January 6, 2016 (New York, New York) – The We Need Diverse Books™ Mentorship Committee and mentors have confirmed selections for the inaugural Mentorship program. Of the nearly 300 applications received, five applicants have been chosen to work with award-winning authors and illustrators.
The winners are: Lisa Brathwaite, nonfiction mentee with Patricia Hruby-Powell; Deirdre D Havelock, picture book mentee with Nikki Grimes; Sun Jones, young adult mentee with Malinda Lo; Charlene Willing-McMannis, middle grade mentee with Margarita Engle, and Jacqueline Alcántara, illustration mentee with Carolyn Dee Flores.
Photos and bios of the mentors are available online. Additional mentee bios will be published later this month.
“The selection committee praised the high quality of the manuscripts received,” said Miranda Paul, chair of the WNDB™ Mentorship Committee. “Because so many deserving writers and illustrators applied, I’d like to see the program expand next year. I’m also hoping we can provide all of the applicants some kind of opportunity to get feedback or learn from our mentors, most likely through a web-based event in the coming months.”
The mentorship program is one of many initiatives funded or supported by WNDB™ since it incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Other WNDB programs include the Walter Dean Myers awards and grants, publishing internships, Title I school visits, and a series of online and on-the-ground discussions and panels at key events nationwide to keep the conversation progressing within the industry.