We Need Diverse Books Announces Master Class at the Library of Congress

by We Need Diverse Books

May 10, 2016 (Washington, DC) – We Need Diverse Books™, in conjunction with the Library of Congress, is pleased to announce a Master Class on writing and publishing for children and young adults. Leading the master class will be Kwame Alexander, winner of the Newbery Medal for his YA book The Crossover, and Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for her middle grade book Brown Girl Dreaming.

The Master Class will take place on Monday, June 13, 2016 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. It will be free and open to the public, and students must be 18 or older. Lee & Low will provide travel stipends to two participants coming from outside the Washington, DC metro area.

More information about the application process can be found at We Need Diverse Books website: http://weneeddiversebooks.org/locsymposium/. Applications close on May 31, 2016.

The Master Class will be part of a day-long symposium, “Lineage: From The Black Arts Movement to Cave Canem,” which will also include panels and readings at the Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library. For more information on the symposium, visit www.loc.gov/poetry and www.folger.edu/poetry.

Kwame Alexander organized the Master Class because a similar class helped jumpstart his career. He said, “[That class] not only gave me the confidence and tools to pursue my dream … it gave me an insider’s look at the process of that pursuit.” Alexander hopes this master class, at the world’s largest library and the nation’s oldest federal institution, can do the same for emerging writers and professionals who value diversity.

Along with our experienced faculty, Alexander and Woodson will cover a range of introductory topics from writing children’s books to the role of literary agents and to pursuing a career in publishing. Faculty Jason Low (Publisher at Lee & Low Books), Jennifer Brown (Publisher at Knopf Books for Young Readers, a Penguin Random House imprint, and Cassandra Pelham (Senior Editor at Graphix, a Scholastic imprint) will share an inside look at the publishing industry.

About We Need Diverse Books™

We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. For more information, visit http://weneeddiversebooks.org/

About Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov .