FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fifteen Talented Creative Voices Named 2023 We Need Diverse Books Mentees
January 31, 2023
Washington, DC — After combing through hundreds of manuscripts and portfolios for the 2023 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program, the committee and mentors have made their winning selections.
The reader teams also noted many remarkable applications, naming over fifty finalists across the categories. The fifteen creators selected to receive a year-long mentorship include: Zuzu, Mar Sabrina, and Shanelle Serrato (Illustration); Christine Kornylak, Trenise Ferreira, Norma Cárdenas, and Wendy Maldonado (Picture Book); Yesica Hurd, Dina Mousa, Monica Nawrocki, and Benjamin Orion (Middle Grade); Yania Padilla Sierra, Jade Wilburn, Stephan Nance, and Gia R. Davis (Young Adult). Photos and bios of the mentees and their mentors are available online.
The We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program has now awarded 97 twelve-month mentorships since the first round of applications were received in 2015. Current and former recipients have gone on to publish or contract over 75 books for children and teens. Angeline Boulley, a 2019 mentee who worked with author Francisco X. Stork, sold her debut YA novel The Firekeeper’s Daughter after a 12-bidder auction. Several past mentees have given back by returning as mentors later, including Valerie Bolling and Olivia Aserr. To learn more about the varied accomplishments of past mentees, visit our website.
Applications for the next cycle of the WNDB Mentorship Program are expected to open in summer or fall 2023, and details will be posted in the future on the Mentorship website. Multi-published and actively working children’s literature authors and illustrators who’d like to mentor a writer or artist are encouraged to reach out to the Program Manager Alaina Lavoie, and/or co-chairs Miranda Paul and Meg Cannistra, by May 2023.
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that runs twelve exciting initiatives united under one goal—to combat systemic racism and oppression by creating a world where everyone can find themselves on the pages of a book. Established in 2014, WNDB strives to support and amplify diverse literature by mentoring marginalized creators, providing resources to diverse publishing professionals, and donating diverse books to schools and libraries nationwide. Learn more at diversebooks.org.
Alaina Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org