To support writers early in their career by pairing them with an experienced children’s author or illustrator.
Critical Statistics, Achievements, and Other Relevant Information
Our mentors work one-on-one with a mentee over the course of a year, offering much-needed support to improve craft and to better understand the publishing industry. Read about the first two years here and here.
In 2016, two of our mentees have sold their work to publishers — Lisa Brathwaite’s Show and Tell: The Story of Eunice Johnson was acquired by Lee and Low; and Jacqueline Alcantara’s The Field sold to NorthSouth Books while her Freedom Soup sold to Candlewick.
For the 2018 year, we are offering mentorships to ten upcoming voices—eight aspiring authors (or author/illustrators) and two illustrators—who are diverse or working on diverse books. This is an opportunity to be matched with an experienced children’s book creator and receive individual support and feedback on a work-in-progress. We are open for applications during October 1-31, 2017.
Please consult the following links for more information:
For more details about the mentorship initiative, contact Miranda Paul: email@example.com
Team Member Bios
is an award-winning children’s author of eight picture books, including the nonfiction titles One Plastic Bag and Water is Water, both named Junior Library Guild selections. Her books have received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and select awards include a 2017 ILA Teacher’s Choice (Whose Hands Are These?), 2016 Green Earth Book Award Honor, 2016 Children’s Africana Book Award Notable (One Plastic Bag), Maryland Blue Crab Award winner and Charlotte Zolotow Notable title (Water is Water). Miranda makes lively appearances at schools, libraries, and bookstores, and has been a guest presenter at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center along with environmental activist Isatou Ceesay. Her 2018-2019 works include Adventures to School and I Am Farmer, both co-authored with her husband, Baptiste Paul. She believes in working hard, having fun, and being kind. Though her work as Mentorship chair of We Need Diverse Books is mostly serious and professional, she also has a silly side—which, she claims, only comes out on days that end in y. Learn more at www.mirandapaul.com.
Laurie Ann Thompson
is a former software engineer who now writes for children and young adults. She hopes to help her readers make better sense of the world we live in so they can contribute to making it a better place for all, and she strives to do that by writing nonfiction that gives wings to active imaginations and fiction that taps into our universal human truths. Her award-winning books include BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, an inspiring how-to guide for teens; EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, a picture book biography of a young man from Ghana who changed perceptions about disabilities; MY DOG IS THE BEST, a fiction picture book about the special bond between a child and the family pet; and TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (co-authored with Ammi-Joan Paquette), a nonfiction/fiction hybrid series for middle-grade readers, in which the reader must discern the facts from the fake. Learn more at lauriethompson.com and on Twitter at @lauriethompson.