To anyone that’s been paying attention to recent trends in young adult (YA) over the last four or five years, the line-up of books slated for 2019 is both timely and highly anticipated. With the push for diversity in literature and media still going as strong as ever (perhaps even stronger than ever), it seems that publishers have finally started to seriously answer the call. Young adult (and middle grade) lists are heavy with POC leads and the number of books about LGBTQ characters has doubled since the last few publishing seasons (and that’s just looking at books coming out—pun intended—between January and April! The list for May through June is even longer!). This is extra important when you consider that as recently as 2012, just over 1 percent of YA books had any LGBTQ content at all.
For most of my life, the majority of books I’ve read have been written by white men, from the picture books I grew up with to most of my favorite childhood series, and then almost everything I read as an English student throughout high school and college. It’s not that books by white men are all the same, or that they’re all bad. It’s that these books share a similar perspective. I had become so used to the white male viewpoint that I subconsciously recognized it as the standard.
During my first term in the book publishing program with Ooligan Press, I was assigned to the Seven Stitches project team. The manuscript was in the middle of a round of editing and was about to go into copyediting. There were still other tasks to do: sending out blurb requests, writing up the press release, […]
Being a student of publishing, it’s hard not to notice the glaring whiteness of the overall program. Not to discredit the program or my peers in it, but Ooligan is made up of mostly white students. Yet this isn’t a direct issue with Ooligan’s program. It is an issue with publishing in general. Publishers Weekly […]