Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Books for Children and Teens
Celebrating Our Diversity
Inclusion on the Bookshelf, By Camille Jackson: “The lives of children with disabilities are adventurous, funny, romantic and active. There are many books available that contain characters with disabilities, but few that truly embrace social inclusion.”
Seeing Ourselves and Seeing Others in the Pages of the Books we Read, by Jess Lifshitz: “[E]very single child that walks through my classroom door deserves to see himself or herself in a book in my library. And every single child that walks through my classroom door deserves a chance to learn about others in this world from the books in my library.”
American Indians in Children’s Literature (book reviews and recommendations): “provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.”
February is African American History Month by Sandy Brehl: African American characters and themes should be shared all year long, not just during February as part of Black History Month activities.
Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made, by Barbara Bader: Diverse creators Maurice Sendak, Arnold Lobel, James Marshall, Remy Charlip, and Tomie dePaola who’s brilliance and prodigy status shaped the es-anddirection of kid lit- for the better.
“Checking Boxes and Filling Blanks,” by Cory Silverberg: “Inclusion creates a space for them to explore not only multiple parts of their experience but also how those experiences are woven together in their bodies and lives.”
Writing With Color: A blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity. We share writing advice, guides, book recs. and more.
“Describing Skin Tone,” by WriteWorld: A discussion and list of resources.
Ableism/Language, by Lydia X. Z. Brown: A glossary of Ableist Phrases
“Racism begins in our imagination” by Grisel Y Acosta : “We’d like to imagine that racism is only created with extreme acts, like bombs or chains. The truth is racism begins in our imagination. It begins with our stories.”
Conferences, Workshops, and Retreats
Lambda Literary Writers Retreat For Emerging LGBTQ Voices – An annual retreat for LGBTQ+ writers
Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund – A fund that enables writers of color to attend the Clarion writing workshops where writer Octavia Butler got her start
Voices at VONA – “The only writers’ conference in the country with a multi-genre focus on writers of color as students and teachers.”
WNDB Retreats – including Own Voices retreats offered annually on a rotating basis
Grants, Scholarships, Contests, and Mentorships
SCBWI-Wisconsin Diversity Committee sponsored scholarships and grants – Periodic grants and scholarships for membership fees and SCBWI-Wisconsin event registrations. Look for announcements on the SCBWI-Wisconsin listserv and at the new SCBWI-Wisconsin Diversity Committee Books For All By All Facebook Group for future grants, scholarships, and awards.
#DivPit – Twitter pitching event for marginalized authors & illustrators. Hosted/ moderated by agent Beth Phelan.
Lee & Low Writing Contests – Lee & Low Books offers two annual writing contests for writers of color and Native/Indigenous writers.
SLF Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants – Diverse Writers Grant focuses on writers from underrepresented and underprivileged backgrounds. Diverse Worlds Grant is for stories that best present a diverse world, regardless of the author’s background.
WNDB Anthologies – With each anthology, WNDB has hosted a short-story contest for a spot in the book by an unpublished diverse author.
WNDB Walter Grant for unpublished writers and illustrators.
WNDB Mentorships – To support writers early in career by pairing them with an experienced children’s author or illustrator.
Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults – Angela Johnson Scholarship for New Students of Color or Ethnic Minority
Hamline University, MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults – Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Scholarship & Mirrors, Windows, & Sliding Glass Doors Annual Scholarship
WNDB Internship Grant – The WNDB Internship Grant provides grants to students from diverse backgrounds (see website for definition) who wish to pursue a career in children’s publishing.
Book Awards and Lists
See award/list sites for nomination deadlines and procedures
The American Indian Youth Literature Awards – Presented every two years; the awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.
Américas Book Awards: honoring books that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
The Arab American Book Awards is a literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach.
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honors and recognizes individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.
Carter G. Woodson Book Awards from the National Council for the Social Studies – An annual award for social studies-related books that depict ethnicity and race relations sensitively and accurately.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults.
The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award recognizes authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical children’s, intermediate, and young adult books that appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities.
International Reading Association’s Notable Books for a Global Society – Annual list of 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world.
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards are given annually to the children’s books that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
The Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world.
National Jewish Book Awards recognize outstanding literature in the field and aim to encourage authors to continue to write on themes of Jewish interest.
Pura Belpré Awards: honoring books that best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience
The Rainbow Book List – An annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.
Schneider Family Book Awards for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.
The Scholastic Asian Book Award for Asian Writers writing books set in Asia aimed at children 6-18 years of age.
South Asia Book Awards for the year’s best among children’s and young adult literature that portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad.
Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award for English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.
Texas State University College of Education Tomás Rivera Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience.
WNDB – The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014).