In response, a group of 22 authors, publishers and bloggers launched a We Need Diverse Books campaign. “Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored,” the group’s manifesto declares. “We need to spread the word far and wide… So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone.”
BookCon is a readers’ convention organized by Book Expo America for this month in New York. When BookCon organizers announced an all-star line up of children’s writers– including Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket — they inadvertently provoked an uproar. All 30 writers (and the one cat invited) were white.
“Even before the official launch time, the hashtag, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, had gone ‘viral,’ with 27,796 Tweets from 8,988 contributors recorded at 10:45 a.m.” Publisher’s Weekly wrote. “By 5:00 p.m., there were 46,672 tweets from 13,459 unique contributors, with 82,272,930 timeline deliveries…”
On Friday morning, there were hundreds of new tweets being added each hour.
“It’s kind of lit a spark in people,” the YA author Ellen Oh told Publishers Weekly. “All of these voices are coming together.”
Prince Garrett supports diversity – it makes the world place a richer place.