Official Panels

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Thank you to everyone who has requested We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) panels at your conferences or festivals. We appreciate your interest and support in our mission.

Authors and other activists have championed diversity in children’s literature for years. What finally brought We Need Diverse Books into existence was the announcement of a panel at a major conference featuring luminaries of children’s literature. The panel was exclusively made up of white men. An outraged group of authors and other kidlit advocates joined together to spark a conversation, and #WeNeedDiverseBooks was born. (You can learn more about this story here.)

While we appreciate your requests for WNDB-sponsored or WNDB-themed panels or events, as well as your invitations and requests for speakers, we are a small, volunteer-run organization that cannot handle all of the requests that come in. While there are certainly occasions for which a diversity-themed event or panel is appropriate, WNDB’s mission is, at its core, to increase diversity in all facets of children’s literature and publishing, not to encourage pigeonholing or to classify “diverse books” as something separate from “books.” For true change and progress toward inclusion and equity, diverse authors and illustrators must be included as a matter of course on the main stage at events, not relegated to separate programs.

WNDB is not the only force in this conversation. It has never been our intention to dominate the diversity movement.We stand with allies, like-minded organizations, and other activists such as the people and organizations you’ll find here.

If you are organizing an event and specifically seek WNDB participation for a WNDB- or diversity-specific program, we are happy to consider your request. However, if your request is for diverse representation in general, WNDB is far from your only source.

We have created a list of diverse authors and illustrators which includes their contact information through their publishers and their geographic region. When WNDB receives requests for diverse author/illustrator presence at events, requesters will receive access to the spreadsheet. Please note that we will not facilitate relationships for you. However, we hope you see this is an opportunity to give a great many talented individuals the recognition and exposure they deserve.

If you are an author, illustrator, or a representative of one, you can access a Google form here to have your information included in this spreadsheet.

Want to support We Need Diverse Books? Come see us at the following panels:

Upcoming Official Panels

January 2017

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • ABA Winter Institute 2017: Idea Exchange

January 30, 2017
  • ABA Winter Institute 2017: Idea Exchange

    Starts: January 30, 2017 - 1:55 pm
    Ends: January 30, 2017 - 2:45 pm


    With help from We Need Diverse Books, this roundtable forum will offer booksellers a venue to share information, ideas and success stories about forging connections within their communities, as well as opportunities to identify needs for future education and discuss ways in which ABC and WNDB can partner.

    Discussion Leaders include:
    -Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)
    -I.W. Gregorio, Author, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray)
    -Sara Hines, Eight Cousins (Falmouth, MA)
    -Miranda Paul, Author, 10 Little Ninjas (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

February 11, 2017
  • #AWP17: WNDB: Celebrating Children's Literature

    Starts: February 11, 2017 - 3:00 pm
    Ends: February 11, 2017 - 4:15 pm


    At AWP in Washington, DC, WNDB Presents Celebrating Children's Literature in an effort to debunk myths about the limited scope and depth found in young people's literature. More and more MFA programs are including writing for young people as part of the curriculum and many notable classics may have been considered YA or MG in today's market. Join authors and WNDB members Ellen Oh, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Lyn Miller Lachman, and Aisha Saeed as they discuss the fine line between books that can pull at one's heartstrings at any age and how the prose should always have impact.