Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guten Tag! My trip with the German Book Office.

Riky Stock holding a 
very special German cheese.
Back in April, Riky Stock, director of the German Book Office in New York reached out to me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to join a group of children’s book editors on a trip to Frankfurt and Hamburg to meet with German publishers and agents.  The German Book Office hosts this annual trip for editors to experience the wonders of beer, brats, and books in hopes of building a bridge between our two countries, for both American books that could succeed in Germany and vice versa.

My fellow editors for this year’s trip included Stacey Barney from Putnam/Penguin (and one of the founders of CBC Diversity!), Sheila Barry from Groundwood Books in Canada, Grace Maccarone from Holiday House, Ben Rosenthal from Enslow, and Reka Simonsen from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Our group had a great vibe, and by the end of the trip, we had our fair share of inside jokes and insightful discussion about books and, in particular, why foreign translations are so difficult for the North American market.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Diversity in the News

July 11th - July 18th, 2013



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shelley Diaz: How I Got into Publishing

Guest post by associate editor at School Library Journal

I decided I wanted to work in children’s publishing in sixth grade. I had devoured all of the Anne of Green Gables books by this time, and I was convinced that I could be the Dominican Lucy Maud Montgomery. I kept writing through middle school and high school, and pondered over different career paths (should I be a literary agent, an editor?), and even momentarily thought about being a cultural anthropologist instead.

The fact remained: I was fascinated by stories—all people’s stories.

I declared my English Lit/Latino Studies double-major freshman year at Columbia University, and was lucky enough to snag an editorial internship with Dell Publishing (a crossword puzzle publisher) through my Hispanic Scholarship Fund mentor. That summer internship cemented my desire to work in publishing, while at the same time reinforced the fact that it had to be with work that I cared about (crossword puzzles, were just not that interesting), and at a place that gave me the opportunity to advocate for diverse literature.

Monday, July 8, 2013

"White Publishing"

There’s a unique fear that I experience as an editor--which I imagine other editors experience as well--after reading a manuscript by and about a minority group I know too little about.

For example, I’m a Persian male who was born in Iran, and raised all over Europe, and then Oklahoma. So if you send me FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, man, I am in it. I lived that experience. Maybe not exactly as Boobie Miles lived it. But I played ball in Oklahoma. I get the lingo. My first manuscript was the story of that experience.

In the same way, if you write a novel set in Rome, if you want to sample some Farsi for a character, or French, then I’m good. I’m still with you. I have firsthand knowledge of the languages, the cultural nuances, etc.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Diversity in the News

June 27th – July 3rd, 2013

We hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and to tide you over until the next Diversity in the News post (July 12), we're giving you one mid-week!

Illustration by Tina Kugler to show the lack of diversity
in children's literature in 2012.