FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We Need Diverse Books Announces the Opening of Applications for the 2023 WNDB Internship Grants
March 1, 2023
Bethesda, MD — We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has announced the opening of the application process for the 2023 WNDB Internship Grants. Since 2015, the Internship Grant program has supported over 100 grantees in their summer internships. While many of our most recent 2022 cohorts are still completing their studies, over 75 percent of our grantees have gone on to work in the industry with many moving towards making leadership decisions and acquiring books of their own.
In its ninth program year, WNDB will continue to award grants to diverse interns focused on adult and children’s publishing, supporting up to twenty-four interns this year with $3,000 grants.
Data from People of Color in Publishing’s Workplace Racism Survey and PEN America’s Reading Between the Lines: Race Equity, and Book Publishing shows that the publishing industry has remained stagnant over the past five years in terms of diversity, equity, and representation. More than ever WNDB sees the need for systemic change and to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the U.S. today. Our organization will continue to push forward and support diverse interns looking to join the industry and who can help affect change from within. These fresh new voices, especially at the internship level, are the Internship Grant Program’s main focus.
“It’s our ninth year, and we’re celebrating—more than one hundred grants and a 75% retention rate,” said Linda Sue Park, Honorary Chair of the WNDB Children’s Internship Grant Committee. “Going forward, my hope is that we can continue to grow the program. The need is more acute than ever, and it will take all of us–creators, publishers, agencies, activists, educators—joining together to support continued efforts to make books the portal to a world of equity and inclusion.”
“Glance at the news, and you’ll see that from Florida to Texas, and beyond, books portraying diversity are increasingly under attack. This isn’t just an issue for writers from diverse backgrounds: If diverse voices are silenced, it affects our entire society,” said Celeste Ng, Honorary Chair of the WNDB Adult Internship Grant Committee. “All of us—readers, writers, and the publishing industry—need to ask ourselves, ‘Do I want to live in a world where only certain kinds of stories are allowed to be told?’ And then we need to take action, by supporting initiatives like We Need Diverse Books that help a broader range of stories get published.”
WNDB warmly thanks the following donors for their generous support of the 2023 Internship Grants: The Estée Lauder Companies, Tracey McCabe and Federal Farm Credit Banks, Victoria Sanders and Associates, Laurie Abkemeier, and Celeste Ng.
A special thank you to our publishing partners for working with us this season—we so appreciate working with all the partner liaison employees doing the work to support systemic change in the industry with their internship hiring practices. Partners for the 2023 season include Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Bookends Literary, Inkwell Management Literary Agency, Ladderbird Agency, Astra Publishing House, Barefoot Books, Beacon Press, Bloomsbury Publishing, Candlewick Press, Charlesbridge, Chronicle Books, Fabled Films Press, Hachette Book Group, Lee & Low Books, Lerner Publishing, Macmillan, North Star Editions, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Teacher Created Materials Publishing.
Finally, we are beyond ecstatic to welcome new Internship Grant committee members to the team for the 2023 season; Esther Cajahuaringa, editor at Alfred A. Knopf BFYR (Penguin Random House) and program alumnx, and Dr. Lee Francis IV, Executive Director of Native Realities, founder of Indigenous Comic Con, and owner of Red Planet Books.
About We Need Diverse Books: We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2014 to address the lack of diverse representation in the children’s publishing industry. The WNDB Internship Grant is one of many initiatives funded or supported by WNDB. More about the organization is available here. More information about the WNDB Internship Grant Program is available here.
Caroline Richmond, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaitlyn Patterson, Development Manager, email@example.com
Chelsea Villareal, Senior Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org