Bestselling authors speak out for We Need Diverse Books™

by We Need Diverse Books

Bestselling authors speak out for We Need Diverse Books

Bethesda, MD (October 27, 2014) – This Friday, October 24th, We Need Diverse Books™ launched its inaugural Indiegogo campaign, and in less than three days has raised over one-third of its goal with the help of a broad range of individuals spanning the publishing world, including authors, literary agents, editors and publishers.

Thus far, NYT-bestselling and award-winning authors Rick Riordan, Malinda Lo, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ally Condie, Kathryn Erskine and Lisa McMann have contributed to We Need Diverse Books, responding to a campaign video in which bestselling and award-winning authors Jacqueline Woodson, Matt de la Peña, John Green, Grace Lin, Tim Federle and Cindy Pon discussed the importance of diverse books.

Importantly, agents, editors and publishers have also showed their support. Arthur A. Levine, (Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, Inc.) was featured in the campaign video, and editors including Alvina Ling (Executive Editorial Director, Little, Brown, Books for Young Readers), Alessandra Balzer (VP and Co-Publisher of Balzer+Bray / HarperCollins), Jill Santopolo (Executive Editor, Philomel / Penguin Random House), and Sharyn November (Senior Editor / Editorial Director, Penguin Random House) have contributed to the campaign. Prominent agents Erin Murphy (Erin Murphy Literary Agency), Barry Goldblatt (Barry Goldblatt Literary), Marietta Zacker (Nancy Gallt Literary Agency), and Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary Agency) have helped sponsor Walter Dean Myers Grants, with the latter offering a matching donation that generated over $2000 in donations in an hour. A full list of donors will be posted on a Wall of Thanks at

Tomorrow at 10am EST, the We Need Diverse Books™ team will release a full-length video in which NYT-bestselling author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska) discusses why diverse books are necessary. The We Need Diverse Books team will be discussing the video in a Twitter chat on Tuesday, October 28th at 1pm EST, using the hashtag #SupportWNDB.

In his three-minute video, Green talks about why kids need diverse books and his first impressions of the campaign. He also addresses the pressing need to get diverse books in the hands of the young readers who will benefit from them the most, and discusses the non-majority narratives that impacted him as a youth. The video will be available for viewing on the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign site ( and will be promoted across all its social media platforms.


More than just a hashtag, We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) is a grassroots nonprofit organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. WNDB is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality. On October 24th, the group launched its inaugural Indiegogo campaign ( to support its future initiatives, including a Diversity in the Classroom program, the Walter Dean Myers Award and Grant program, a diverse books Education Kit, and its inaugural Diversity Festival in 2016. Volunteer & sign up for their mailing list at, or follow WNDB on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram.

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